25. New Hampshire

Population: 1.356 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Known as the “Granite State,” New Hampshire’s cost of living isn’t the most affordable — U.S. News ranks it number 36 out of 50 on its affordability rankings. Other than that, it might be an OK place for retirees to live out the Golden Years fairly fiscally sound.

New Hampshire, worst states to retire
Spencer Platt/GettyImages

Housing is more affordable — New Hampshire ranks in at number 21. Its tax friendliness also helps out. We know that this is the “worst states to retire in” list, but the state’s cost of living still gives it a place on our list.
NEXT: It’s home to two famous U.S. monuments carved into rocks — Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial.

24. South Dakota

Population: 882,235 as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
The home of Mount Rushmore is affordable in terms of cost of living and housing — US News ranks it number 29 and 10, respectively. It’s tax-friendly to retirees, according to Kiplinger. The publication actually rated it its number one state for retirees, but we will respectfully disagree.

South Dakota, worst states to retire
National Park Service

If you’re looking for a state with lots to do (outside of nature) South Dakota doesn’t have a lot of options. According to documents from NOAA, South Dakota is in the path of cyclones and anticyclones, has extreme summer heat and very cold winter.
NEXT: Located in this state is one of the heaviest organisms in the world: The Trembling Giant are 47,000 genetically similar trees sharing the same root system.

23. Utah

Population: 3.161 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
The birthplace of the Mormon religion, Utah is expensive for housing. U.S. News lists it at 44 on its affordability ranking. Cost of living is feasible, however, with the publication ranking it 24th in that category. The taxes will get you, though…

Utah, worst states to retire in
Tobias Alt/Wikimedia Commons

It’s one of the least tax-friendly states, says Kiplinger. If you can withstand the taxes and housing costs, you can enjoy the quality healthcare available for seniors. United Health Foundation once ranked the Beehive State highly for this.
NEXT: Its state dog is the American foxhound. Have you looked up a pic of one? They’re quite cute.

22. Virginia

Population: 8.518 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Virginia is not the most affordable state but better than some like California and Hawaii (most states are better than those come to think of it). It’s ranked 32 for cost of living affordability and 35 for housing, according to U.S. News.

Virginia, worst states to retire in
Mobilus In Mobili/Flickr

Other than that, Virginia has a lot to offer. It’s tax-friendly, has cool cities like Richmond and higher than the U.S. average incomes. Kiplinger says that the average annual income for 65+ folks is $59,869. Not too shabby, Virginia!
NEXT: This state commonly frequented by tourists only has one land mammal native to its geography — the hoary bat.

21. Hawaii

Population: 1.42 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Hawaii is a gorgeous island, there’s no doubt about it! Tropical plants, animals, beautiful beaches, and breathtaking views make it perfect for living out the Golden Years. Sunshine is abound most of the year — its capital, Honolulu, experiences sunshine about 71 percent of the year.

Hawaii, worst states to retire
Joel Achatz/Flickr

However, there’s a little thing called the “Sunshine Tax.” An ironic term describing high costs of living in paradise-like states. In Hawaii, it’s 87 percent above average, says Kiplinger. Despite this, it’s pretty tax-friendly and the average income for 65+ is above $70,000.
NEXT: When it established its statehood in 1889, it became the 42nd state in the nation.

20. Washington

Population: 7.536 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Washington is a perfect place to be if you’re nature lover — there’s so many lush forests, tall mountains and placid lakes to feast your eyes upon. Nature helps many seniors stay in shape! It’s also pretty tax-friendly, according to Kiplinger.

Washington, worst states to retire
Stephen Brashear/GettyImages

Its cost of living is pretty high, however, with US News ranking it number 37 out of the 50 states. Housing is even less affordable — US News ranked Washington state at number 46. With its rapidly rising population, housing might get even more expensive.
NEXT: This state has three nicknames: “America in Miniature,” “Old Line State,” and “Free State.”

19. Maryland

Population: 6.043 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Maryland isn’t cheap when it comes to cost of living — U.S. News ranked it number 46 of its affordability rankings. Be prepared to shell out a lot for taxes — Kiplinger says Maryland is one of the “least tax-friendly” states in the nation.

Maryland, worst states to retire
Andy Mangold/Flickr

Maryland doesn’t tax Social Security but that doesn’t help much. It fared better in terms of housing affordability, clocking in at number 25 on U.S. News’ list. Albeit not the paradise that California is, Maryland’s weather is mild enough for retirees.
NEXT: Its slogan — which it owns the exclusive copyright for — is “Land of Lincoln.”

18. Illinois

Population: 12.74 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
If you move to Chicago, you’ll quickly find out why they call it “the Windy City!” The state often experiences icy cold winters with freezing winds. If you can withstand the chilly winters, you can save money living in this state.

Illinois, worst states to retire
Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916/Flickr

Cost of living and housing are affordable, says US News, but its tax situation is voted as “mixed” by Kiplinger. The publication also cites Illinois’ downgrading fiscal soundness and its poor credit rating. Because of this, tax breaks for retirees are hardly assured.
NEXT: The International Balloon Fiesta takes place every year in one of this state’s biggest cities.

17. New Mexico

Population: 2.095 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Fans of Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul might love to settle down in this state. You’ll be glad to know it’s fairly affordable in terms of cost of living. However, U.S. News ranked it 34 for housing, and business publication Kiplinger gives New Mexico a “least tax-friendly” rating.

New Mexico, worst states to retire
Good Free Photos

The publication also notes the state’s high poverty rate for seniors. New Mexico State University says the state has a mild, arid continental climate with lots of sunshine and little rain. There’ll be an onslaught of taxes but at least it’s sunny out!
NEXT: This state is home to “Carhenge,” 39 cars arranged like Stonehenge.

16. Nebraska

Population: 1.929 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
This state has a low cost of living which is a plus (about 12 percent below the U.S. average, says Kiplinger). However, it earned itself a “least tax-friendly” score from the business journal. Most retirement income is taxable but social security is exempt for single filers making less than $43,000.

Nebraska, worst states to retire
David Wilson/Flickr

Nebraska isn’t very diverse — about 88.6 percent white, 5.1 percent black, 2.6 percent Asian descent and 11 percent Hispanic, says the 2018 U.S. Census. Families’ average income is slightly lower than the national average. You can expect some fairly mild temperatures — ranges from 40 to 62 Fahrenheit in Omaha.
NEXT: Famous musicians and bands to come out of this state include The Misfits, Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen.

15. New Jersey

Population: 8.909 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
For housing costs, New Jersey ranks number 23 on US News’ Affordability Ranking — which isn’t bad! However, the Garden State is number 41 in terms of cost of living affordability. It’s got a mixed tax-friendly rating from Kiplinger

Shutterstock

Social Security isn’t taxed, for instance, but there are sky-high property taxes. The weather isn’t extreme but it can get cold and snowy during the winter. Snow falls from October or November ’til about April, says Rutgers University.
NEXT: Its capital is known as the “Mile-High City” as it sits 5,280 feet above sea level — aka one mile.

14. Colorado

Population: 5.696 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
When considering Colorado as a place to settle down, be wary of altitude sickness and what it can do to your well being. The average elevation in Colorado is 6,800 feet above sea level, according to various reports.

Colorado, worst states to retire
MarkScottAustinTX/Flickr

Depending on if you have prior medical conditions, it might impact you harder than you expect. Colorado’s beautiful which comes with — you guessed it — high costs. U.S. News ranked it 34 for cost of living and 48 for housing affordability.
NEXT: There are two islands, called Wizard Island and Phantom Ship, in this state.

13. Oregon

Population: 4.191 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Like Washington, Oregon is beautiful with lots of nature to explore but is also quite expensive in terms of cost of living and housing. U.S. News ranked the Pacific Northwest state number 45 for cost of living and 47 for housing affordability.

Oregon, worst states to retire
Jennifer DeMonte/GettyImages

Also, be prepared to get taxed! Oregon isn’t tax-friendly, says Kiplinger. Its neighbor to the north, Washington state, has been growing in population more rapidly. As of 2018, Washington is 7.536 million while Oregon is nearly half of that.
NEXT: Seventeen out of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are in this state.

12. Alaska

Population: 737,438 as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
With its small population, Alaska might feel remote to some. However, most can agree that its tall snow-capped mountains and ocean views are breathtakingly beautiful. You’d expect Alaska’s remoteness might make it more affordable. In fact, it’s the exact opposite! You’ll need more savings to retire here comfortably.

Alaska, worst states to retire
GABRIEL BOUYS/GettyImages

U.S. News ranked the Last Frontier 44 for cost of living affordability and number 36 for housing. If you can brave freezing cold winters and its rough terrain, you can enjoy the state’s tax friendliness.
NEXT: To appeal to different groups of voters, politicians will pronounce this state’s name two different ways.

11. Missouri

Population: 6.126 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Missouri has pretty affordable lifestyle costs, ranking number four on US News’ Affordability Rankings for cost of living and number 11 for housing affordability. There are several trade-offs that seniors should consider before settling in the “Show Me” State, however.

Missouri, worst states to retire
Scott Olson/GettyImages

Income levels are low, healthcare isn’t great for seniors and Missouri’s tax situation for seniors is mixed, says Kiplinger. However, those with lower income levels might benefit from Missouri’s low costs of living and housing costs. For the most part, the weather isn’t too shabby.
NEXT: This is the smallest state in size in the nation.

10. Rhode Island

Population: 1.057 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
If you’re a low income senior without substantial savings, the state of Rhode Island is probably not the best place for you to live comfortably. It’s a very tiny state but that doesn’t mean it has tiny costs, unfortunately!

Rhode Island, worst states to retire
Max Pixel

US News ranks this tiny state number 41 when it comes to affordable costs of living — not so good! It’s number 29 for housing costs, which is a little high. Healthcare is pretty expensive as well. Kiplinger says it’s not tax-friendly but the tax situation is improving for seniors.
NEXT: Its state tree, state bird and state flower are the bristlecone pine, mountain bluebird, and sagebrush, respectively.

9. Nevada

Population: 3.034 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Weather in Nevada can be tough. The arid state of Nevada doesn’t get that much rainfall — Current Results says it’s the driest state in the U.S. Summers in areas like Las Vegas can reach scorching temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

Nevada, worst states to retire in
PresBart/Pixabay

Beyond the extreme desert climate, Nevada isn’t the cheapest for living. Its cost of living ranks 38 in US News’ Affordability Rankings and 45 in housing affordability. The upside? Some states’ affordability is worse and Nevada is fairly tax-friendly.
NEXT: This state’s 38th governor was former pro wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura. He served from 1999 to 2003.

8. Minnesota

Population: 5.611 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
If you hate shoveling snow, you probably won’t like Minnesota. The state’s winter low is 7 degrees Fahrenheit (brrr!) and it has about 198 sunny days on average, says Sperling’s Best Places. (The U.S. average is 205 sunny days, the publication says.)

Minnesota, worst states to retire in
Terry Foote/Wikimedia Commons

As for cost of living, U.S. News ranks the Land of 10,000 Lakes number 31 in its affordability rankings. For housing affordability, it ranks 17 which is better but its heavy taxes for retirees might get to you.
NEXT: President Abraham Lincoln admitted this state to the Union on June 20, 1863.

7. West Virginia

Population: 1.806 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Its low costs of living make West Virginia seem appealing at first. However, this isn’t a tax-friendly state for retirees — Social Security and other retirement income is taxed the same as on your federal form, says Kiplinger. The first $8,000 is exempt though.

West Virginia, worst states to retire in
Tim Kiser/Wikimedia Commons

Besides little for “city folk” to do for entertainment, West Virginia has poor fiscal health and poor healthcare for seniors. Income for seniors is fairly low, but with the low cost of living, that shouldn’t impact you very much during retirement.
NEXT: Its name originates from the Native American word “quinatucquet” which means “beside the long tidal river.”

6. Connecticut

Population: 3.573 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
This New England state made Kiplinger’s 10 least tax-friendly states for retirees. Its expensive cost of living doesn’t help either — US News ranked it number 47 for affordability in its “Affordability Rankings.” It’s number 24 in housing affordability, however.

Connecticut, worst states to retire
Bmr1987/Wikimedia Commons

Weather-wise, a year in Connecticut is comprised of 56 percent sunny days, says Current Results. Don’t like snow? Take heed, you’ll have to deal with frigid East Coast winters if you live in the New England Area.
NEXT: It’s the only state to border both the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

5. New York

Population: 19.54 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
It’s a good place for retirees as most of what you need is within walking distance (depending on your neighborhood) and delivery is king! Plus, there’s plenty to do while living out your glorious Golden Years, like enjoying Broadway plays and fine dining.

New York, worst states to retire
Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia Commons

But…New York is home to brutal winters with blizzards that shut down the city for days. Cost of living is high (22 percent above the U.S. average) and it isn’t known for being tax-friendly to retirees.
NEXT: The hottest desert in North America is located here. It might be surprising to some, considering this state is known for its beaches. 

4. California

Population: 39.56 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Yikes — California ranks number 49 in BOTH cost of living and housing affordability in US News’ Affordability Rankings. The only state that costs more than California is Hawaii. You can chalk up that high cost of living to the “sunshine tax.”

California, worst states to retire
Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company/Flickr

In fact, nearly 20 percent of California’s population lives in poverty says the Public Policy Institute of California. It doesn’t help that seniors in the Golden State can’t escape taxes. Except for Social Security benefits, retirement income isn’t exempt from taxes in California.
NEXT: About 78 percent of this state is made up of leafy green forests.

3. Vermont

Population: 626,299 as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Where Senator Bernie Sanders calls home doesn’t rank high for affordability. US News ranks the green state number 40 for cost of living and number 32 for housing costs. It also earned itself a “least tax-friendly” label from business publication Kiplinger.

Vermont, worst states to retire in
Kenneth C. Zirkel/Wikimedia Commons

Not into shoveling snow? Vermont can get up to 120 inches in the southern Green Mountains with an average winter temperature of 22 degrees Fahrenheit. With the possible icy ground everywhere you step, a broken bone is, unfortunately, a high possibility!
NEXT: Famous figures in American history like Susan B. Anthony, Paul Revere, and Benjamin Franklin were born in this state.

2. Massachusetts

Population: 6.902 million as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Expect your hard earned dollar not to go far here — Massachusetts is one of the pricier states to live in. It ranks number 43 in cost of living affordability and number 41 in housing costs, says US News. Expect high healthcare costs as well.

Massachusetts, worst states to retire
Rich Gagnon/GettyImages

Kiplinger gives the East Coast state a rating of “not tax-friendly.” Although Social Security is exempt, most other retirement incomes still get taxed. If you don’t like harsh winters either, Massachusetts really might not be for you.
NEXT: U.S. President Thomas Jefferson used to refer to this state as a “jewel” because he thought its location was ideal.

1. Delaware

Population: 967,171 as of 2018, says U.S. Census Bureau
Joe Biden’s state is tax-friendly, but might not be affordable for some retirees. It ranks 35 for cost of living and 31 for housing affordability in U.S. News’ affordability ranking. Kiplinger says that income levels are low as well.

Everystockphoto

It reports average incomes for 65+ individuals as $52,387 annually. You’ll get your typical East Coast winters in the First State. The minimum temperature extreme has been -17 degrees Fahrenheit, says the Office of the Delaware State Climatologist. If you simply can’t stand any sort of cold weather whatsoever, you might want to stay far, far away from most of the New England and Midwest states!

The best states to retire, ranked by cost of living

When we reach retirement age, a lot of us plan to move to that dream state we always pictured ourselves growing old in. Some of us move for lower costs of living, better healthcare, and friendlier tax laws, and others move for better weather and family.

We ranked 50 states from the highest cost of living to the lowest, with data on tax breaks, annual income, and healthcare costs. These were taken from Kiplinger, Milken Institute, National Association of Realtors, Bureau of Labor Statistics and more.

Remember, it’s important to consult various sources when considering retirement. Take our list with a grain of salt as it’s written for entertainment purposes only.

50. Hawaii

Cost of living: 87 percent above U.S. average
Population: 1.4 million
Best city: Maunawili
PRO: The best community 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
dennisflarsen/GoodFreePhotos

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
Martin Springall/Flickr

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
jglazer75/Wikimedia Commons

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
Sam valadi/Wikimedia Commons

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
Falkenpost/GoodFreePhotos

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
Yurivict/Wikimedia Commons

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
Art Anderson/Wikimedia Commons

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
tpsdave2/Pixabay

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. Pretty sweet deal for senior citizens we think.

delaware, best states to retire
Dough4872/Good Free Photos

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 pretty thicc savings account, however, Delaware could 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
Kevin Boniface/Wikimedia Commons

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
Skyguy414/Wikimedia Commons

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
Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons

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
Bobak Ha’Eri/Wikimedia Commons

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
Hasselblad500CM/Wikimedia Commons

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
Frayle/FreeGoodPhotos

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
James Brooks/Wikimedia Commons

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
J. Miers/Wikimedia Commons

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
rev2212ruready/Pixabay

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
BruceEmmerling/Pixabay

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
Dori/Wikimedia Commons

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
Nikopoley/Wikimedia Commons

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
USDA/Wikimedia Commons

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
keiblack/Pixabay

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
eurimaco/Wikimedia Commons

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
David R. Tribble/Wikimedia Commons

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
Leaflet/Wikimedia Commons

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
davidpinter/Wikimedia Commons

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
Bmanishreddy123/Wikimedia Commons

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
Kaldari/Wikimedia Commons

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
Cleveland84/Wikimedia Commons

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
Mikerussell/Wikimedia Commons

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
Vkulikov/Wikimedia Commons

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
Charles Lowry/Wikimedia Commons

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
Allstarecho/Wikimedia Commons

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.

best city in Oklahoma to retire in
Kool Cats Photography over 9 Million Views/Wikimedia Commons

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
Tim Kiser/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
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service/Wikimedia Commons

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: These are the worst states for retirement.