The Very Best -- and The Very Worst -- States For Retirees

You'll never guess what tops the best list. Hint: Don your cowboy hat.

When you think about places to retire, your thoughts likely drift to Florida, where as a child you visited your own Grandma and Grandpa every spring break. Or Arizona, where people once lined up to buy new homes in Del Webb's first active retirement community in 1960.

But according to's annual survey, today's retirees should be considering some place else: Wyoming. Yes, Wyoming, which took the top spot in the survey for the second year in a row. While you are still in a dead faint on the floor over that one, know that South Dakota, Colorado and Utah took second, third and fourth place on the best places to retire list. Maybe it's just that everyone looks cute in cowboy hats?

Bankrate considers six factors in determining its list: cost of living, taxes, health care, weather, crime, and residents’ overall well-being. The top-ranked states score high on well-being and also offer a modest cost of living (a definite plus for retirees on fixed incomes) and below-average crime rates, according to the report.

Wyoming has the third lowest taxes in the nation, but its health care was ranked pretty low -- 32nd place. New Hampshire, the state with the highest ranked health care services, was ranked as the 15th best place overall to enjoy life after work.

Contrary to what has been described as a recent trend of retirees heading to major cities, the survey found that New York with its high cost of living and taxes was deemed the worst state in which to retire.

“While features like pleasant weather and nearby amenities are important, nuts-and-bolts considerations like cost of living and the local tax burden may have a bigger impact on your overall quality of life,” said Bankrate senior analyst Claes Bell.

Here is a complete list of the best and worst states for retirement.




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