Key factors for retirementThe following measures formed the basis of this year's analysis:
- Senior population growth. Based on census data, some states have just been more attractive to retirees than others in recent years, so the growth in each state's senior population factored into these rankings.
- Economic conditions. Even if you don't intend to work at all in retirement, chances are you wouldn't find living in an area of high unemployment very pleasant. Cost of living and property taxes were also taken into consideration, since these greatly affect seniors.
- Crime rate. Seniors can be especially vulnerable to both violent and property crimes, so both were factored into the list.
- Climate. Not everyone wants a warm-weather retirement, but seniors tend not to enjoy extremes, so the climate factor in this list was based on monthly deviations from a moderate 68 degrees.
- Life expectancy. Looking at each state's average life expectancy for people at age 65 can provide clues on factors ranging from quality and availability of health care to the purity of the environment.