The 17 Best States for Retirees in 2017

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Where you choose to retire can impact almost every major aspect of your golden years — from finances and health care to quality of life.

So WalletHub recently set out to determine which states are most retiree-friendly.

The financial data website examined 31 factors — such as taxes, life expectancy and public transportation. Each state and Washington, D.C., were then graded on a 100-point scale and ranked.

The No. 1 state overall comes as little surprise — Florida, “The Sunshine State,” which is one of a few states that don’t tax residents’ income, also ranked No. 1 based on its affordability.

Check out “4 Things You Must Know About How States Tax Retirement” to learn more about how various taxes can impact your nest egg.

The runner-up in WalletHub’s analysis — Wyoming — might surprise you, since it’s not the typical tropical locale that most people think of when imagining retirement. However, like Florida, the Western state scored especially well on its affordability.

As we reported in the fall, AARP deemed Wyoming’s capital, Cheyenne, one of five cities where retirees can live for less than $40,000 per year.

The 17 states that rank highest as retiree-friendly in WalletHub’s analysis are:

  1. Florida: Scored 69.22 out of 100 points
  2. Wyoming: 67.81
  3. South Dakota: 67.06
  4. Iowa: 66.26
  5. Colorado: 64.85
  6. Idaho: 64.12
  7. South Carolina: 64.00
  8. Nevada: 63.64
  9. Delaware: 63.59
  10. Wisconsin: 63.34
  11. Pennsylvania: 63.23
  12. Montana: 63.08
  13. Arizona: 63.04
  14. Missouri: 61.73
  15. Michigan: 61.69
  16. Washington: 61.31
  17. Utah: 61.25

Of course, deciding where to live in retirement can be more difficult if you’re financially unprepared for it. As WalletHub reports:

Even in the most affordable areas of the U.S., most retirees cannot rely on Social Security or pension checks alone to cover all of their living expenses. Social Security benefits increase progressively with local inflation, but they replace only about 40 percent of the amount you earned if you were an average worker, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

To learn how you can obtain a personalized report on claiming benefits, be sure to check out “Maximize Your Social Security.”

What state would you most want to retire in? Let us know why in a comment below or on Facebook.

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