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The Best and Worst Places to Retire

3/1/2018 2:19:37 PM by Morgan Wendlandt Edited for David Gaylor Leave a Comment
When we talk about the retirement dream, and try to plan for that dream, there are a lot of variables that go into it. In order to properly plan, you need to look at your retirement picture from all angles: who, what, when, how much, and, as I'm sure the title has tipped you off to, where.

When you close your eyes and picture your retirement, where are you? Are you living in the same place? Are you relocating somewhere warmer? Are you moving closer to children and grandchildren?

There is no right or wrong answer for where you should retire, but that doesn't mean that you don't have to be prepared to plan for it. It's a big question that we ask clients because where they plan to move to, or whether they plan to move at all, can have a big effect on their budget, tax implications, real estate costs, and more.

WalletHub performs and analysis each year on which states are best in terms of retirement, and they recently released there 2018 findings. If you plan to move globally, they found that the United States is ranked 24th of all countries in the world, but most of you will likely be staying state side, so that's where we will focus.

WalletHub looked at 41 different metrics in three major categories: affordability, quality of life, and health care. You can find the whole list on the WalletHub website (https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-to-retire/18592/) but here's a summary of the best and worst states based on their study.


50. Kentucky: Ranked in the bottom 5 for quality of life and health care, but was ranked 38th in overall affordability.

49. New Jersey: Was dead last in terms of affordability, but did slightly better ranking 28th in quality of life and 33rd in health care.

48. Rhode Island: Health care results came back average, but affordability was 48th, and quality of life was just 46th.

Worst honorable mentions: 47th: Mississippi, 46th: Arkansas, 45th: West Virginia


1. Florida: Not a surprising overall pick, and affordability (1st) and quality of life (5th) were both tops, but health care came in at a surprising 20th overall.

2. Colorado: What this state lacks in affordability, ranked 23rd, it makes up for in its 2nd overall health care scores and 8th overall quality of life ranking.

3. South Dakota: This isn't widely considered to be a popular retirement destination but being ranked 2nd in affordability and 6th in health care, make up for the 32nd ranking in quality of life.

Best honorable mentions: 4th: Iowa, 5th: Virginia, 6th: Wyoming.

So, before you run off to a beach, or to the mountains, or to where ever your retirement dreams may take you, make sure you speak with your financial advisor and understand how that decision affects your plan. After all, those dreams are just dreams, unless your plan can make them a reality.

This content created by David Gaylor in conjunction with Fusion Capital Management.

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The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by radical promoting and their editorial staff based on the original articles written by jeff cutter in the falmouth enterprise. This article has been rewritten for David Gaylorand the readers of David's Family Finance. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.