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Looking to retire but don’t know where? These are the 10 best and 10 worst states to live out your golden years

August 19, 2022, 11:00 AM UTC
Elderly man fishing Gulf Coast Florida USA.
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many Americans work hard their whole lives so they can retire and leave their job stress behind. 

So when the time comes to retiring, what could be better than ditching your old life completely and moving somewhere pleasant and stress-free—where your only job is to relax. 

Financial services company Bankrate crunched the numbers and found the best and worst states to retire in. In creating the list, the company gave different weights to five different categories: affordability, wellness, culture, weather, and crime. 

In a time of record-high inflation and home prices that are still expensive, affordability counted for the most in the rankings at 40%. It was followed by well-being at 20%, culture and diversity at 15%, weather at 15%, and crime at 10%. 

Real-estate and housing experts referenced in the study said that distance to family, lower cost of living, lower taxes, access to medical care, and hobbies can also be important factors in determining where to retire. But those weren’t considered in the rankings.  

Bankrate’s study acknowledges that choosing a place to retire to is subjective. 

“If you own a paid-off home in a high-cost area like Boston or San Francisco, maybe affordability isn’t a priority for you,” the company said. “And, of course, not everyone likes the sweltering summers of the Sun Belt states that populate the top of our rankings.”

Here are Bankrate’s best and worst states for retirement in 2022:

The top 10: 

1. Florida 
2. Georgia
3. Michigan 
4. Ohio
5. Missouri
6. Kentucky
7. Texas
8. Tennessee 
9. Pennsylvania
10. South Dakota

The bottom 10:

41. Washington
42. Hawaii
43. Connecticut 
44. Maryland
45. Vermont 
46. Montana
47. New Mexico
48. California
49. Maine
50. Alaska 

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