The best US states for retirement

Each year, millions of Americans give up the daily stresses of work and embark on a well-deserved retirement. At Blacktower, we’ve ranked the best (and worst) states for retirees, to help you choose the perfect destination to live out your ‘golden years’.

Area

Rank

Crime

Cost of living

60 & over (% of population)

Average property prices

Life expectancy

Final score

Florida 1 408 98.2 25.6% $252,309 79.4 3.54
Minnesota 2 238.3 101.5 20.8% $263,708 81.1 3.48
Iowa 3 293.4 91.9 22.4% $154,727 79.7 3.48
Ohio 4 297.5 92.8 22.3% $153,593 77.8 3.41
Texas 5 438.9 91.9 16.8% $211,199 78.5 3.39
Wisconsin 6 319.9 96.4 22.0% $202,676 80.0 3.39
Nebraska 7 305.9 91.6 20.7 $178,938 79.8 3.37
Pennsylvania 8 313.3 102.4 23.7% $198,377 78.5 3.28
Illinois 9 438.8 94.9 20.3% $204,839 79.0 3.26
Idaho 10 226.4 93.3 20.6% $298,257 79.5 3.24
Virginia 11 208.2 101.4 20.1% $291,002 79.0 3.24
Connecticut 12 228 126.5 22.4% $259,855 80.8 3.23
North Dakota 13 281.3 97.8 20.3% $237,454 79.5 3.21
Vermont 14 165.8 114.3 25.0% $261,265 80.5 3.18
Kansas 15 413 88.5 20.7% $153,853 78.7 3.17
New Hampshire 16 198.7 108.5 23.5% $299,333 80.3 3.14
New York 17 356.7 137.3 21.2% $328,677 80.5 3.13
Michigan 18 450 90.9 22.4% $176,977 78.2 3.12
California 19 449.3 137.7 18.7% $578,267 80.8 3.11
Indiana 20 399 90.9 20.7% $158,690 77.6 3.10
Maine 21 121 116.6 26.2% $249,550 79.2 3.10
North Carolina 22 363.7 97.8 21.0% $208,001 77.8 3.10
Utah 23 238.9 97.4 14.8% $355,484 80.2 3.10
New Jersey 24 228.8 123.7 21.1% $342,527 80.3 3.08
South Dakota 25 433.6 100.7 21.8% $209,684 79.5 3.02
Georgia 26 357.2 89.2 18.3% $206,804 77.2 3.00
Arizona 27 508 99.6 22.1% $277,574 79.6 2.98
Kentucky 28 225.8 93.1 21.4% $149,987 76.0 2.97
Rhode Island 29 232.2 118.7 22.5% $308,658 79.9 2.96
Missouri 30 530.3 88.5 22.0% $165,650 77.5 2.93
Washington 31 304.5 110.1 20.6% $428,896 79.9 2.89
Wyoming 32 237.5 101.7 21.2% $256,089 78.3 2.87
Colorado 33 368.1 104.8 19.0% $408,794 80.0 2.82
Mississippi 34 285.7 84.9 20.6% $127,539 75.0 2.80
Oregon 35 281.8 134 23.1% $372,868 79.5 2.72
Oklahoma 36 456.2 86.5 20.5% $132,465 75.9 2.72
West Virginia 37 350.7 91.6 25.5% $107,136 75.4 2.66
South Carolina 38 506.2 96.5 22.7% $190,594 77.0 2.65
Massachusetts 39 358 130.1 21.7% $433,883 80.5 2.62
Montana 40 377.1 106.3 24.3% $288,867 78.5 2.60
Arkansas 41 554.9 87.1 22.0% $130,907 76.0 2.56
Maryland 42 500.2 127.6 20.2% $312,990 78.8 2.46
Louisiana 43 557 93.1 20.1% $170,388 75.7 2.46
Alabama 44 524.2 89.2 22.0% $143,072 75.4 2.46
Tennessee 45 651.5 88.6 21.5% $192,630 76.3 2.39
New Mexico 46 783.5 88.2 22.1% $210,141 78.4 2.37
Nevada 47 555.9 108.4 20.4% $309,730 78.1 2.33
Hawaii 48 250.6 191.8 23.0% $642,526 81.3 1.80
Alaska 49 829 128.3 15.8% $300,073 78.3 1.71
Florida is the best US state for retirees.
Known as the Sunshine State, Florida scored well across the board, and has the second highest population of over 60s living there. With its warm temperatures, dazzling white beaches and range of outdoor activities, it’s the perfect place to live out your retirement in style.

Best state for house prices

West Virginia has the lowest average property prices across all 50 US states. Famously known for its outdoor recreational activities such as skiing, white water rafting and fishing, retirees can live comfortably, whilst also having the option to spend more time trialling new activities and experiences.

Best state for crime rates

Maine has the lowest crime rate on average across all 50 US states. It is the 12th smallest US state and the 9th least populated, meaning that retirees can live a safe and quiet way of life, whilst enjoying its beautiful surroundings.

Best states for life expectancy

Hawaii has the highest life expectancy across the United States of America – probably because this beautiful set of islands hosts good weather, and stunning long golden beaches! Move to Hawaii, and you can expect a long, peaceful and happy retirement.

Best state for cost of living

Mississippi tops the list as the state with the best cost of living. Cheaper food prices and property will see millions of retirees moving over to make their money go further, meaning they can spend more on luxury items such as holidays and treating loved ones.

Methodology:

To calculate the index, we first normalised the data categories individually from 0 to 1 and then summed the results.

On this scale, for

  • Crime – The area/state with the highest rate of crime would be weighted closer to 0
  • Cost of living - The area/state with the highest cost is weighted closer to 0
  • 60 and over – lower % of population is weight closer to 0
  • Property prices – Higher property prices are deemed less desirable so are weighted down
  • Life expectancy – Lower life expectancy is less desirable so weighted down