The best -- and worst -- states to retire

Leslie Hanson
July 13, 2018

Overall, South Dakota placed first in well-being, second in taxes, 10th in cultural vitality and 12th in health care quality.

In South Dakota - one of the most tax-friendly states in the USA - residents pay no personal income tax, and the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $565, according to data from Apartment List. And unfortunately for those in the northeast, NY landed at the bottom, due in large part to its cost of living being higher than any other state in the union. You can also see each state's rankings in the seven categories they were ranked on.

'You need a sophisticated understanding of what will make you happy in retirement, ' Bankrate.com analyst Taylor Tepper said.

"They savor their day-to-day lives, feel financially secure and have a strong sense of community", said Tepper.

Forget heading South. Retirees are now opting for the densely populated Midwest, according to a new report.


But the truth is, she says, South Dakota offers residents a slew of benefits that often get overlooked.

While Utah, Idaho and New Hampshire took hits for their chilly weather, they fared well enough on other quality-of-life issues to keep them in the top five. The Bayou State fared poorly for having high crime, bad health care and high taxes, while Arkansas had low scores on culture, health care and crime.

In addition to NY, the bottom five states included New Mexico, Maryland, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Florida, a popular retirement destination, didn't do so well on the list, turning up at fifth, because of a relatively high crime rate and a subpar grade for health care quality. New Hampshire, in particular, had more top-10 rankings than any other state.

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