The 10 Best States for Retirement in 2016

Editors' Pick: Originally published Jan. 26.

If you've put in your dues at your 9-to-5 job and are ready to retire, you might consider making the move to a more retirement-friendly state.

Plenty of states offer attractive communities and even job opportunities for people who are looking to spend their golden years at a slower -- though not necessarily less active -- pace.

Of course, money is always a factor and even in the most affordable areas in the country, retirees often cannot rely on Social Security or pension checks alone. Social Security, for instance, replaces only about 40% of the amount earned by an average worker, according to a report by WalletHub, citing the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. WalletHub is an online financial resource for individuals and small businesses.

WalletHub's analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key metrics to help retirees find the best place to call home after leaving the full-time workforce. Among the factors WalletHub considered were affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life.

WalletHub's data collection included these sources: the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Retirement Living Information Center, Genworth Financial, the United Health Foundation, the County Health Rankings, Measure of America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Charity Navigator, Gallup Healthways and GolfLink.com.

Ready to retire? Here are the 10 best states to do it in.

The 10 Best States for Retirement in 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Virginia
10. Virginia

Affordability Rank: 15
Quality of Life Rank: 14
Health Care Rank: 31

Popular cities in Virginia that appeal to retirees include Alexandria, Winchester and colonial Williamsburg.

Virginia's population is approximately 8.3 million, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 13.8% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in Virginia for the five-year period through 2014 was $64,792, above the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $243,500 as of 2014, higher than the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses for property owners in Virginia total $1,742 for those with a mortgage and $429 for those without.

9. Nevada
9. Nevada

Affordability Rank: 8
Quality of Life Rank: 12
Health Care Rank: 43

Nevada ranked as the fifth best state for taxpayers. That said, in terms of recreational activities, the state had the fewest museums per capita, according to WalletHub.

Popular cities in Nevada that appeal to retirees include Las Vegas, Henderson and Mesquite.

Nevada's population is approximately 2.9 million, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 14.2% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in Nevada for the five-year period through 2014 was $52,205, below the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $167,100 as of 2014, below the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses for property owners in Nevada total $1,514 for those with a mortgage and $420 a month for those without.

 

8. Montana
8. Montana

Affordability Rank: 21
Quality of Life Rank: 22
Health Care Rank: 10

Montana ranked as the third best state for taxpayers and tied with Vermont as the state with the fifth highest percentage of employed residents aged 65 or older.

Popular cities in Montana that appeal to retirees include Missoula (home to the University of Montana), Whitefish, Helena and Bozeman (home to Montana State University).

Montana's population is approximately 1 million, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 16.7% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in Montana for the five-year period through 2014 was $46,766, below the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $187,600 as of 2014, higher than the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses for property ownders in Montana total $1,290 for those with a mortgage and $385 a month for those without.

 

7. Texas
7. Texas

Affordability Rank: 9
Quality of Life Rank: 16
Health Care Rank: 40

Popular areas in Texas that appeal to retirees include Austin (home to the University of Texas), San Antonio, Corpus Christi, The Woodlands and the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas' population is approximately 27.5 million, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 11.5% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in Texas for the five-year period through 2014 was $52,576, below the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $131,400 as of 2014, below the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses for property owners in Texas total $1,443 for those with a mortgage and $459 a month for those without.

Texas has the third lowest percentage of employed residents aged 65 or older.

6. Idaho
6. Idaho

Affordability Rank: 10
Quality of Life Rank: 32
Health Care Rank: 29

Idaho has the fifth-lowest adjusted cost of living, but it also has the fourth-highest property crime rate.

Popular areas in Idaho that appeal to retirees include Boise, Sun Valley, Pocatello (home to Idaho State University) and Idaho Falls.

Idaho's population is approximately 1.6 million, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 14.3% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in Idaho for the five-year period through 2014 was $47,334, below the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $160,500 as of 2014, below the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses for property ownders in Idaho total $1,212 for those with a mortgage and $338 a month for those without.

 

5. Colorado
5. Colorado

Affordability Rank: 27
Quality of Life Rank: 6
Health Care Rank: 11

Popular areas in Colorado that appeal to retirees include Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins and Loveland.

Colorado's population is approximately 5.4 million, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 12.7% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in Colorado for the five-year period through 2014 was $59,448, above the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $239,400 as of 2014, above the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses for property ownders in Colorado total $1,608 for those with a mortgage and $417 a month for those without.

4. South Carolina
4. South Carolina

Affordability Rank: 6
Quality of Life Rank: 26
Health Care Rank: 34

Popular areas in South Carolina that appeal to retirees include Beaufort, Charleston and Hilton Head.

South Carolina's population is approximately 4.9 million, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 15.8% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in South Carolina for the five-year period through 2014 was $45,033, below the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $137,600 as of 2014, below the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses for property owners in South Carolina total $1,201 for those with a mortgage and $347 a month for those without.

South Carolina has the fourth lowest property crime rate, according to WalletHub.

3. South Dakota
3. South Dakota

Affordability Rank: 14
Quality of Life Rank: 29
Health Care Rank: 1

South Dakota is the best state in the country for health care, according to WalletHub. It also has the fifth highest percentage of employed residents aged 65 or older.

Popular areas in South Dakota that appeal to retirees include Sioux Falls, Pierre and Aberdeen.

South Dakota's population is approximately 860,000, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 15.3% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in South Dakota for the five-year period through 2014 was $50,338, below the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $135,700 as of 2014, below the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses for property owners in South Dakota total $1,210 for those with a mortgage and $425 a month for those without.

 

2. Wyoming
2. Wyoming

Affordability Rank: 1
Quality of Life Rank: 28
Health Care Rank: 16

Wyoming clocked in as the best state in terms of affordability. It also is the fourth best state for taxpayers, but it has the fourth fewest theaters per capita, according to WalletHub.

Popular areas in Wyoming that appeal to retirees include Cheyenne, Casper and Jackson Hole.

Wyoming's population is approximately 590,000, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 14% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in Wyoming for the five-year period through 2014 was $58,252, above the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $189,300 as of 2014, above the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses property owners in Wyoming total $1,357 for those with a mortgage and $382 a month for those without.

 

1. Florida
1. Florida

Affordability Rank: 2
Quality of Life Rank: 3
Health Care Rank: 15

Coming in as the best state for retirees, the Sunshine State has the highest percentage of residents aged 65 or older. But despite its popularity as a retirement destination, the state has the fourth smallest percentage of employed residents aged 65 or older.

Popular areas in Florida that appeal to retirees include Melbourne, Marco Island and Jupiter.

Florida's population is approximately 20.2 million, according to data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2015. Approximately 19.1% of its residents are over 65. The median household income in Florida for the five-year period through 2014 was $47,212, below the national average of $53,482.

As well, the median value of homes in the state that are owner-occupied (as opposed to investment properties) was $156,200 as of 2014, below the national average of $175,700, according to the Census. The median monthly home expenses for property owners in Florida total $1,480 for those with a mortgage and $469 a month for those without.

 

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