The 5 Best States to Retire

September 30, 2014

The 5 Best States to Retire

You’ve finally reached your long-awaited years of retirement, and without employment obligations to hold you down, you are free to settle down to retire in any state you wish. When selecting your new home state, there are generally five key characteristics you’ll want to look for: low cost of living, low taxes, low crime rate, quality health care, and a good well-being and satisfaction rating.

A state with a lower cost of living and lower taxes will translate into your retirement nest egg lasting longer. A location with quality health care facilities will be important when growing into older age. Low crime rate means more safety, and a good well-being and satisfaction rating signifies that seniors who have retired there have been happy with their choice.

In a 2014 ranking and Gallup-Healthways survey, five states clearly came out on top with high scores in all categories. So what are the top 5 best states to retire that offer the best of these characteristics?

South Dakota, not Florida, wins the top spot for the best state to retire. With strong health care quality rankings, a low cost of living, the 3rd lowest tax state, and the 6th lowest crime state in the nation, South Dakota comes out the clear winner. Past and current retirees have reported feeling cared for, safe, and well-stimulated by the states’ interesting activities.

Colorado wins the number 2 spot on the list and boasts the availability of some of the best activities in the nation: the best ski resorts, fishing locations, and camping areas. And with low cost of living, low crime, low taxes and quality health care, seniors will find retired life to be comfortable and fun!

Not far behind is the visually stunning Utah. With unique landscapes and nearly year-round sunshine, Utah offers the chance to enjoy nature with some of the best national parks in the nation. Along with high satisfaction ratings from resident seniors and low cost of living, and the warmest weather amongst the top 5 states, Utah is a wonderful choice for retirement.

North Dakota doesn’t seem like a state particularly well known for good living, but in fact, it received the highest ratings for senior satisfaction, with residents being happier in general than peers. The state can also boast below-average cost of living, quality healthcare, low taxes and crime, but the top characteristic is simply the general reported happiness of seniors already living there.

Wyoming is the state you can get the most bang for your buck. It ranks the number one state for the lowest taxes in the nation. This includes local and state taxes, as well as vehicle, tobacco, gas, property, and sales taxes. Residents have boasted paying less than 7% of their income to taxes while their peers in other states have had to pay almost 10% on average and as high as almost 13%.

Of course, the best state for you to retire will depend on your personal preferences of what is important to you. But, with the option of five states with the nation’s lowest cost of living, taxes, and crime rate, combined with the nation’s highest quality healthcare and senior satisfaction and well-being rating, it will be hard to go wrong if you choose to call any of these states your new home.

Talk to your American Advisors Group Reverse Mortgage Professional at 1-888-998-31471 and find out how we can help you plan a financially strong future to enjoy retirement in any of the nation’s wonderful states.


Kahn, Chris. “The 10 Best States for Retirement in 2014.” Bankrate. ND. Web. 11 Sept 2014.

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