States Stack up for Best Places to Retire

From cost of living to health care access and tax rates, BankRate has comprised its annual state ranking of the best places to retire in 2014. Topping the list at No. 1: South Dakota, followed by Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming. 

The rankings shifted slightly over 2013, when the top five states comprised Tennessee, Louisiana, South Dakota, Mississippi and Kentucky, in respective ranks from No. 1 to No. 5. Largely the top states skewed away from Southern states and more toward the plains and west. 

BankRate examined and scored all 50 states across categories including well being, cost of living, health care quality, tax burden, property crime and violent crime instance, possible sunshine average and humidity. 


South Dakota, the No. 1 state on the list, had a very low instance of crime, high score for health care and relatively low tax burden around 7%. 

Among the states at the bottom of the list, New York ranked No. 50, followed by West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas and Hawaii. 

View the full rankings at


Written by Elizabeth Ecker