Where you go to hang your hat in retirement is a massive life decision. The perfect location may vary by person, but most at the end of a long career would like to settle in a place with a low cost of living. Decent weather and a few museums would also be a plus.
Nebraska is the best state for retirement overall, earning top rankings for both affordability and wellness, followed by Iowa and Missouri, according to a new Bankrate study. Missouri and Michigan are the cheapest states in which to retire, while California and New York are the most expensive.
The affordability rankings were determined using data from the Council for Community and Economic Research, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Tax Foundation. The overall rankings considered additional factors such as wellness, weather, culture and crime.
Maryland finished last, landing in the bottom 20 in four out of the five categories. New York and Alaska rounded out the bottom three, held down by cost of living and weather. Washington was down there, too, at No. 46 — done in by affordability (ranked 41st), crime and wellness (both 37th) and weather (36th).
“There are many factors to consider when deciding where to retire,” said Bankrate.com data analyst Adrian Garcia. “It comes down to very personal preferences, so it’s important to weigh all factors and determine what is most important for your happiness.” The company has released an interactive tool that allows users to do just that by adjusting the importance of each category and generating personalized recommendations.