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Are you ready to learn where the best places are for your dream retirement?
The states on this list all have something unique and special to offer, from stunning natural landscapes, diverse cultural offerings, abundant outdoor recreation with year-round sunshine, or even tax breaks!
Whether you’re considering retiring in a new state, relocating after retirement, or just wanting a change of scenery when it comes time to hang up your hat, these 17 states are ideal.
Here, let us show why they rank head and shoulders above the rest for retirees looking for their ultimate post-career destination.
Table of Contents
#1. West Virginia
West Virginia is known for its stunning mountain ranges, and the “Mountain State” lives up to its name with some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
The state offers numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, and more.
Plus, there are plenty of other attractions like historical sites and national parks to explore.
The cost of living is quite low, and there are plenty of amenities such as affordable housing, health care services, and excellent retirement communities.
You can also take advantage of the tax benefits available for seniors in West Virginia.
Delaware may be small, but it offers plenty of big advantages as a retirement destination.
The state boasts gorgeous beaches along the Atlantic Coast, which make it the perfect place for retirees who enjoy sun and sand.
The cost of living is very reasonable, and there are some real estate tax benefits available in Delaware.
There are numerous cultural attractions, including museums, restaurants, and theatres.
The state also has several top-rated golf courses for those who enjoy hitting the links.
Overall, Delaware offers retirees a laid-back lifestyle with plenty of activities to keep them busy.
Utah is an interesting state. It’s one of the better states to retire in, but there are downsides to think about when considering Utah.
Some of the highlights of Utah include low healthcare costs, gorgeous natural wonders to visit all around, and a higher life expectancy with a good quality of living for seniors.
They also boast high-quality hospitals to visit for care.
That said, Utah has less access to healthcare, a small senior population, and the worst air quality found throughout the United States.
Overall, Utah is not a bad state to consider when retiring.
Arizona is one of the few states on this list where you immediately understand that it’s a good place to retire due to the sheer number of things to do there.
Whether you’re a fan of nature, art, or shopping, there’s no shortage of things to do which will keep you occupied as you navigate retirement.
While the crime rates are much higher in Arizona, healthcare costs, cost of living, weather, and access to healthcare are all above average, making it an excellent choice for prospective retirees.
This western state is a great option for active seniors who love the outdoors.
While the winters can get challenging, the other months of the year make up for it.
Aside from skiing and hiking, you have kayaking and mountain biking as well.
Life near the cities offers good healthcare and the overall cost of living is reasonable.
They say Virginia is for lovers, but it is also for retirees.
While some areas of the state, namely around Washington D.C. are over-populated and cost a lot to live, there are many other options for seniors.
You could choose beach living in Virginia Beach, historical buffs will love Williamsburg, and if you enjoy the outdoors, exploring the western part of the state is for you.
With close access to high quality healthcare and lots to do, Virginia is a great option for seniors.
When thinking of places to retire, Florida likely comes to mind.
This is due to its warm, sunny climate and numerous things to do for people of any age.
It’s also a state that doesn’t have an income tax, meaning you can save more if you have multiple income streams.
You’ll also benefit from good roads and airports, excellent air quality, great healthcare, and overall quality of life.
The only major downside is the cost of living, which can be more than some of the other top states on this list.
Tennessee falls in the middle of this list for several reasons.
Its quality of life lags behind high-ranking states because of higher crime rates, poor air quality, and a lower life expectancy.
However, it’s one of the top-considered states because of its affordability, decent weather, low tax burden, and high-quality hospitals to provide the excellent healthcare you want as you age.
Make sure to weigh the pros and cons and consider what life looks like should you decide to move to Tennessee.
Making sure that there’s plenty to do there is crucial to a retirement you can enjoy.
If you’re looking for a place that offers a quieter environment, Idaho might be a choice worth putting on your list of considerations.
Idaho is a highly affordable state, both in terms of cost of living and healthcare costs, and it has a very low level of crime that makes it suitable for retirees.
It has a higher life expectancy, and seniors are at a lower risk of hunger.
However, Idaho falls further on this list because there are far fewer hospitals, dentists, and assisted living facilities, which can impact your quality of life as you age.
Georgia is an affordable state with excellent weather, meaning that seniors can comfortably live on their income while accessing essential healthcare services and beyond.
There’s plenty to do, and the state is average in areas like road quality and a low tax burden.
That said, Georgia does have some downsides that seniors should consider before moving there.
This includes a tiny elderly population and poor overall air quality.
Because of this, the quality of life in Georgia isn’t the best it could be.
#11. North Carolina
The average quality of life in North Carolina isn’t as amazing as it could be, but don’t let that distract you from all of the amazing things North Carolina offers.
There’s plenty for seniors to do. They have access to numerous high-quality hospitals paired with affordable healthcare costs and favorable weather.
But overall, North Carolina is not a bad place to settle down and retire if you’re looking for somewhere that’s not expensive, too cold or too hot, or so removed from society that you cannot find something to do.
Texas is at the top of the list of the best places to retire, and for good reason.
Besides the warm, subtropical climate that makes for comfortable living year-round, the state offers various amenities that seniors need and want access to.
This includes ample high-ranking hospitals and dental offices, plenty of senior living communities to join, several airports to fly out of when you feel the urge to travel, numerous museums, and state and national parks.
While their roads aren’t the best, their above-average quality of life certainly makes up for it.
Michigan might not be an obvious choice when considering the best place to retire, especially when you consider its persistently cold weather and the low quality of roads.
However, that doesn’t necessarily take away from some benefits that retirees can experience when they call Michigan home.
Some highlights of Michigan as a retiree state include the affordable cost of living, stellar access to healthcare, plenty of activities for seniors to engage in, and low overall crime rates.
Missouri has a lower quality of life, however, it does offer a lower cost of living and lower healthcare costs, combined with excellent access to healthcare.
Whether you plan on staying in the state or visiting places outside, you’ll have no problem finding airports, state and national parks, and museums, among other places.
Missouri might not be at the top, but it still has plenty to offer retirees interested in moving there.
If you like slow living, Iowa is for you.
And if you choose to live near any metro area, you have plenty to do and see.
As an added bonus, the university hospitals in Iowa are highly rated and the cost of living is lower than in many other parts of the country, meaning you can retire with less money and still live comfortably.
#16. South Carolina
The benefits of South Carolina are close to endless.
First, the weather year-round is mild, making it a perfect place to live.
Second, it is one of the most tax friendly states, saving you money.
If outdoor adventure is your thing, you have access to beaches and mountains, plus everything in between.
Even the healthcare is good.
#17. New Hampshire
If you love the outdoors, consider New Hampshire.
With plenty of things to do and mild temperatures all summer long, this state is a great option for retirees.
The state is also highly ranked for healthcare, in both quality and accessibility.
Worst States to Retire
While these were the best states to retire, what are the worst states?
Here are the ones you want to avoid at all costs due to a low quality of life, lack of affordability, and poor access to healthcare.
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