9 States Where Retirees Enjoy Long Lives

Happy senior riding a bicycle
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Retirees can choose where they want to live, how much money they want to have and how to trim their retirement costs. The one aspect of retirement that is truly out of their control? How long they will have to enjoy their golden years.

No one can completely control their health and lifespan, as much as we may wish we had that kind of power. We can eat healthfully and exercise, yes, but there’s still an element of the unknown.

But there’s no denying that certain states have a much higher average life expectancy than others. Studies have shown that differences in health care, pollution, weather and other regional factors are all important for longevity.

In the U.S., life expectancy after age 65 is 19.6 years, according to recent Census Bureau data. That means Americans who reach age 65 will live another 19.6 years — or to age 84.6 — on average.

The latest annual National Vital Statistics Report, issued by the federal government, ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to life expectancy after age 65. Here’s a look at the top states on that list, where life expectancy after age 65 is at least 20 years.

Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota
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Life expectancy after age 65:

  • Overall: 20 years
  • Among females: 21.2 years
  • Among males: 18.7 years

Let’s address the polar bear in the room: Minnesota can get cold. But the Land of 10,000 Lakes boasted the ninth-highest life expectancy on this list. Minnesotans know from birth how to bundle up and enjoy their winter wonderland. Plus, Rochester’s Mayo Clinic recently ranked as the best hospital in the nation. Perhaps that’s why Minneapolis landed at No. 5 on a recent list of the best places to retire.

New Jersey

Lavallette, New Jersey
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Life expectancy after age 65:

  • Overall: 20 years
  • Among females: 21.2 years
  • Among males: 18.6 years

Surprised to see New Jersey on this list? Don’t underestimate the Garden State, which boasts the eighth-highest life expectancy for those who make it to age 65. Also, New Jersey is home to the most popular retirement town in the country, according to Zillow — Lavellette, which bills itself as “the ideal family seashore resort.”

Massachusetts

Provincetown, Massachusetts
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Life expectancy after age 65:

  • Overall: 20.1 years
  • Among females: 21.3 years
  • Among males: 18.7 years

Massachusetts may not seem like the stereotypical retirement haven, but it scores high for life expectancy after age 65, coming in at No. 7. And since those Bay State residents are going to be around for a while, it’s a good thing the state’s residents score high on the list of folks who’ve tucked away the highest retirement savings. More years lived means more money spent, of course.

Florida

The Villages, Florida
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Life expectancy after age 65:

  • Overall: 20.1 years
  • Among females: 21.4 years
  • Among males: 18.6 years

This wouldn’t have surprised the Golden Girls, but of the seven best places to retire on the East Coast, Florida cities fill four of the spots. Is the Sunshine State calling your name? Check out our list of the best cities to retire to in Florida.

Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado
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Life expectancy after age 65:

  • Overall: 20.1 years
  • Among females: 21.1 years
  • Among males: 19 years

When you think of Colorado, do you think of schussing down a powdery ski run or perhaps hiking in the clear mountain air? Maybe those outdoor activities aid in keeping Colorado life expectancies so high. And they probably helped the state tie for fifth on a recent list of the top states where Americans want to retire.

Connecticut

New Britain, Connecticut
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Life expectancy after age 65:

  • Overall: 20.2 years
  • Among females: 21.5 years
  • Among males: 18.8 years

If you’re set to savor the long life expectancy enjoyed in Connecticut, be aware: The Nutmeg State recently ranked in the top five when it comes to the most expensive states in which to retire. But the state also has its charms. Danbury came in at No. 2 on a recent list of the best places to retire in the Northeast, with New Britain at No. 8.

New York

Senior couple walking outdoors
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Life expectancy after age 65:

  • Overall: 20.3 years
  • Among females: 21.6 years
  • Among males: 18.8 years

The Empire State scores high for life expectancy after age 65, perhaps helped by New York’s numerous exceptional hospitals. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked hospitals in numerous medical specialties, and New York City institutions claimed top honors for geriatrics (Mount Sinai), ear, nose and throat (Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) and orthopedics (Hospital for Special Surgery).

California

Chico, California
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Life expectancy after age 65:

  • Overall: 20.5 years
  • Among females: 21.8 years
  • Among males: 19.1 years

Golden State residents enjoy the second-longest life expectancy of those who reach age 65. Need another incentive to sing “California, Here I Come”? California’s Property Tax Postponement Program lets eligible seniors, as well as blind and disabled residents, defer current-year property taxes.

Hawaii

Ka'anapali Beach on Maui, Hawaii
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Life expectancy after age 65:

  • Overall: 21.2 years
  • Among females: 22.9 years
  • Among males: 19.4 years

If you’re hoping to live a long life, there are few better places than Hawaii, where the average life expectancy of someone who’s reached 65 is an additional 21.2 years.

As you might expect, it’s not cheap to live on an island chain where many staples must be imported from elsewhere — recent data showed Hawaiians are having their food budgets stretched the most by rising inflation. But bury your toes in the warm sand and gaze out over the breathtaking Pacific — you might decide it’s worth it.

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