When the time comes to retire, many people are less likely to be tied down by a full-time job and the possibility to move to another state opens up. The desire to relocate could be for many reasons, such as being closer to family, more recreational activities, or simply wanting a change of scenery after being in one place for a long time.
There are additional factors to keep in mind that can make-or-break your retirement experience: safety, taxes, healthcare, and living expenses. Each factor varies by state, so it’s best to do your research before committing to a new destination. Use the following map to determine the best (and worst) states to retire.
- Iowa is the best state overall for retiring. It ranked within the top 15 states for the lowest rates of identity theft, fraud, and violent crime. Iowa offers a lower cost of living, better healthcare, and lower home prices, making it safe and affordable.
- California is the worst state for retiring. Its sky-high home prices and overall cost of living make it difficult for retirees to live. On top of that, it has more identity theft and fraud than almost any other state in the nation—not to mention fairly high crime rates.
- Kentucky, Wyoming, or Vermont are the best states to retire in if you want to avoid identity theft and fraud.
- The states with the best healthcare are Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Rhode Island. This is partially because all three states have some of the lowest average monthly health insurance premiums throughout the country.
- Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire have the lowest violent crime rates in the United States. On the flip side, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Mexico are the highest when it comes to crime.
To calculate the best and worst states to retire, we researched all 50 states and the District of Columbia on various factors that affect retirees. We analyzed recent data sets and resources on identity theft and fraud, FBI violent crime rates, tax policies for retirees, the overall cost of living, healthcare, and average home price, and combined the rankings to assign each state a total score.