Forget Florida, This Is Now the Best State for Retirees

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Senior couple outdoors
Juice Dash /

The Peach State has stolen some glimmer from the Sunshine State when it comes to top retirement locations in the U.S.

Georgia is now the best state for retirees, just ahead of longtime favorite Florida, according to a new Bankrate analysis.

In calculating its rankings, Bankrate looked at five categories:

  • Affordability
  • Wellness
  • Culture
  • Weather
  • Crime

Affordability gave Georgia the edge over Florida, Bankrate says. Taxes are relatively light in Georgia, and the overall cost of living is low. Among all U.S. states, the Peach State ranks No. 3 for affordability.

Bankrate says Georgia also ranks high for having excellent weather, and it’s in the middle of the pack for wellness and crime. All of this offsets the major negative in the state: a lack of cultural opportunities.

Meanwhile, Florida’s hurricanes and tornadoes hurt the state’s ranking, as did its declining affordability, particularly in the area of housing. As Jeff Ostrowski, a reporter at Bankrate, tells Grow:

“Florida is not as cheap as it once was. In terms of health care and entertainment and leisure activities, Florida remains attractive, [but] it’s not the bargain that it used to be.”

Still, it is important to note that Bankrate says Florida finished so near to Georgia in the rankings that “the results were nearly a draw.”

Tennessee finished in third place. Bankrate notes that state is the most affordable for retirees, due to both below-average living costs and modest local and state taxes. However, lackluster rankings in crime and wellness kept it below Georgia and Florida.

Bankrate’s top 10 states for retirement in 2021 are:

  1. Georgia
  2. Florida
  3. Tennessee
  4. Missouri
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Wyoming
  7. Arizona
  8. Ohio
  9. Indiana
  10. Kentucky

If you are dreaming of spending your golden years abroad instead, check out “The 10 Best Countries to Retire Overseas in 2021.”

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.