Trying to figure out where best to spend your golden years? Head to the Cowboy State.
Wyoming has topped Bankrate.com’s list of the best places to retire in the U.S., handily beating traditional retirement spots like Florida and Arizona.
In fact, the Western half of the country had an exceptionally strong showing in the survey. Take a look at the top five retirement states:
2) South Dakota
Wyoming captured top honors due to a combination of low cost of living, below-average crime and strong well-being scores in the region.
New York, however, once again didn’t fare too well. The state ranked lowest on the Bankrate list, largely thanks to its high tax rates and even higher cost of living.
“There are a lot of factors that go into how well retirees will do in a state,” said Claes Bell, a senior analyst at Bankrate.com. “While features like pleasant weather and nearby amenities are important, nuts-and-bolts considerations like cost of living and the local tax burden may have a bigger impact on your overall quality of life. Many retirees live on a fixed income, and it’s hard to have a pleasant retirement if you’re constantly under financial pressure.”
Where else should you avoid? The worst five, per Bankrate, were:
50) New York
49) West Virginia
Long-time retirement spots
The report doesn’t shine an especially bright light on states that are considered retirement havens. Florida’s high-crime and lower-than-average healthcare ratings caused the state to come in 28th. Arizona did okay, coming in 9th.
And Hawaii was 45th, mainly because it’s so ridiculously expensive to live there.
In fact, if you’re thinking about retiring to the beach, you might want to give those plans a second thought. Of Bankrate’s 10 Top States for retirement, only Virginia is coastal. And nine of the worst 12 states border an ocean (or the Gulf of Mexico).
(You can read the full list of states and how they ranked here.)
Bankrate assembled its ratings by gathering data on everything from crime and cost of living to healthcare and weather. Sources for the data included the FBI, NOAA, Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research and the Council for Community and Economic Outreach.