It’s hard to be flexible on a fixed income. That’s why some of America’s prettiest, most vibrant locations are also some of the toughest on retirees. They’re usually more expensive, for example, with higher rents and more expensive restaurants. Tax rates also tend to be higher in urban areas. They also may not be as safe.
With that in mind, Bankrate ranked each state based on a variety of factors that everyone should consider before making a move into — or out of — their home state. They include a specialized cost-of-living index for retirees, crime statistics, tax rates and comprehensive weather data that factor in sunshine and humidity. Also new this year: Bankrate beefed up its ranking for health care quality, and consulted an extensive survey called the Gallup-Healthways’ Well-Being Index. The index gauges the level of satisfaction residents report about their surroundings.
The states that fell to the bottom of our list still have a lot to offer. In fact, many are home to the top tourism destinations in the world. The problem, in the end, is that choosing a good place to retire isn’t as easy as picking a vacation spot. Costs matter more. The local culture and infrastructure also matter.
Here, in descending order, are 10 of the lowest-ranking states for retirees based on our criteria.