Best States for Retirees Found in Surprising Region

Forget the Sun Belt, retirees: Another region continues to dominate Bankrate's annual ranking of the best states for retirement.

Best States for Retirees Found in Surprising Region Photo (cc) by lorenkerns

Forget the Sun Belt, retirees: The intermountain West continues to dominate Bankrate’s annual ranking of the best states for retirement. And Wyoming ranks No. 1 for the second straight year.

Bankrate ranked each state based on variety of factors important to seniors. In a press release, Claes Bell, a senior analyst at Bankrate, says:

While features like pleasant weather and nearby amenities are important, nuts-and-bolts considerations like cost of living and the local tax burden may have a bigger impact on your overall quality of life. Many retirees live on a fixed income, and it’s hard to have a pleasant retirement if you’re constantly under financial pressure.

The top 5 states in Bankrate’s rankings this year are:

  1. Wyoming
  2. South Dakota
  3. Colorado
  4. Utah
  5. Virginia

Arizona fared best among traditional retirement hotspots, finishing at No. 9. Meanwhile, that most iconic of retirement locales — Florida — came in at No. 28. A high crime rate and below-average health care quality dragged down the Sunshine State.

Interestingly, nine of the 12 worst states in the ranking are coastal states. New York finished dead last in the rankings, chiefly because it has the nation’s highest tax burden and a high cost of living. West Virginia, Oregon, Arkansas and Louisiana round out the bottom five.

In what state would you most want to spend your golden years? Let us know by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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