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March 05, 2012

Best and Worst States for Retirement 2011: Complete List

Posted in: Real Estate

According to MoneyRates.com the following are the TOP 10 Best and Worst States for retirement. Based on reader responses, economics determined 47% of a state’s final score, climate accounted for 33%, life expectancy determined 12% and crime accounted for 8%. Honestly, I would have thought health care access, weighted property taxes, cultural attractions and death taxes. One might have also thought they would have considered shuffleboard, bingo and gambling accessibility … Just kidding.


What do the Top 4 worst states have in common other than they are all “blue states”? Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts and Connecticut all have out of control tax burdens. Alaska is the only “red” state in the top 10 worst places to retire. Cost of living ans its climate are the culprits.

10. Wisconsin
 9. New York
 8. Washington
 7. Rhode Island
 6. Maryland
 5. Alaska
4. Connecticut
 3. Massachusetts
 2. Michigan
 1. Maine

Why it’s the worst state for retirement: Maine’s low ranking was a result of having bottom-five scores in the two most heavily weighted categories, economics and climate.

Economic factors: Maine got the fifth-lowest score for economics, with its high cost of living and tax burden as the primary culprits.

Climate: Maine’s climate ranked third-worst in the nation.

Life expectancy: At 77.6 years, Maine’s life expectancy is about average.

Crime: If personal security is a high priority, you may want to reconsider Maine. Its violent crime rate is the lowest in the nation, and its property crime rate is below average as well.


Who would have thought that Florida would not have been in the Top 10 retirement Florida (30), Arizona (25) and Colorado (27) would not have been in the Top 10 best places to retire. However, we can see that there are only one real “blue” state in the list of best places to retire. That can hardly be a coincidence.

10. Kansas
 9. Tennessee
 8. South Dakota
 7. Mississippi
6. Virginia
5. Louisiana
 4. Iowa
 3. Oklahoma
 2. Kentucky
 1. Texas

Why it’s the best state for retirement: Despite a high property crime rate, Texas outranked all other states with its outstanding scores for economic factors and climate.

Economic factors: Texas scored very well for economics, thanks to a low cost of living and low tax burden.

Climate: The climate for such a big state varies, but overall Texas received strong scores for its generally warm climate.

Life expectancy: At 76.7 years, life expectancy for Texans is a little below median.

Crime: The only real blemish for Texas, the high crime rate–especially the nation’s highest rate of property crime–might scare off some retirees.

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