These Are the Best and Worst States to Retire Right Now

Developers looking for their next senior housing site may want to consider out-of-the-box retirement destinations, as these may actually be the most desirable to American retirees.

Consumer financial services company Bankrate, Inc. recently published a list ranking the best states for retirees. To arrive at its conclusions, the firm considered factors that may be especially relevant to older adults, including health care quality, cost of living, cultural vitality, weather and well-being.

Perhaps surprisingly, warm weather destinations Arizona and Hawaii did not make the top five best places to retire—but South Dakota, Utah and Idaho did.


Currently, the top five best states for retirement, according to Bankrate, are:

    1. South Dakota
    2. Utah
    3. Idaho
    4. New Hampshire
    5. Florida

The top five worst states for retirement are:

  1. New York
  2. New Mexico
  3. Maryland
  4. Louisiana
  5. Arkansas


To arrive at these rankings, Bankrate relied on expert and government sources to compare all 50 states against one another. Then, the company weighted those rankings based on the importance ascribed to them by respondents to a 2017 Bankrate survey, which revealed that 47% of U.S. residents would consider moving when they retire.

The states with the best health care quality, according to Bankrate, are Minnesota, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. The states with the worst health care quality are Arkansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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