The best and worst US states for retirees

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

lowa 1 293.4 92 22.4% $173,561 79.4 3.88
Minnesota 2 238.3 101.9 20.08% $248,037 80.7 3.87
Vermont 3 165.8 116.9 25.0% $266,019 79.9 3.83
Wisconsin 4 319.9 96.3 22.0% $211,102 79.5 3.76
Nebraska 5 305.9 92.3 22.07% $179,168 79.1 3.76
Idaho 6 226.4 93.8 22.06% $277,626 79.0 3.75
Maine 7 121 117.3 26.2% $229,824 78.0 3.72
New Hampshire 8 198.7 108.4 23.5% $286,624 79.1 3.67
Florida 9 408 99.1 25.6% $256,977 79.1 3.64
North Dakota 10 281.3 98.5 20.3% $208,697 78.5 3.58
Pennsylvania 11 313.3 98.8 23.7% $222,656 78.0 3.57
Virginia 12 208.2 101.3 20.1% $337,320 79.1 3.53
Kansas 13 413 89.6 20.7% $177,794 78.2 3.52
Wyoming 14 237.5 95.7 21.2% $265,985 77.9 3.52
Connecticut 15 228 128.9 22.4% $380,151 80.6 3.48
Ohio 16 297.5 92.2 22.3% $172,179 76.6 3.48
Rhode Island 17 232.2 120.9 22.5% $307,232 79.3 3.48
Michigan 18 450 89.5 22.4% $178,219 77.6 3.46
Illinois 19 438.8 95 20.3% $247,374 79.0 3.44
North Carolina 20 363.7 94.4 21.0% $215,411 77.8 3.43
South Dakota 21 433.6 98.5 21.8% $188,847 78.1 3.42
New Jersey 22 228.8 125.4 21.1% $396,894 80.5 3.42
Washington 23 304.5 110.2 20.6% $369,502 79.9 3.41
Utah 24 238.9 98.5 14.8% $292,246 79.3 3.41
Arizona 25 508 101 22.1% $254,278 79.1 3.37
Indiana 26 399 90.5 20.7% $167,504 77.0 3.37
Colorado 27 368.1 105.9 19.0% $356,645 79.9 3.33
West Virginia 28 350.7 92.1 25.5% $146,596 74.8 3.32
Texas 29 438.9 91.5 16.8% $211,441 78.5 3.32
Kentucky 30 225.8 91.7 21.4% $168,902 75.0 3.31
Oregon 31 281.8 133.1 23.1% $320,652 79.2 3.30
Georgia 32 357.2 90.6 18.3% $216,667 77.2 3.28
Missouri 33 530.3 88.3 22.0% $187,682 77.1 3.27
Delaware 34 453.4 107.1 23.4% $281,736 78.2 3.25
Montana 35 377.1 105 24.3% $265,608 76.9 3.23
Mississippi 36 285.7 86.7 20.6% $147,408 74.5 3.22
New York 37 356.7 135.3 21.2% $424,708 80.8 3.18
Oklahoma 38 456.2 87.2 20.5% $165,943 75.4 3.10
South Carolina 39 506.2 95.9 22.7% $207,043 76.2 3.09
Massachusetts 40 358 134.2 21.7% $442,365 79.9 3.06
Arkansas 41 554.9 87.7 22.0% $157,514 75.4 3.05
New Mexico 42 783.5 91.4 22.1% $213,491 77.6 2.98
Alabama 43 524.2 89.2 22.0% $175,256 74.9 2.97
Nevada 44 555.9 109.2 20.4% $270,031 77.9 2.97
Tennessee 45 651.5 88.9 21.5% $203,449 76.0 2.93
Louisiana 46 557 93.6 20.1% $190,698 75.4 2.87
Maryland 47 500.2 130.2 20.2% $370,684 78.8 2.81
California 48 449.3 139.1 18.7% $591,929 80.9 2.70
Hawaii 49 250.6 192.1 23.0% $659,823 81.5 2.57
Alaska 50 829 129.7 15.8% $289,702 77.7 2.21
Iowa is the best US state for retirees
With the 8th lowest property prices in the country, Iowa scores better than average over all the ranking factors listed in our study. Known as the Hawkeye state, pending retirees are moving to Iowa to make the most of the low cost of living and its beautiful scenery.

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 all 50 US states. The beautiful set of islands hosts good weather and stunning long golden beaches. Residents of Hawaii live longer on average than any other state, meaning retirees can expect a long, peaceful and happy retirement.

Best state for cost of living

Mississippi has the lowest cost of living on average across all 50 US states. 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 weighted 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

US best states to retire – Blacktower

Choosing a location to retire can be one of the biggest decisions of your life. As you approach the end of your working career you will want to make sure your retirement location benefits and enhances your quality of life. To help you pick the perfect place to retire, we’ve ranked the best retirement destinations in the US.