This map exhibits the perfect and worst states for retirement in 2019
We all dreamed about the day we finally stopped working. But have you given serious thought to where you will be living in retirement? The idea of living a retiree life in a quaint New England cottage or sunny California apartment may seem appealing, but it may not be the best option, according to results from the latest ranking on the personal finance website, Bankrate.
Best place to retire? America’s heartland.
Bankrate recently updated its ranking of the best and worst states for retirement for 2019. To create the ranking, five main categories related to the life of a pensioner were considered and weighted according to importance: Affordability (40%), wellness (25%), weather (15%), culture (15%) and crime (5%) ). These factors and their weightings were selected based on a separate survey asking respondents what is most important to them in retirement (the best answer was friends and family).
Bankrate ranked the best and worst states to retire, with four of the top five ending up in the middle of the country.
According to the rankings, Nebraska is the best state to retreat to. The Cornhusker state ranked in the top 15 for factors such as wellness (8thth) and affordability (14th) and in the upper half for crime (19th) and culture (21st). The only thing that didn’t go so well was the weather (30)th).
The top 5 were rounded off by Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota and Florida.
“In general, we have this area and the heartland that is working really well,” said Adrian Garcia, data analyst at Bankrate. He noted that most of the top states have similar weather patterns due to their proximity. “But they also do pretty well overall in the wellness area. The other important thing – because affordability was the top weight in our survey – is that those areas that ranked well tend to be more affordable, ”said Garcia. In fact, Missouri was ranked # 1 for affordability.
The Worst States For Retirement
Maryland, on the other hand, was the worst state to retire. It fell below the bottom 15 (4th grade) for affordabilityth worst), culture (9th worst) and wellness (13th worst), while underperformance was also achieved in the area of crime (18th worst). The only factor that fell into the top half of the ranking was the weather (Jan.th Best).
The five worst states to retire also included New York (which came last because of its affordability), Alaska (worst weather and crime), Illinois, and Washington.
See the full ranking
Curious about how your state is developing? Here is a look at Bankrate’s full ranking of the best and worst states for retirement.
4. South Dakota
8. North Carolina
13. North Dakota
15. New Hampshire
25. West Virginia
27. Rhode Island
37. New Mexico
41. South Carolina
42. New Jersey
49. New York
To drill down and see how a particular status ranks across all five categories, select it from the drop-down list below:
Moving into retirement: a personal choice
Given this ranking, should you send it to Nebraska after your workdays are up? Not necessarily. “Retiring is a very personal choice,” said Garcia. That means the ideal place to live out your golden years may not align with the numbers.
One thing that is important to most retirees is affordability, which is why it has been weighted so heavily. When you stop working and spend more time on travel, hobbies, and maybe even volunteering, you will most likely switch to a fixed income budget. “So you want to make sure that you live in a location that is suitable for that budget, whether it’s the city you live in, a nearby neighborhood, or another state,” Garcia said.
When it comes to other factors like wellness or weather, you may have different preferences. For this reason, Bankrate has also created a tool that allows you to adjust the weights and determine which states best suit your needs. You can try it out for yourself below.
Garcia explained that the aim of this ranking is not to push retirees to one place or another, but rather to give people a second look at some of the places that are not often considered retirement places. “We hear about Florida, Hawaii or Arizona a lot, but maybe we should spend some time researching whether Nebraska or Iowa or somewhere in the middle of the country might be good,” he said.
Ultimately, however, these rankings cannot replace what most people consider to be the most important factor when deciding on retirement. “If you are really far from the people you love and care about, moving around may not make sense,” Garcia said.