Top 15 Best States for Retirement: 2018

Top 15 Best States for Retirement: 2018

Your clients looking ahead toward retirement are probably giving some thought to where they’ll live once the daily commute is behind them.

While lots of folks may plan to age in place and stay in the homes they’ve lived in for years, others may want — or need — a change in surroundings, possibly to make retirement funds last longer or to have better (or cheaper) access to doctors, museums, beaches, mountains or family. And retirees who opt to move need to choose carefully to be sure that they’re getting the greatest benefit for the expense and effort of moving.

In its ratings of every state on how well, or poorly, they do at being good places to retire, WalletHub also points out that while retirees might need to stretch Social Security or pension income and retirement savings as far as they can, they also need to consider how happy they might be (or not) in their new surroundings. A potential new home shouldn’t completely upend a retiree’s life — unless that’s exactly what they’re looking for — and should provide surroundings in which they feel welcome and comfortable.

To that end, WalletHub gathered data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Council for Community and Economic Research, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Retirement Living Information Center, Genworth Financial, United Health Foundation, County Health Rankings, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Charity Navigator, Gallup Healthways, GolfLink, the Tax Foundation, America’s Scenic Byways, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, U.S. News & World Report, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and its own research.

Using that plethora of information, it then compared the 50 states across 41 key indicators of retirement friendliness that include affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life. Analyzing states’ amenities, availability of medical care and crime rates, weather, tax advantages (or the lack thereof) for retirees and numerous other factors, it then rated all 50 states on a scale of 100, scoring them on the three main categories: affordability, which counts for 40 points out of 100; quality of life, which counts for 30 points; and health care, which makes up the final 30.

Here are the 15 states that came out on top:

Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles.

15. California

Total score: 58.92

Affordability rank: 37

Quality of Life rank: 3

Health Care rank: 16

Philadelphia's Liberty Bell. (Photo: AP)

14. Pennsylvania

Total score: 59.54

Affordability rank: 28

Quality of Life rank: 4

Health Care rank: 30

Tipi in a Montana Lake.

13. Montana

Total score: 60.32

Affordability rank: 14

Quality of Life rank: 33

Health Care rank: 19

Green Bay Packers fans.

12. Wisconsin

Total score: 60.46

Affordability rank: 32

Quality of Life rank: 7

Health Care rank: 11

University of Minnesota marching band. (Photo: AP)

11. Minnesota

Total score: 60.66

Affordability rank: 42

Quality of Life rank: 1

Health Care rank: 1

Grand Canyon in Arizona. (Photo: AP)

10. Arizona

Total score: 60.67

Affordability rank: 21

Quality of Life rank: 21

Health Care rank: 17

Downtown Salt Lake City.

9. Utah

Total score: 61.14

Affordability rank: 22

Quality of Life rank: 24

Health Care rank: 12

Great Big Idaho Potato Truck in Boise.

8. Idaho

Total score: 61.39

Affordability rank: 11

Quality of Life rank: 20

Health Care rank: 25

New Hampshire State House in Concord.

7. New Hampshire

Total score: 61.51

Affordability rank: 29

Quality of Life rank: 14

Health Care rank: 4

A red barn in Jackson, Wyoming.

6. Wyoming

Total score: 61.66

Affordability rank: 4

Quality of Life rank:30

Health Care rank: 29

Battlefield Park and Richmond Skyline. (Photo: AP)

5. Virginia

Total score: 62.02

Affordability rank: 18

Quality of Life rank: 9

Health Care rank: 21

Washington Park in Dubuque.

4. Iowa

Total score: 62.46

Affordability rank: 26

Quality of Life rank: 11

Health Care rank: 9

Mount Rushmore in Keystone. (Photo: AP)

3. South Dakota

Total score: 65.89

Affordability rank: 2

Quality of Life rank: 32

Health Care rank: 6

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

2. Colorado

Total score: 66.17

Affordability rank: 23

Quality of Life rank: 8

Health Care rank: 2


Miami Beach.

1. Florida

Total score: 66.79

Affordability rank: 1

Quality of Life rank: 5

Health Care rank: 20


Article published by ThinkAdvisor Jan 23 2018

Written by Marlene Y. Sattern