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Which Are the Best States for Retirement in 2022?

Several factors go into the answer to the question of where people should retire.

So many factors go into the decision of not only when and where to retire.

Some people are limited by the places where their savings will stretch the farthest while others want to be by the sea at any cost.

For still others, the traditional concept of retirement is also changing form as they leave their main jobs but take on smaller part-time jobs to supplement their savings.

The Labor Department recently found that 1.5 million Americans who retired between 2020 and 2022 later reentered the labor market for reasons that range from economics to boredom.

If that is the case, retirees need to consider not only affordability and how much they like a place but also how it will affect their ability to find side work.

Are There Places to Retire to Beyond Florida?

By analyzing everything from affordability to weather and crime levels, financial services company put together a new list of the best and worst states in which to retire.

While factors such as culture and the ability to live an active lifestyle contributed to a given state's ranking, affordability weighed the most heavily, given that it's the determining factor for so many.

Florida topped the list for all the predictable reasons — it is warm and, after decades of being seen as a top destination for retirees, it has both the infrastructure and the social circles many are looking for. 

It is also the third most populous state in the U.S. and so has a wide gamut of places to live in that range from affordable to ultra-luxury.

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"Affordability was once a big selling point for Florida retirees, but that advantage is fading," reads the Bankrate report. "The state's cost of living has been rising, although the tax burden remains light." Florida levies no personal income tax.

But there are places beyond Florida! 

Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri all made the top five best states for retirement. 

For those who do not mind colder winters, a lakeside community in a state like Michigan or Ohio can offer an active and peaceful retirement at a lower cost of living.

As eastern Georgia borders Florida, the Peach State is also becoming increasingly popular among younger retirees who may need to stretch their savings longer.  

Where Should You Not Retire?

Alaska, Maine, California, New Mexico and Montana, meanwhile, ranked as the worst states for retirement for reasons ranging for isolation to the high cost of living. 

For example, it is easy to power through retirement savings if you're living in San Francisco.

At the same time, the study's authors say that these lists offer very general statistics that will mean nothing if you do not like a given town or region.

A couple who spent their entire life living in Manhattan may not vibe with Florida culture, while someone with a passion for fishing may find retirement bliss in a distant part of Alaska.

"If you own a paid-off home in a high-cost area like Boston or San Francisco, maybe affordability isn't a priority for you," authors write. 

"And, of course, not everyone likes the sweltering summers of the Sun Belt states that populate the top of our rankings."