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10 Best States for Retirement: 2015

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Figuring out where to spend retirement years is something of a national pastime for workers of a certain age. Weather, the desire to be near adult children (and grandchildren), costs and other factor are usually weighed in making the decision.

Some people want to indulge the wanderlust they ignored in favor of their careers and raising families, so they look at other countries in which to spend their post-work years. Others lean toward offbeat, inexpensive places.

“There are many factors retirees should consider before deciding where to put down their roots,” said research and statistics analyst Chris Kahn in a statement accompanying the website’s latest retirement ranking of states. “Warm weather may be an initial draw, but all the sunny days in the world won’t make you happy if you’re constantly stretching your budget or don’t have access to quality health care.”

Last year, we looked at’s ranking of states for retirement, focusing on the top 10 best and worst. This year, we’ve done the same.

Several factors were considered for the rankings: cost of living, crime rate, community well being, health care quality, tax rate and weather. Cost of living was based on data from the Council for Community and Economic Research (the higher the score the more expensive the state); crime rate was determined using FBI stats complied from local police departments; health care quality via data from the Agency for Healthcare Research; community well being comes from Healthways, a research group that works with Gallup (the higher the score the better the health care); and weather information is courtesy the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

One major change to this year’s ranking was the introduction of public surveys to reflect popular opinion. Factors that were more popular were given greater weight in the rankings.

Here are the 10 best states for retirement, according to Bankrate, with the rankings for each of the categories:

Omaha skyline.

10. Nebraska

Cost of Living: 9

Crime Rate: 20

Community Well-Being: 16

Health Care Quality: 11

Tax Rate: 26

Weather: 21

Grand Canyon and Colorado River in Arizona. (Photo: AP)

9. Arizona

Cost of Living: 32

Crime Rate: 41

Community Well-Being: 2

Health Care Quality: 22

Tax Rate: 17

Weather: 5

Mount Rushmore in Keystone. (Photo: AP)

8. South Dakota

Cost of Living: 26

Crime Rate: 11

Community Well-Being: 31

Health Care Quality: 15

Tax Rate: 3

Weather: 29

Dartmouth Hall in Hanover, NH. (Photo: AP)

7. Montana

Cost of Living: 27

Crime Rate: 19

Community Well-Being: 8

Health Care Quality: 24

Tax Rate: 13

Weather: 9

Julien Dubuque's grave in Dubuque, Iowa.

6. Iowa

Cost of Living: 11

Crime Rate: 12

Community Well-Being: 4

Health Care Quality: 5

Tax Rate: 22

Weather: 39

 The Old Point Comfort Lighthouse at Ft. Monroe in Hampton, Va. (Photo: AP)

5. Virginia

Cost of Living: 22

Crime Rate: 4

Community Well-Being: 15

Health Care Quality: 13

Tax Rate: 21

Weather: 10

Great Big Idaho Potato Truck in Boise.

4. Idaho

Cost of Living: 3

Crime Rate: 2

Community Well-Being: 27

Health Care Quality: 21

Tax Rate: 27

Weather: 7

The Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, New Hampshire. (Photo: AP)

3. Utah

Cost of Living: 7

Crime Rate: 22

Community Well-Being: 19

Health Care Quality: 7

Tax Rate: 23

Weather: 6

Red Rocks Park in Colorado.

2. Colorado

Cost of Living: 30

Crime Rate: 25

Community Well-Being: 6

Health Care Quality: 14

Tax Rate: 19

Weather: 3

Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (Photo: AP)

1. Wyoming

Cost of Living: 19

Crime Rate: 5

Community Well-Being: 20

Health Care Quality: 37

Tax Rate: 1

Weather: 8

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