50. Hawaii

Cost of living: 87 percent above U.S. average
Population: 1.4 million
Best city: Maunawili
PRO: The best city for retirees in this tropical state is Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu, says Niche.com. It’s home to popular hiking destinations and close to the state capital, Honolulu. Hawaii, in general, is full of nature and water sports.

hawaii, best states to retire
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CON: The cost of living is pretty high in Hawaii — 87 percent above average. That’s even higher than the other sunshine state, California. The average income for 65 plus individuals is over $71K, says Kiplinger. Few in its population meet U.S. poverty guidelines.
NEXT: Yikes! This is one of the states that rests on two major tectonic plates. 

49. California

Cost of living: 52 percent above the U.S. average
Population: 39.56 million (as of 2018, U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Beverly Hills, says Yahoo! Finance (if you can afford it!)
PRO: It’s hard to argue against California’s natural beauty. The state has forests, beaches, deserts, and more. It’s home to big cities for those craving fast-paced living.

california, best states to retire
Pedro Szekely/Flickr

CON: This state has the second highest costs of living after Hawaii. If you want sunny weather, you’ll have to pay up! Some are and it’s costing them — 19 percent of California’s population lives in poverty, says the U.S. Census Bureau.
NEXT: Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith in this state.

48. Massachusetts

Cost of living: 38 percent above the U.S. average
Population: 6.902 million (as of 2018, U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Northampton, says Forbes
PRO: This is a state with a lot of history — the Boston Tea Party, one of the 13 original colonies, the landing place of the Mayflower, and more.

boston, massachusetts, best states to retire
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CON: Massachusetts, also known as the Bay State, has lots of costs for retirees, says Kiplinger. There are high living costs at 38 percent above the U.S. average, high healthcare costs and it isn’t tax-friendly. If you hate the cold, East Coast winters aren’t for you.
NEXT: Its state flag was designed by a 13-year-old boy named Benny Benson.

47. Alaska

Cost of living: 32 percent above U.S. average
Population: 737,438 (as of 2018, U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Anchorage, says Yahoo! Finance
PRO: Kiplinger says the Last Frontier is extremely tax-friendly to retirees, but apparently not many take advantage of this. Alaska has a small population of seniors.

alaska, best states to retire
Paxson Woelber/Flickr

CON: Its costs of living are pretty high there — 32 percent above the U.S. national average, says Kiplinger. Health care costs are important for seniors and those are above the national average as well in Alaska. Also if you’re looking for big city living, Alaska isn’t your state!
NEXT: “Gym, tan, laundry” was a famous catchphrase coined by Mike “The Situation” on the MTV reality show that took place in this state.

46. New Jersey

Cost of living: 27 percent above U.S. average
Population: 8.909 million (as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Long Beach Township, Ocean County says NJ.com
PRO: It’s a state with plenty to do and see during your Golden Years. Walk the boardwalk and check out the ocean views in Ocean City or take a quick train ride into New York City. The Garden State has lots of history as well for those history buffs or the history-curious!

new jersey, best states to retire
John Bohnel/Wikimedia Commons

CON: Compared with places like Montana and South Dakota, New Jersey has a much higher cost of living. Medical care is pricey and so are property taxes, says Kiplinger. This isn’t a great option for low-income retirees or those looking to save money.
NEXT: It’s home to the official submarine museum of the U.S. Navy.

45. Connecticut

Cost of living: 24 percent above the U.S. average
Population: 3.573 million (as of 2018, U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Darien, says AreaVibes.com
PRO: Income for seniors is some of the highest in the U.S., Kiplinger says. Even with the high cost of living, retirees may be able to afford it if they pick up a retirement job.

Connecticut, best states to retire
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CON: It’s not very tax-friendly to retirees with real estate taxes some of the worst in the nation, says Kiplinger. Most retirement income is fully taxed and apparently, some residents may face taxes on their Social Security benefits. There aren’t many benefits to alleviate the burden either.
NEXT: Its state tree, bird and animal are the sugar maple, Easter bluebird and beaver, respectively.

44. New York

Cost of living: 22 percent above U.S. average
Population: 19.54 million (as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Great Neck, says Yahoo! Finance
PRO: Living in New York City might be good for retirees — it’s very walkable with many necessities nearby and delivery services abound! Small apartments mean living quarters are very manageable.

new york, best states to retire
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CON: Although it’s fun and walkable, New York City (and New York state for that matter) are best for well-to-do retirees. It’s not very tax-friendly to retirees and 65 plus individuals suffer high poverty rates, says Kiplinger.
NEXT: It is the smallest state in size in the entire U.S. It covers just 1,215 square miles.

43. Rhode Island

Cost of living: 22 percent above U.S. average
Population: 1.057 million (as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Jamestown, says Niche.com
PRO: One of the original 13 colonies of the U.S., Rhode Island has plenty of history for history buffs and ocean views for nature lovers. It’s located near huge touristy, metropolitan areas for those that love to sightsee.

rhode island, best states to retire
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CON: This small eastern state isn’t very tax-friendly, says Kiplinger. On top of that, the high cost of living (22 percent above U.S. average) might make a dent in the retiree’s wallet. If you’ve been saving for a long time, have a financially supportive family or maybe have won the lottery, Rhode Island can work out for you.
NEXT: This state was named after a U.S. president.

42. Washington

Cost of living: 21 percent above U.S. average
Population: 7.1 million
Best city: Vancouver
PRO: Washington, in general, isn’t the cheapest place to live, but those craving the Pacific Northwest lifestyle at budget prices might head to Vancouver. There, retirees will find more affordability and the lack of a state income tax.

Washington, best states to retire
Tiffany Von Arnim/Flickr

CON: Its cost of living is 21 percent above the national average, that’s less than California and Hawaii, but still might be an obstacle for some seniors. The average income for households 65 plus is over $55K, which might help balance your budget out.
NEXT: Back in Revolutionary War days, this was the first state to declare independence from England.

41. New Hampshire

Cost of living: 18 percent above the U.S. average
Population: 1.3 million
Best city: Gilford
PRO: It’s quite tax-friendly in New Hampshire, says Kiplinger, as it doesn’t tax any retirement income. For those with lots of healthcare needs, the state ranks fifth for senior health, according to the United Health Foundation. An added benefit: its picturesque New England landscapes.

New Hampshire, best states to retire
Max Pixel

CON: You gotta pay up for those breathtaking landscapes, though! New Hampshire’s cost of living is pretty high compared to the national average, but it might work itself out considering the tax situation. There’s also the cold winters and humid summers to consider.
NEXT: The state has more “ghost towns” than any other state.

40. Oregon

Cost of living: 18 percent above U.S. average
Population: 4 million
Best city: Gold Beach
PRO: Healthcare costs for a retired couple are usually 2.6 percent lower than the nation’s average. For the outdoorsy senior, there’s lots of nature to enjoy. Just make sure you don’t mind the rain! You’ll get plenty during the eight-month rainy season.

oregon, best states to retire
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CON: Oregon isn’t tax-friendly. Social Security is exempt, but most retirement income isn’t and Oregon has one of the highest state income taxes in the U.S. at 9.9 percent. Also, income for seniors is pretty low, with an average of just over $45K.
NEXT: Edgar Allan Poe, poet of mystery and macabre, is from here.

39. Maryland

Cost of living: 17 percent above U.S. average
Population: 6.0 million
Best city: Chevy Chase Village
PRO: Its average household income for folks 65 plus is the second highest in the U.S., on average about $70,874. Nice! Maryland is home to big city Baltimore and very close to the sights of Washington D.C.

maryland, best states to retire
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CON: True, individuals do make more money here than the rest of the U.S., but this income gets taxed heavily in Maryland. Social Security isn’t taxed, but distributions from individual retirement accounts are. There’s also an estate and inheritance tax.
NEXT: This state is home to the U.S.’s flagship Olympic Training Center.

38. Colorado

Cost of living: 17 percent above U.S. average
Population: 5.4 million
Best city: Colorado Springs
PRO: Colorado ranks fourth in the United Health Foundation’s senior health rankings. It also has low rates of obesity and physical inactivity in its senior populations. Perhaps, those in the Centennial State will also live to be 100?

Colorado, best states to retire
Pixabay

CON: If you want to buy a house in Colorado, be wary because the market is very competitive in places like Denver. The state’s high altitude will take some adjusting to, but then you’ll probably enjoy the pleasant weather.
NEXT: It became its own country in 1777 and finally joined the U.S. in 1791 as the 14th state. The popular U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders, is in office in this state. 

37. Vermont

Cost of living: 12 percent above the U.S. average
Population: 626,299 (as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Hartford, says Niche.com
PRO: The Green Mountain State ranks highly for its senior healthcare, says United Health Foundation’s rankings. Nature lovers will appreciate its lush environment with many trees, lakes, rivers, wildlife, and scenic views.

vermont, best states to retire
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CON: The state in which Bernie Sanders resides as Senator is considered one of the “Least Tax-Friendly” says Kiplinger. There’s also quite a pricey cost of living, making it a bit harder for low-income seniors to survive.
NEXT: The “first Thanksgiving” was apparently held here, predating the Plymouth feast by two years.

36. Delaware

Cost of living: 11 percent above U.S. average
Population: 967,171 (as of 2018, U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Rehoboth Beach, says Niche.com (A+ score!)
PRO: It was rated tax-friendly by Kiplinger — Delaware doesn’t tax Social Security benefits! It also exempts certain amounts of investment and pension income for people 60 plus. Seems like a pretty sweet deal for senior citizens!

delaware, best states to retire
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CON: The cost of living is pretty high — 11 percent above the U.S. average, says Kiplinger. Seniors have below U.S. average incomes, possibly making it difficult to afford necessary things in Delaware for some seniors. If you have a thicc savings account, however, Delaware might be possible.
NEXT: The “first Thanksgiving” was apparently held here, predating the Plymouth feast by two years.

35. Virginia

Cost of living: 7 percent above U.S. average
Population: 8.3 million
Best city: Roanoke
PRO: Cost of living is more than the national average but it should balance out as incomes are high in Virginia. Healthcare, a big concern for most retirees, is generally inexpensive. In addition, Social Security isn’t taxed and residents 65 plus can deduct $12K of their income.

virginia, best states to retire
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CON: Seniors in poverty might struggle with the above average living costs. There are a lot of cool cities to check out in Virginia like Richmond, Roanoke, and Lexington, but they’re not big cities like Los Angeles or New York City. Head elsewhere for big city living.
NEXT: Jell-O became this state’s official food.

34. Utah

Cost of living: 4 percent above U.S. average
Population: 2.9 million
Best city: Salt Lake City
PRO: Utah’s healthcare ranks second for seniors in the U.S. according to the United Health Foundation. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to take advantage of with five national parks, five national forests, and 43 state parks.

Utah, best states to retire
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CON: Utah isn’t that tax-friendly to retirees. It taxes Social Security, which might hurt seniors already in poverty. The Beehive State has the third-lowest poverty rate in the country for seniors. Its income levels are at the U.S.’s average, which won’t help struggling retirees.
NEXT: This state’s name in Spanish means “snow-capped.”

33. Nevada

Cost of living: 4 percent above U.S. average
Population: 2.8 million
Best city: Winchester
PRO: This state has some sweet deals on taxes, for instance, no state income tax! Poverty rates for seniors are also pretty low (8.4 percent compared with the U.S. average of 9.4 percent). It’s also home to Vegas, baby!

best city in Nevada to retire in
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CON: The cost of living is a little bit over the nation’s average and temperatures can be extreme, ranging from 50 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Nevada’s year-round semi-arid desert climate might make it the driest state in the U.S. That might be good for folks with allergies, however.
NEXT: Rice cakes were created in this state.

32. Minnesota

Cost of living: 4 percent above U.S. average
Population: 5.5 million
Best city: Osseo
PRO: This state is a good place for health-focused retirees. The United Health Foundation ranked it as the “healthiest in the country for seniors.” It’s also home to the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. If you have complex health issues, this might be a good choice for you.

best city in Minnesota to retire in
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CON: It’s got the not so great combination of higher than average cost of living and below average annual income. Minnesota also taxes Social Security as much as the Feds do. Other retirement incomes aren’t free from taxation either.
NEXT: One of its cities, Sioux Falls, was once known as the “Divorce Capital of the World.”

31. South Dakota

Cost of living: 4 percent above U.S. average
Population: 882,235 (as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Hot Springs, says Niche.com
PRO: The home of Mount Rushmore earned itself a “Most Tax-Friendly” label from Kiplinger. Besides affordability, nature lovers might love its mountains and prairies.

south dakota, best states to retire
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CON: Make sure you’re OK with blizzards and freezing weather before moving here. Like we note with most rural states: This state isn’t for city lovers! No big cities to speak of and it’s one of the least populated states.
NEXT: It has its own version of oatmeal called “Cream of the West.” People have been eating this since 1914.

30. Montana

Cost of living: 3 percent above U.S. average
Population: 1.062 million, says the U.S. Census Bureau
Best city: Glasgow, says Niche.com
PRO: It might be cold out but it’s beautiful — Montana boasts natural wonders like Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Kiplinger says that it has one of the highest populations of 65 plus individuals.

montana, best states to retire
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CON: Living in Montana might give retirees a tough time — Kiplinger rates the Treasure State as “Not Tax-Friendly.” Its income levels are below average and most retirement incomes are taxed including Social Security. There isn’t a lot to do in this state if you’re not very into nature. Lifestyle is an important factor to consider when moving!
NEXT: The bolo tie is the “official neck wear” of this Southwestern state.

29. Arizona

Cost of living: 3 percent above U.S. average
Population: 6.7 million
Best city: Green Valley
PRO: The Grand Canyon State has lots of sunshine and beautiful desert landscape, making it a popular retirement destination for those sick of icy winters. It’s easier to retire in than states like California or New York with its three percent above U.S. national average cost of living.

best city in Arizona to retire
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CON: Arizona’s dry heat makes it almost unbearable during summertime, with temperatures in some localities reaching between 104 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not the cheapest to live in with average household income for seniors 10.8 percent below national average.
NEXT: Possibly the world’s largest “french fry feed” is held here. In 2015, 5,220 pounds of fries were served.

28. North Dakota

Cost of living: one percent above the U.S. average
Population: 760,077 (as of 2018 says U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Rugby, says Niche.com
PRO: Kiplinger rates North Dakota tax-friendly to retirees (income taxes are low — 1.1 to 2.9 percent) and says it has a low cost of living. Its natural landscapes are absolutely breathtaking to boot!

north dakota, best states to retire
FreeGoodPhotos

CON: The state taxes retirement income but that shouldn’t have too big of an effect on retirees since cost of living is so low. Again, it isn’t the best place for city folk — its population is just 760,077.
NEXT: This state has the largest city in the contiguous 48 states.

27. Florida

Cost of living: 1 percent above U.S. average
Population: 19.9 million
Best city: Jacksonville
PRO: Here’s probably one of the most tax-friendly states in the United States. Perhaps this, along with its endless sunshine, is why Florida has the highest share of seniors in the U.S. Its benefits are also very fiscally secure.

best city to retire in Florida
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CON: Weather in Florida can turn nasty. Heat and humidity can be a nuisance, and even dangerous to seniors with poor health. There’s also the danger of hurricanes and intense thunder and lightning storms. Other than hurricane weather, it’s pleasant and warm mostly…
NEXT: The first female U.S. governor, Nellie Taylor Ross, served from 1925 to 1927 in this state.

26. Wyoming

Cost of living: U.S. average
Population: 577,737 (as of 2018 says U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Cody, says SmartAsset
PRO: The Mercatus Center rated the Equality State fifth in its fiscal health — out of 50 states, that’s pretty good! There’s no state income tax either which makes things easy on a retiree’s wallet.

wyoming, best states to retire
Ben Stephenson/Wikimedia Commons

CON: If you’re not a nature lover and more of a city-dweller, living in Wyoming isn’t for you. It’s got one of the smallest populations in the U.S. at 577,737 and nary a giant metropolitan area in sight. Regardless, it’s hard to deny the state’s natural beauty.
NEXT: Donut holes were invented in this state. Delicious!

25. Maine

Cost of living: 2 percent below the U.S. average
Population: 1.3 million
Best city: Portland
PRO: If you’re a fan of lobster, you don’t have to look far to get the good stuff. Both cost of living and healthcare costs are below the national average, which is good for retirees living off retirement income and savings.

Maine, best states to retire
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CON: The tax situation in Maine is just OK — most retirement income is taxable. However, Social Security isn’t taxed and estate tax only applies to estates worth $11.8 million and above. Income levels aren’t high, says Kipling. Senior households make 25.2 percent below the national average.
NEXT: Social Security, pensions and retirement account withdrawals from its state income tax are exempt in this state.

24. Pennsylvania

Cost of living: 3 percent below U.S. average
Population: 12.8 million
Best city: Pittsburgh
PRO: Forbes named Pittsburgh as the best city in the U.S. to retire in. It has a high number of doctors per capita and is very walkable and bikeable. Pennsylvania, in general, is good to retirees with inexpensive healthcare and tax breaks.

Pennsylvania, best states to retire
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CON: Pennsylvania isn’t sturdy in its own budget, making its future questionable. Financially unsound states (for example, Kansas) might raise taxes, which could affect senior citizens. George Mason University rates Pennsylvania’s fiscal health at 45 out of all 50 states.
NEXT: The official bird of this state’s capital is the plastic lawn flamingo.

23. Wisconsin

Cost of living: 4 percent below U.S. average
Population: 5.8 million
Best city: Madison
PRO: Cost of living is low and there are some tax breaks for low-income residents’ retirement income. Cheese lovers will love being in proximity to some of the best cheese in the nation, as well as cheese curds. Yum!

best city in Wisconsin to retire in
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CON: Wisconsin isn’t very tax-friendly and has the lowest household income for people 65 and older in the nation. Although Social Security is exempt, other retirement income is subject to taxation. The icing on the cake: Healthcare costs are higher than the U.S. average.
NEXT: This state is home to the largest bottle of ketchup.

22. Illinois

Cost of living: 4 percent below U.S. average
Population: 12.9 million
Best city: Leland Grove
PRO: Illinois’ fiscal standing has been declining for a while. On the up hand, that means its cost of living is below the national average possibly making it pretty affordable for some retirees. Suburban town, Leland Grove, is ranked as the best place in Illinois to retire in according to Niche.

best city to retire in Illinois
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CON: However, its fiscal standing has put Illinois in the second-lowest ranking for fiscal soundness. Tax breaks on a variety of retirement incomes aren’t assured and there are high sales taxes.
NEXT: Most of the mainstream population knows this state for its potatoes.

21. Idaho

Cost of living: 5 percent below the U.S. average
Population: 1.6 million
Best city: Sandpoint
PRO: Nature lovers will enjoy the various environments in Idaho — the rugged landscape, snow-capped mountains, lakes, and canyons. Its cost of living allows retirees to really stretch their dollar and live thrifty Golden Years.

Idaho, best states to retire in
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CON: Those craving big city livin’ will not have a great time in Idaho. You’ll need to go to a more metropolitan area for that kind of lifestyle! Its tax-friendliness is a mixed bag for seniors: state tax is six percent and state income tax is over seven percent. However Social Security isn’t taxed and there’s no inheritance or estate tax.
NEXT: NEXT: Some celebrities to come out of this state are John Denver, Jeff Bezoz and Georgia O’Keeffe.

20. New Mexico

Cost of living: 5 percent below U.S. average
Population: 2.095 million (as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Taos, says SmartAsset
PRO: Don’t let the drama on Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad fool you — New Mexico is a gorgeous and mostly peaceful place to live.

new mexico, best states to retire
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CON: Its deserts and golden sunsets are beautiful but not its tax situation. Kiplinger says New Mexico is the “Least Tax-Friendly” state as retirement income is taxed here. Low-income seniors might be able to get benefits, however.
NEXT: The local economy is strong in this state’s best city for retirees, making it a great place for retirement work.

19. North Carolina

Cost of living: 5 percent below U.S. average
Population: 9.9 million
Best city: Asheville
PRO: North Carolina usually has fairly mild weather year-round compared with most of the country. It’s very lush and green, great for nature lovers. Most costs of living are pretty low, save for the Kill Devil Hills area, and Social Security isn’t taxed.

best city in North Carolina to retire in
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CON: Although costs of living are low, income levels are also low at an average of $43,616 for folks 65 years and older. Social Security isn’t taxed but other retirement income is taxable at a flat rate of 5.9 percent.
NEXT: The first Civil War battle took place in this state.

18. South Carolina

Cost of living: 7 percent below U.S. average
Population: 4.8 million
Best city: Bluffton
PRO: South Carolina has mild weather almost all year-round, making it an attractive retirement destination. Another draw? Its affordability, with cost of living 7 percent below the national average. With taxes being friendly to retirement incomes, you should be riding easy.

best city in South Carolina to retire in
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CON: Summers get pretty hot and humid in this Southern state, although most of the time weather is pretty mild. Health isn’t the best in South Carolina with high obesity levels, many smokers, and low consumption of veggies.
NEXT: A rare, Civil War-era, double-barreled cannon is on display in the city hall of this state’s best city for retirement.

17. Georgia

Cost of living: 7 percent below U.S. average
Population: 10.1 million
Best city: Athens
PRO: Georgia has two things most people like: low living costs and warm weather. Healthcare is also inexpensive for retirees (sixth lowest costs for couples in the nation). Its low state taxes are also very appealing for budget-conscious retirees.

best city in Georgia to retire in
Cassie Wright for Terry College of Business/Wikimedia Commons

CON: If you’re keen on Southern living, make sure you’re ready for Georgia’s long, hot and humid summers. Most people avoid the outdoors around noon because it’s way too sticky. An added nuisance: All the mosquitos!
NEXT: The first public university in Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase Territory is located in this state.

16. Missouri

Cost of living: 10 percent below U.S. average
Population: 6.1 million
Best city: Columbia
PRO: Missouri’s low costs of living are very appealing for retirees — 10 percent below the nation’s average. Bookworms will also nerd out about all the famous writers from the “Show Me State” like Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, T.S. Eliot, and more.

best city in Missouri to retire in
Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

CON: It’s cheap to live in Missouri but that doesn’t help too much as household income levels are also pretty low (for 65 plus persons, it’s a little over $43K). Its tax situation is mixed and it has poor healthcare for seniors.
NEXT: This state’s best city for retirement has a seriously low crime rate.

15. Texas

Cost of living: 10 percent below U.S. average
Population: 27.0 million
Best city: San Marcos
PRO: Living costs are below the nation’s average and average income for folks 65 years of age and older isn’t bad. Incomes aren’t taxed heavily in Texas, so your dollar can stretch even further. There are cool cities, as well, like Austin and Dallas.

best city in Texas to retire in
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CON: Overall, Texas is affordable except for its healthcare, a strong consideration for most retirees. Texas is high in poverty, unfortunately, with the sixth highest senior poverty rate in the U.S. at 10.8 percent.
NEXT: A chef from this state is responsible for the monstrosity the “turducken” — a three bird roll-up Thanksgiving dish.

14. Louisiana

Cost of living: 10 percent below U.S. average
Population: 4.6 million
Best city: Baton Rouge
PRO: Louisiana has low costs of living and lots of sights and activities to keep active seniors busy. There are the music and tourist attractions of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, famous cuisine, and natural wonders like the swamps. You won’t be at a loss for adventures here!

best city in Louisiana to retire in
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CON: Living costs might be low, but so are incomes. The average for people 65 years and older is $50,744. That might make it hard to afford things like healthcare, which are 2.1 percent over the U.S. average costs.
NEXT: This state was the birthplace of Kool-Aid in 1927.

13. Nebraska

Cost of living: 12 percent below the U.S. average
Population: 1.9 million
Best city: O’Neill
PRO: Retirees will enjoy a very low cost of living in addition to a state with good fiscal health. (The Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranks Nebraska sixth in that category.) The city of O’Neill got an “A” for retiree living from Niche.com.

best states to retire in
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CON: Cost of living is low, but it’s not very tax-friendly to seniors. Most retirement income is taxable, unfortunately. Social Security is only exempt if you make $43,000 or less for single filers, $58,000 for joint filers
NEXT: The most visited national park is in this state.

12. Tennessee

Cost of living: 12 percent below U.S. average
Population: 6.5 million
Best city: Lookout Mountain
PRO: Tennessee is tax-friendly to retirees. It doesn’t levy state income taxes so your retirement income can stretch further. All metro areas are very affordable in all senses, even healthcare which is usually a big concern for seniors.

best city in Tennessee to retire in
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CON: Summertime can be unbearable, sometimes reaching 92 degrees Fahrenheit in July. Add some humidity, and the summer months might seem even hotter. Traffic isn’t great in Tennessee, especially around bigger cities Nashville and Memphis. Going out of town will require planning and patience.
NEXT: The first traffic light in the U.S. was installed in this state.

11. Ohio

Cost of living: 12 percent below U.S. average
Population: 11.6 million
Best city: Bellbrook
PRO: Geographically, Ohio’s central location makes it easy to travel to either coast to visit family and friends or go on vacation. Cost of living is quite low at 12 percent below the nation’s average and Social Security isn’t taxed.

best city in Ohio to retire in
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CON: Low costs of living and exempt Social Security is appealing, but its average household income for senior citizens isn’t that high. Ohio might work out for you if you have a lot of savings, otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the average income at $42,667.
NEXT: This state celebrates “Log Cabin Day” every Sunday in June.

10. Michigan

Cost of living: 12 percent below U.S. average
Population: 9.9 million
Best city: Farmington
PRO: Its low cost of living and low poverty rate make Michigan very appealing to retirees. Also, Social Security isn’t taxed out here in the Great Lakes state. For those into water sports, the Great Lakes will make for a fun destination during Michigan’s spring and summer months.

best city in Michigan to retire in
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CON: Michigan is going to have a complicated tax situation in a few years. Come 2020, folks 67 plus must choose between deducting Social Security income or $20K of all income sources for singles, $40K for couples.
NEXT: The house in the famous painting American Gothic by Grant Wood is in this state.

9. Iowa

Cost of living: 12 percent below U.S. average
Population: 3.1 million
Best city: Iowa City
PRO: Yay! No state income tax on Social Security earnings and a state income tax break for pension income! Iowa City is designated as a “City of Literature” by UNESCO and is home to a vibrant cultural scene and famous university.

best city in Iowa to retire in
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CON: Taxes aren’t easy on seniors’ wallets in Iowa, despite Social Security benefits being untaxed. Retirement income might be hit by up to 8.98 percent. However, people 55 and up can exclude up to $6,000 of taxable retirement income.
NEXT: This state introduced Mardi Gras to the Western World.

8. Alabama

Cost of living: 13 percent below U.S. average
Population: 4.8 million
Best city: Orange Beach
PRO: Head down to the Heart of Dixie where it’s budget-friendly. Most spend 4.4 percent less than the average retired couple on healthcare, income taxes are from 2 to 5 percent, and Social Security benefits are exempt.

best city to retire in Alabama
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CON: Storms can get intense during spring and November, with lots of rain and thunderstorms. Like most Southern states, Alabama will be hot, hot, hot during the summer. When picking a place to live, consider how southern Alabama is warmer than the North.
NEXT: A ball of twine weighing 16,750 pounds is located in this state.

7. Kansas

Cost of living: 14 percent below average
Population: 2.9 million
Best city: Eureka
PRO: Cost of living is pretty low in the Sunflower State, which might convince you that there’s no place like home in Kansas (get it? Wizard of Oz reference?). Its scenic plains and prairies are also appealing to any nature lovers out there.

best city in Kansas to retire in
Kansas City District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Turtles/Wikimedia Commons

CON: Kansas isn’t in the best financial shape so it’s raising taxes to rectify its budget deficit. Most retirement incomes, including Social Security, will be subject to state taxes with rates from 3.1 to 5.7 percent. Might not be the best place if you’re very budget conscious.
NEXT: The “Horse Capital of the World” is in this state.

6. Kentucky

Cost of living: 14 percent below average
Population: 4.4 million
Best city: Lexington
PRO: Welcome to the Bluegrass State, where retirees can enjoy low living costs and a high number of tax breaks. Social Security and $41,110 of other income are exempt from taxes. However, it’s not the healthiest place for senior folks…

best city in Kentucky to retire in
Russell and Sydney Poore/Wikimedia Commons

CON: Senior health costs aren’t cheaper than other states — it’s about at the U.S. average. It also ranks badly in senior health, with high rates of smoking, physical inactivity, and poverty. There’s also a low number of good nursing homes to care for seniors.
NEXT: Root beer was invented in this state.

5. Mississippi

Cost of living: 15 below U.S. average
Population: 3.0 million
Best city: Hide-A-Way Lake
PRO: Seniors might like Mississippi’s sweet tax breaks and low costs on everyday items. All of your Social Security, distributions from IRAs and 401Ks, and other retirement incomes won’t be subject to taxes. Also, those property taxes are the lowest in the country.

best city in Mississippi to retire in
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CON: While Mississippi taxes and living costs are easy on the wallet, the state ranks last for senior health according to the United Health Foundation. It also has the worst poverty rate in the country for seniors — 13.4 percent.
NEXT: Abraham Lincoln lived in this state when he was a child.

4. Indiana

Cost of living: 15 percent below U.S. average
Population: 6.6 million
Best city: Meridian Hills
PRO: Indiana’s cost of living is 15 percent below the national average, meaning everyday expenses like food, housing, gas, etc, are much more affordable. These things would take a hit on your wallet in places like California and Hawaii.

best city in Indiana to retire in
Diego Delso/Wikimedia Commons

CON: The state of Indiana is best for seniors with lots of savings as its annual income is below the U.S. average (21.4 percent below to be exact) and retirement income, other than Social Security, is taxable at ordinary rates.
NEXT: Voicemail was patented by a man from this state.

3. Oklahoma

Cost of living: 16 percent below U.S. average
Population: 3.9 million
Best city: Nichols Hills
PRO: Low costs of living will most benefit those that have lots of retirement savings. Oklahoma is also one of the states that doesn’t tax Social Security and up to $10K can be excluded from retirement income. This helps considering average incomes are low.

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CON: Oklahoma ranks third-worst for senior health. Not only are there high levels of physical inactivity and smoking, but there’s also a lack of geriatric care and good nursing homes available to treat all the health problems.
NEXT: The world famous Greenbrier Hotel is located here with springs that are rumored to cure many ailments.

2. West Virginia

Cost of living: 17 percent below U.S. average
Population: 1.806 million (as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau)
Best city: Lewisburg, says Niche.com
PRO: Its cost of living isn’t too bad, at 17 percent below the U.S. average. The state is known for scenic views, a rich history, grand resorts, and more, says USA Today.

West Virginia, best states to retire
Brian Stansberry/Wikimedia Commons

CON: Kiplinger says the Mountain State isn’t tax-friendly to retirees and ranks low for its fiscal soundness, according to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. It also has poor healthcare for 65 plus individuals.
NEXT: The first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, Hattie Ophelia Caraway, was from this state.

1. Arkansas

Cost of living: 17 percent below U.S. average
Population: 3.0 million
Best city: Bella Vista
PRO: Quite a low cost of living in the Natural State, as well as average health costs being the third lowest for retired couples. Arkansas is known for its wildlife, hot springs, mountains, and rivers — hence the name the “Natural State.”

best city in Arkansas to retire
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CON: Arkansas’ state taxes aren’t that easy on the wallet. Social Security benefits and up to $6,000 of other retirement income are exempt. Top income tax rates can hit 6.9 percent if the income exceeds $75,000. Poverty rates in Arkansas for seniors are the eighth highest in the U.S. Also, this Southern state isn’t the place to be for those craving big city living!

NEXT: States Americans Don’t Want To Live In Anymore

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Americans who seek a higher quality of life cast their votes not with a ballot, but with their feet. Each year, people all across the United States relocate to different states for a variety of reasons, be it retirement, a new job, living closer to family, or anything else. Survey data from United Van Lines made it clear Americans have strong opinions about many states, with some being winners and others coming out as major losers. The results may surprise you.

Oklahoma

This is one of the few states on the list where the total inflow of people still exceeds the amount of people who are leaving the state. In 2019, 50.2% of Oklahoma movers were coming into the state, with 49.8% leaving for greener pastures.

Oklahoma
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Most people coming in and out of the state tend to be making their move due to jobs, with 54% of new residents citing a job as their reason for moving there, while 64% of people leaving the state claim a new job was the reason for their departure.

Georgia

One of the bigger surprises on this list is Georgia, a state whose inflow of movers hovered at just 51.2% in 2019. Atlanta has added thousands of jobs in recent years, with several Fortune 500 companies like Delta, The Home Depot, and even Coca-Cola setting up headquarters in Georgia’s capital city.

Georgia
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But despite the job growth, more people are leaving the state to improve their lifestyle, be with family, and/or retire. More people are moving to Georgia than leaving the state, but the state’s 2019 numbers don’t inspire much hope for the future.

Minnesota

2019 was not a friendly year to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. It was the first time since 2015 that the state saw more people leave to move elsewhere than arrive to make Minnesota their home. The Gopher State’s three-year stretch of positive inflow was encouraging, but it seems the state isn’t all it was made out to be.

Minnesota
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For one, weather can play a major factor in people’s decision to move. Minnesota is one of the coldest states in the country, and many retirees are deciding they’d rather relax in a different state — hopefully, one with a little more sunshine.

Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania has been just about even in terms of inbound and outbound movers over the years. In 2019, however, 51.2% of Pennsylvania residents made the decision to leave the state. The state boasts a good cost of living and plenty of jobs, but numerous retirees decided they’d rather leave the state than stay.

Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania appears to be a popular state for young adults, with inbound moving of residents up to age 44 heavily outpacing outbound moves. But people aged 45 and older are leaving the state at a much higher rate than they’re coming in.

Rhode Island

Not only is Rhode Island the smallest state by area in the U.S., but it’s also having a tough time keeping residents from moving away. Rhode Islanders say that it can be hard to find a good job in the state — and it isn’t possible to stay there without one.

Rhode Island
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More than 24% of people leaving the state are doing so to retire elsewhere, while just over 5% of Rhode Island incomers cite retirement as the reason for their move. The cost of living is just too high for many people to justify living there.

Mississippi

The Magnolia State is going through a rough time. Mississippi offers Southern culture and some great people, but it also suffers from the highest rate of unemployment of any state in the country. And as if that wasn’t frustrating enough, the hot, humid weather can be very difficult to endure.

Mississippi
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A shocking takeaway from the 2019 survey data? Six percent of the people leaving Mississippi cite health as a reason for their departure, whereas only 3% of arrivals mention health as the reason for their move. America’s Health Rankings says Mississippi is the least healthy state in the country.

Arkansas

Another state that struggles with poverty is Arkansas. The state’s nickname is The Land of Opportunity, but nearly 77% of people leaving the state mention a job as the reason for the move. Compared with just over 48% of new residents moving to Arkansas for a new job, that paints a dim picture for future residents.

Arkansas
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On the bright side, Arkansas seems to be an affordable place to retire. More than 19% of new Arkansas residents are retirees, with less than 5% of people leaving the state listing retirement as the reason for their departure.

Maine

Though its moving statistics are trending in the right direction, Maine is still trying to prove itself to potential future residents. 2019 was the first year of the 2010s where Maine’s new-resident population outnumbered the people who left the state. Still, just 50.2% of Maine movers came to the state, with 49.8% leaving it.

Maine
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Maine winters are cold, with enough snow and wind to make any resident wonder whether there are greener pastures elsewhere. This is particularly evident with people aged 65 or older, which make up more than 43% of the state’s outbound movers.

Missouri

The city of St. Louis — and to an extent, the state of Missouri — is famous for the arch that dominates the city’s skyline. For that reason, the city has earned the nickname of “The Gateway to the West.” Unfortunately, the state of Missouri seems to be a gateway to other states of residence.

Missouri
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More people move out of Missouri than move into the state every year. Jobs are a major reason for a majority of the moves, with extreme weather and lifestyle choices being other factors.

North Dakota

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that North Dakota is one of America’s least populous states. For every retiree who moves to North Dakota, nearly two of them leave the state. Simply put, there just isn’t much the state can offer that nearby states can’t.

North Dakota
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North Dakota is known for being a state with good job growth, but part of that is due to the fact that people simply don’t want to live in the state. The quality of life in The Peace Garden State definitely falls short of amazing. North Dakota is one of the coldest states in the U.S., and its biggest city is home to fewer than 150,000 people.

Virginia

Though it is often referred to as one of the best states for retirees, Virginia still watches more people leave the state than arrive virtually every year. Ironically, more retirees decide to leave Virginia for retirement than move there.

Virginia
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Virginia boasts beaches, mountains, and even low taxes, but the state continues to lose residents each and every year. People over the age of 55 are moving out of the state at a much more significant pace than those who are joining its ranks.

Utah

Unlike many other states on this list, Utah is actually a popular destination among retirees. The state’s incoming retirees nearly double the amount of people who are moving elsewhere for retirement. Where the state really struggles is with retaining young people.

Utah
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Young people are leaving the state much more than they’re arriving, with a significant percentage of that population citing jobs as the reason for their moves. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the people leaving the state do so for job-related reasons.

West Virginia

The Mountain State is known for its coal, which may explain some of the trends when it comes to people entering and leaving the state. Because as it turns out, middle-aged people seem to enjoy West Virginia more than any other age demographic.

West Virginia
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When it comes to people aged 18 to 34, West Virginia residents are leaving the state in droves. And many people aged 65 and over are making similar decisions to leave the state. Some experts believe the state’s opioid crisis is having a significant impact on its sluggish job market.

Nebraska

Aside from famous investor Warren Buffet, not many notable people live in the state of Nebraska. Perhaps that’s for good reason. As residents of the state joke, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.”

Nebraska
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The Cornhusker State has dealt with what some call a “brain drain,” which stems from a lack of high-paying jobs. Most jobs in the state are of the minimum-wage, no-experience-required type, and as a result, many people are leaving for greener pastures.

Kentucky

The Bluegrass State has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States. And according to a study conducted by United Van Lines, more than half of all people leaving the state are doing so for reasons that relate to their job.

Kentucky
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While many of Kentucky’s neighboring states are raising the minimum wage, Kentucky’s remains at a depressing $7.25 an hour. In 2019, lawmakers finally began to push for an increased minimum wage, but only time will tell whether that change comes.

Wisconsin

As is the case with many states on this list, Wisconsin deals with some pretty brutal weather. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, all but five winters in the state’s entire recorded weather history hit temperatures of at least 30 degrees below zero.

Wisconsin
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As if the ridiculous weather isn’t enough of a reason for people to move, the state also doesn’t meet residents’ expectations in the health department. More than 4.5% of people leaving the state cite health as the reason for their moves.

Maryland

Known for being a state with a rich history, outdoor adventures, and a good quality of life, Maryland may come as a surprise on this list. But plenty of negative factors give pause to potential residents and even cause people to leave the state.

Maryland
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For starters, the cost of living in Maryland is very high. Health care costs are above average, taxes can be exorbitant, and home prices have been on the rise for years. Worst of all, Maryland has been said to be the very worst state for retirees.

Michigan

The state of Michigan has struggled to keep residents within its borders for quite some time. Some residents complain that while the state offers some good work opportunities, the pay is far from satisfactory — with some salaries under $20,000 per year, according to Bridge Magazine.

Michigan
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The state may have thousands of miles of coastline, but retirees aren’t fooled. The frigid temperatures drive retirees out of the state, with nearly a quarter of all outbound movers citing retirement as a reason for their move. Nearly 57% of all 2019 Michigan moves involved residents leaving the state.

Montana

Arguably one of the most gorgeous states in the United States, Montana is a favorite among A-list celebrities and wealthy out-of-staters. The only problem? The state isn’t a very popular place to live. It’s one of very few states on this list where the leading cause of outbound moves is to be closer to family.

Montana
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Montana’s cost of living used to be one of the best in the U.S., but it has gone up in recent years. Not only that, but it can be hard to find quality housing and jobs within the state. And with just 2.3 doctors per 1,000 residents, health can be a bit of an issue, too.

Iowa

No matter what the pros of living in Iowa are, the state will always have to deal with its reputation of being a boring place to live. Even though the state’s job market is growing, many employers are unable to pay what companies pay in other states. As a result, 55% of all Iowa moves involve people leaving the state.

Iowa
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While more than 61% of inbound movers cite a job as the reason for making Iowa their home, a shocking 68% of people leaving the state are doing so for a better job. Retirement is another big reason for outbound moves, making up more than 12% of that population.

Hawaii

The Aloha State is easily one of America’s most beautiful states, as well as one of its most popular tourism destinations. But the sky-high cost of living is one of many reasons most Americans choose to limit their stay to about a week or so.

Hawaii
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The cost of living on the islands, especially Oahu, has skyrocketed in recent years, effectively pricing out a large percentage of the state’s population. Hawaii may be a beautiful place, but one thing is for sure: It ain’t cheap.

Massachusetts

When it comes to affordability, Massachusetts may well be the most unaffordable state in the country. The state’s cost of living — particularly with housing — is astronomical. Lifelong residents love the state’s culture and education system, but many are forced to move due to how expensive it is.

Boston
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Tack on harsh East Coast winters and terrible traffic congestion, and it’s easy to see why nearly 55% of all Massachusetts moves involve people leaving leaving the state.

Ohio

The Buckeye State is inviting at face value. It offers a pretty affordable cost of living, a welcoming Midwestern culture, and a couple of great universities. But unfortunately, the state faces a number of problems that have contributed to many people leaving Ohio.

Ohio
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Winters in the Midwest can be brutal, and Ohio is no exception. But bad weather is one thing — the state also struggles with unequal access to good health care, relatively high unemployment, and slow job growth. More than 6 out of 10 people who leave the state say they leave for reasons related to their career.

Louisiana

The state of Louisiana hasn’t dominated headlines since it was tragically devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And while the state eventually rebounded from the natural disaster, it still has a ways to go in terms of improving livability.

Louisiana
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Residents of Louisiana pay some of the highest taxes in the country, with the nation’s second-highest average combined sales tax at 9.46%. More than 70% of people leaving the state are doing so to find a new job. That’s a staggering figure.

Kansas

“There’s no place like home.” Dorothy’s famous words from The Wizard of Oz may have rung true on the big screen, but in real life, living in Kansas can be pretty rough. The state has its positives, but people have been leaving the state rapidly in recent years.

Kansas
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Kansas is affordable and comfortable, and the state even boasts a low unemployment rate — just 3.2% in August 2019. But despite this, more people are leaving the state for jobs than entering. Unfortunately, the state’s positives don’t outweigh the bad weather, risk of tornadoes, and lack of interesting things to do.

Connecticut

The state of Connecticut is home to quite a few large employers, including more than 600 companies that employ at least 10 people. But despite the state’s uniquely stable job market, 63% of Connecticut movers are leaving the state.

Connecticut
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More than five times as many people are leaving the state for retirement than entering it, which is an indication that the state’s level of comfort and security isn’t worth the hefty price tag that comes along with it.

New York

To some, New York is the best place to live. New York City itself offers the most unique (and arguably best) style of living, culture, sports, jobs, arts, and food of any city in the United States. But to just as many people, living in New York isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

New York
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Along with New York’s high quality of life comes bad weather, taxes among the highest in the country, and job scarcity in some of the state’s more rural areas. According to Bloomberg, close to 300 people move out of New York City every single day.

Illinois

Home to great farm produce, top colleges, an abundance of sports teams to root for, and amazing food, Illinois (and its largest city, Chicago) seems like a great place to live. But the state’s economy has priced out tons of residents, with unemployment on the rise and sky-high taxes.

Illinois
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Residents of Illinois pay the second-most in property taxes of any state, which has caused the state’s wealthiest people, job seekers, and retirees to lead an exodus out of the state. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the state’s brutal winters and bumper-to-bumper traffic don’t make matters any better.

New Jersey

The rate at which people are moving out of New Jersey is the highest of any state in the country. This isn’t new territory for the state, as according to United Van Lines’ annual study, New Jersey has been one of the top 10 states people have been leaving in each of the past 10 years.

New Jersey
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More than a third of the people leaving the state do so due to job opportunities elsewhere, and roughly the same percentage leave to retire. Unemployment is down and wages are going up in the state, but its high cost of living, taxes, and notoriously awful roads are just a few of many factors that lead residents to find a new home.

California

People have very divided opinions about California. On one hand, the state boasts some of the best weather in the country, beautiful scenery, great food, and some amazing cities. On the other hand, the state deals with a variety of issues that are driving residents away.

California
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California has some of the highest taxes in the country, an incredibly high cost of living, and worst of all, astronomical housing prices that make the idea of purchasing a home seem virtually impossible. The state used to be a destination for retirees; now, other states in the Pacific West and Mountain West are taking California’s place.