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12 Worst States for Living in Retirement: 2022

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As Americans approaching retirement think about where to live after leaving work, their top concerns are affordability and the availability of health care services, according to new research from Caring.com, a senior care referral service.

Affordable housing and health care will remain top retirement considerations in this decade. By 2030, some 20% of Americans will be 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Caring.com has compiled a ranking of the 50 states that addresses the needs and socioeconomic conditions of older populations, particularly as they advance toward retirement and consider relocating to a different part of the country. 

To arrive at a ranking of the best and worst states for retirement, researchers relied on expert analysis and survey findings from 1,000 Americans 55 and older to develop a comprehensive set of ranking criteria based on 46 key metrics across five categories.

Affordability, which measures cost of housing and job availability for seniors, made up 33% of the final score. The quality and availability of health care in each state was the next largest factor, with a 25% weighting. States that ranked lowest in the study tended to be among those with the worst scores in one of these categories, and in a couple of instances in both.

The quality-of-life category, 18% of the final score, includes the availability of neighborhood amenities, such as museums, libraries, parks and fresh markets. 

Senior living and housing, with a 14% weighting, is based on several metrics, including the percentage of multifamily homes and houses with no-step entrances. And transportation, 10% of the final score, focuses on access to public or private transportation.

See the gallery for the 12 worst states for older Americans to retire.