What makes some states most popular may work against them as places to retire.
Conventional thinking about where to live in retirement has traditionally centered around warm weather climes such as Florida, California and Arizona. So how does Wyoming, the "Cowboy State," top Bankrate.com’s list of the best (and worst) states to retire?
"Wyoming isn't a place you tend to think of being a Top 10 lit of places to retire," Chris Kahn, who ran the Bankrate survey, told Forbes. "But it has a cheap cost of living and a very low crime rate. It's also the lowest-taxing state in America...which is very important to people on fixed income.:
Weather is but one factor to be considered in selecting the best place to retire. Six-in-ten affluent households first consider cost of living, according to Spectrem Group wealth level research. Next comes proximity to friends and family (58 percent), followed closely by the weather (57 percent).
Age, not surprisingly, is a factor in determining which criteria are most important in choosing the best place to retire. Proximity to friends and family was more important to those over 60 years-old (60 percent) than it was to those under 40 (55 percent). Similarly, nearly two-thirds of respondents between the ages of 41-60 cited weather as a determining factor compared with 47 percent of those under 40.
In compiling its list, Bankrate.com likewise considered cost of living and weather. It also took in to account crime rate, health care quality and “well-being.”
Six-in-ten respondents to Bankrate’s survey indicate they want to move when they reach retirement. Its list was created to “help decide among several possibilities.”
The top 10 best places to retire, according to Bankrate are:
- South Dakota (last year’s No. 1)
Where are the perceived most popular states? According to Bankrate, what makes them so popular may also work against them as a retirement destination. “Densely packed, touristy communities tend to be more expensive places to live,” Bankrate notes. “There’s more competition for space and resources, and, as a result, those states tend to put more financial pressure on people with fixed incomes. Retirees still may find a lot to love in those states, but it could take more work to stay happy.”
And if you want to stay happy, Bankrate’s ranking suggests that these 10 states (in ascending order) might be nice places to visit, but not to retire:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- New York
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.