Every year, the consumer financial services website Bankrate.com tries to determine the best and worst state to retire through a survey of financial, health, and lifestyle factors. The 2016 survey conveys a distinct message: for a nice retirement, avoid coasts and head west.
For the second straight year, Wyoming ranked as the best state in which to retire. Three of its geographic neighbors (South Dakota, Colorado, and Utah) came in second, third, and fourth. Virginia was fifth, and it was the only state in the top ten east of the Mississippi River. In sixth place through tenth place: Montana, Idaho, Iowa, Arizona, and Nebraska. These states have three things in common - Bankrate notes: their residents consistently report being happy with their quality of life, their crime rates are low, and their cost of living is reasonable.
Which state ranked dead last? New York, which was 50th in taxes and 48th in cost of living. The rest of the bottom five, in ascending order: West Virginia, Oregon, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Hawaii came in 45th (the Aloha State ranked 50th in cost of living) and Florida ranked 28th (the Sunshine State ranked 39th in crime and 29th in health care).
Alaska presented retirees with the best potential for low taxes, New Hampshire ranked first in health care services, and Mississippi came in first for lowest cost of living. California ranked 39th, even though it had the second-best weather. New Mexico came in first in the weather rankings and Minnesota came in 14th overall with healthcare ranking fifth in the nation.
See the full ranking list here: Click Here
The Upside & Downside of Home Downsizing
According to a recent Demand Institute survey, 63% of baby boomers do not plan to move once retired. How about you? Should you stay where you are, or should you move and downsize? (1)
Downsizing can save money in the long run; depending on where you move, it can mean lower taxes, less need for two cars, lower utility bills, and perhaps easier access to high-quality medical care. In the short run, it may cost plenty; you may have to fix or remodel parts of your home to ensure a sale, and the fees and costs of buying and selling are sizable. If downsizing is on your mind,you may want to run some numbers using the National Council on Aging's free online tool: Click Here.