WalletHub has released its annual ranking of states’ attractiveness to retirees. A warm climate wasn’t enough to get a high ranking (although the No. 1 state for retirees probably won’t surprise anyone). In fact, many of the states in the top 15 are better known for their winters than sunny beaches. Those colder states benefited from high rankings for health care, no small consideration for retirees planning a move, especially if they’re leaving behind a social support network.
(See last year’s ranking to find out which states have fallen out of the top 15.)
John Henretta, professor emeritus in the department of sociology and criminology and law at University of Florida, stressed the importance of client couples being on the same page when it comes to where they’ll live in retirement.
After examining a potential location’s benefits and disadvantages, “the first step in deciding where to live is to think long and hard about how one ranks these different dimensions, and the second step is to find out whether one’s partner shares that ranking,” Henretta said in the report. “Then it’s much like buying an existing house: No available houses may have both the fireplace and swimming pool that are at the top of one’s priorities.”
WalletHub compared the affordability, health care and quality of life in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C. A state’s affordability, which accounted for 40% of its overall ranking, was based on cost of living and general tax friendliness, as well as taxes on pensions and Social Security income in particular, and the annual cost of home care services and adult day care.