Best and Worst States to Retire in 2016

For seniors choosing a location to spend their retirement years, several factors, including the availability of nearby entertainment, can make a senior housing community seem more attractive—or the opposite.

For this reason, personal finance website WalletHub took multiple elements into consideration when compiling its list of 2016’s Best & Worst States to Retire.

WalletHub’s analysts compared all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., across three dimensions: health care, affordability and quality of life. The 51 regions were also compared across 24 metrics, including factors that senior living provides often feature in their sales and marketing for specific communities, like museums per capita and theaters per capita.


In 2016, the top-five best states to retire are Florida, Wyoming, South Dakota, South Carolina and Colorado, WalletHub concluded. The top-five worst places to retire are Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Connecticut and Vermont.

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Meanwhile, the states with the most museums per capita are New York, California, Kansas, Massachusetts and Maine. The states with the least museums per capita are Hawaii, Mississippi, West Virginia, Nevada and Utah.


The states with the most theaters per capita include Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, with New York and California tied for having the most theaters per capita. The states with the fewest theaters per capita are Mississippi, Delaware, Alabama, Wyoming and Arkansas.

The adjusted cost of living was also taken into consideration for each state.

For instance, WalletHub found that the state with the lowest adjusted cost of living is Mississippi, and the state with the highest adjusted cost of living is Hawaii. After Mississippi, the states with the lowest adjusted cost of living are Indiana, Alabama, Tennessee and Idaho.

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On the flip side, after Hawaii, the places with the highest adjusted cost of living are Washington, D.C., New York, Alaska and California.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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