The best and worst states to retire in the US

Hanneke Luijting/Getty ImagesFlorida is the best state in the country for retirees.
  • When deciding the best place to retire, it’s important to consider affordability, quality of life, and health care.
  • Minnesota is the best for quality of life and health care but has low affordability for retirees.
  • Florida is the best state for retirees, not surprising considering it has the second-most senior citizens and high scores for affordability and quality of life.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


On a global scale, the United States is 24th on the list of the best countries for retirement.

However, the US is very large and experiences can vary drastically within the country.

If you decide to stay in America when you are done working, you might want to know which state is best for retirement. WalletHub recently released its 2020 retirement rankings. Using 47 metrics in three broad categories, they were able to rank every state to find the best and worst places to retire.

The three main categories used were affordability, quality of life, and health care. WalletHub weighted the affordability section 40% and the other two areas were given equal weight of 30%.

Florida tends to be the first state that comes to mind when retirement communities are brought up, and for good reason. Florida came in first in the overall ranking. The Sunshine State also has the second-highest percentage of residents 65 years and older, WalletHub says, topped only by Maine.

Where you decide to live during retirement depends on what you value. Residents of Hawaii have the highest life expectancy, while the lowest is found in Mississippi. On the other hand, the cost of living is totally flipped with Mississippi coming in first and Hawaii ranked last.

If you are looking to be entertained in retirement, New York might be a good option. Despite the state’s lacklustre overall rating for retirement, WalletHub’s analysis found that the Empire State has the most museums and theatres per capita.

Check out how your home state ranks overall, as well as for each of the three categories: affordability, quality of life, and health care.

Matthew Michaels contributed to a previous version of this article.


50. Kentucky

Leigh Trail/ShutterstockLouisville, Kentucky.

Affordability rank: 32

Quality of life rank: 46

Health care rank: 48


49. New Mexico

Andriy Blokhin/ShutterstockNew Mexico.

Affordability rank: 37

Quality of life rank: 45

Health care rank: 38


48. Rhode Island

ShutterstockProvidence, Rhode Island.

Affordability rank: 47

Quality of life rank: 38

Health care rank: 25


47. New Jersey

f11photo/ShutterstockJersey City, New Jersey.

Affordability rank: 48

Quality of life rank: 31

Health care rank: 23


46. West Virginia

Affordability rank: 19

Quality of life rank: 40

Health care rank: 50


45. Tennessee

joe daniel price/ Getty ImagesTennessee.

Affordability rank: 14

Quality of life rank: 48

Health care rank: 46


44. Arkansas

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockLittle Rock, Arkansas.

Affordability rank: 9

Quality of life rank: 50

Health care rank: 45


43. Mississippi

Getty ImagesMadison, Mississippi.

Affordability rank: 5

Quality of life rank: 49

Health care rank: 47


42. New York

ShutterstockAlbany, New York.

Affordability rank: 37

Quality of life rank: 45

Health care rank: 38


41. Louisiana

ShutterstockNew Orleans, Louisiana.

Affordability rank: 10

Quality of life rank: 44

Health care rank: 43


40. Maryland

Nicole S Glass / ShutterstockAnnapolis, Maryland.

Affordability rank: 43

Quality of life rank: 29

Health care rank: 20


39. Alabama

ReutersAlabama football fans.

Affordability rank: 1

Quality of life rank: 47

Health care rank: 49


38. Oregon

pikappa51/ShutterstockPortland, Oregon.

Affordability rank: 41

Quality of life rank: 24

Health care rank: 21


37. Oklahoma

ShutterstockOklahoma.

Affordability rank: 6

Quality of life rank: 43

Health care rank: 44


36. Vermont

By Bram Reusen / ShutterstockNorwich, Vermont.

Affordability rank: 49

Quality of life rank: 6

Health care rank: 9


35. Nevada

trekandshoot/ShutterstockLas Vegas, Nevada.

Affordability rank: 8

Quality of life rank: 42

Health care rank: 42


34. Indiana

ShutterstockIndianapolis, Indiana.

Affordability rank: 23

Quality of life rank: 33

Health care rank: 41


33. Connecticut

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockHartford, Connecticut.

Affordability rank: 44

Quality of life rank: 23

Health care rank: 5


32. California

Getty Images/halbergmanMalibu, California.

Affordability rank: 38

Quality of life rank: 25

Health care rank: 19


31. Alaska

EQRoy/ShutterstockFairbanks, Alaska.

Affordability rank: 36

Quality of life rank: 34

Health care rank: 11


30. Georgia

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockAtlanta, Georgia.

Affordability rank: 12

Quality of life rank: 41

Health care rank: 40


29. Hawaii

Yoshinori Kumagai/ShutterstockHonolulu, Hawaii.

Affordability rank: 45

Quality of life rank: 32

Health care rank: 2


28. Maine

Jo Ann Snover/ShutterstockMaine.

Affordability rank: 42

Quality of life rank: 10

Health care rank: 15


27. Washington

Getty Images/Inti St ClairPeople kayaking in Seattle, Washington.

Affordability rank: 34

Quality of life rank: 14

Health care rank: 32


26. North Carolina

Sharkshock/ShutterstockRaleigh, North Carolina.

Affordability rank: 21

Quality of life rank: 30

Health care rank: 39


25. Nebraska

Getty Images/Matt BillsOmaha, Nebraska.

Affordability rank: 39

Quality of life rank: 20

Health care rank: 10


24. Kansas

ShutterstockDerby, Kansas.

Affordability rank: 25

Quality of life rank: 26

Health care rank: 35


23. Illinois

Helen Sessions/AlamyChicago, Illinois.

Affordability rank: 35

Quality of life rank: 21

Health care rank: 16


22. Arizona

Matt Mawson/ Getty ImagesArizona.

Affordability rank: 30

Quality of life rank: 36

Health care rank: 12


21. Michigan

Gary Richard Ennis / ShutterstockTraverse City, Michigan.

Affordability rank: 28

Quality of life rank: 16

Health care rank: 31


20. Missouri

f11photo/ShutterstockKansas City, Missouri.

Affordability rank: 22

Quality of life rank: 28

Health care rank: 29


19. North Dakota

Bob Pool/ShutterstockNorth Dakota.

Affordability rank: 33

Quality of life rank: 22

Health care rank: 8


18. South Carolina

iStock/Sean PavoneHilton Head, South Carolina.

Affordability rank: 37

Quality of life rank: 45

Health care rank: 38


17. Texas

ReutersAustin, Texas.

Affordability rank: 3

Quality of life rank: 37

Health care rank: 37


16. Minnesota

Cityofminnetrista.comMinnetrista, Minnesota.

Affordability rank: 46

Quality of life rank: 1

Health care rank: 1


15. Ohio

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockColumbus, Ohio.

Affordability rank: 16

Quality of life rank: 17

Health care rank: 34


14. Massachusetts

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockBoston, Massachusetts.

Affordability rank: 40

Quality of life rank: 2

Health care rank: 3


13. Pennsylvania

ShutterstockPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania.

Affordability rank: 29

Quality of life rank: 3

Health care rank: 27


12. Montana

Getty ImagesBozeman, Montana.

Affordability rank: 20

Quality of life rank: 15

Health care rank: 28


11. South Dakota

J. Pat Hodges/ShutterstockMount Rushmore, South Dakota.

Affordability rank: 26

Quality of life rank: 27

Health care rank: 7


10. Iowa

ReutersAkron, Iowa.

Affordability rank: 31

Quality of life rank: 7

Health care rank: 13


9. Idaho

ShutterstockBoise, Idaho.

Affordability rank: 13

Quality of life rank: 19

Health care rank: 30


8. Wisconsin

iStock / AneeseMilwaukee, Wisconsin.

Affordability rank: 24

Quality of life rank: 8

Health care rank: 22


7. Virginia

James Kirkikis/ShutterstockRichmond, Virginia.

Affordability rank: 18

Quality of life rank: 13

Health care rank: 24


6. Delaware

Jon Bilous/ShutterstockDover, Delaware.

Affordability rank: 7

Quality of life rank: 35

Health care rank: 18


5. Wyoming

ShutterstockSheridan, Wyoming.

Affordability rank: 11

Quality of life rank: 12

Health care rank: 33


4. Utah

Associated PressZion National Park near Springdale, Utah.

Affordability rank: 15

Quality of life rank: 18

Health care rank: 17


3. New Hampshire

Dan Lewis / ShutterstockHanover, New Hampshire.

Affordability rank: 27

Quality of life rank: 4

Health care rank: 6


2. Colorado

Likoper/ShutterstockSteamboat Springs, Colorado.

Affordability rank: 17

Quality of life rank: 11

Health care rank: 4


1. Florida

AP Photo/Chris O’MearaFlorida.

Affordability rank: 2

Quality of life rank: 5

Health care rank: 26

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