Best and Worst States to Retire

New Hampshire is the best state to retire, according to a new report. Colorado, Maine, Iowa and Minnesota comprise the rest of the top five. Click here for the full list:

The study examined eight key factors which were weighted in line with a nationally representative survey of non-retired U.S. adults. From most to least important, the categories were: cost of living, healthcare quality, crime, cultural vitality, weather, taxes, senior citizens’ well-being and the prevalence of other seniors.

New Hampshire ranked in the top five for seniors’ well-being (second-best), crime (third-lowest) and healthcare quality (fourth-best). It scored sixth-worst for weather yet still took the top overall spot thanks to its strength elsewhere.

Arizona, Florida and Nevada are popular retirement destinations, however, none cracked the top 10. Arizona came in 12th (while it scored lots of points for weather, it failed to make the top 10 in the other seven classifications). Florida was 17th (it has the nation’s highest percentage of residents age 65 and older but didn’t sniff the top 10 in any other area). And Nevada was nowhere close to the top (#44). It rated very well for weather and taxes but was pulled down by the nation’s worst healthcare quality and its fourth-highest crime rate.

Alaska came in last overall and in two of the eight categories (weather and the percentage of senior citizens). It was also dragged down by the second-highest crime rate, the third-highest cost of living and the fifth-worst score for healthcare quality. West Virginia is the second-worst place to spend one’s golden years, followed by Arkansas, New Mexico and Louisiana.

The study found about half of non-retired U.S. adults would consider moving to a different city or state when they retire. The percentage is greatest among millennials (58%) and falls to 46% of Gen Xers, 37% of Baby Boomers and 12% of the Silent Generation.

“What people think they want in retirement may not end up being what serves them best over the long run,” said analyst Claes Bell, CFA. “It’s about a lot more than sunny skies, beaches and golf courses. As you get older, practical considerations like healthcare, taxes and proximity to family and friends become much more important.”

Sources: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Public Health Association, Council for Community and Economic Research, Creative Vitality Index, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gallup-Healthways, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Partnership for Prevention, Tax Foundation, Princeton Survey Research Associates International, United Health Foundation, United States Census Bureau