Take a look around. America is graying. According to the US Census Bureau, all Boomers will be older than 65 by the year 2030 and will make up 21% of the population. Even more remarkable, older Americans will outnumber children for the first time in US history by 2035.

Bankrate just released a study that ranks all 50 states, best and worst, based upon what is important to those in retirement. Five categories most crucial to those in retirement were given the most weight:

  • Affordability – includes cost of living, taxes, health care costs – 40% of total score
  • Wellness – overall health of population and availability of health services for older/disabled adults – 25% of total score
  • Weather – based upon average daily temperatures – 15% of total score
  • Culture – number of arts/entertainment/recreational venues, restaurants and size of population over 65 – 15% of total score
  • Crime – 5% of total score

Best States to Retire

  1. Nebraska – high wellness and affordability scores, low crime rate
  2. Iowa – high wellness and affordability scores, low crime rate
  3. Missouri – the highest affordability score, high wellness and weather scores
  4. South Dakota – high wellness, affordability and culture scores
  5. Florida – high weather, culture and affordability scores
  6. Kentucky – high affordability and weather scores, low crime
  7. Kansas – high affordability, wellness and weather scores
  8. North Carolina – high weather, culture and affordability scores, low crime
  9. Montana – high culture, wellness and affordability scores
  10. Hawaii – high culture, wellness and weather scores

Worst States to Retire

  1. South Carolina – lowest wellness score, low affordability, high crime
  2. New Jersey – low affordability, weather and wellness scores
  3. California – next to lowest affordability score, low wellness and high crime
  4. Oregon – low weather, wellness and affordability scores
  5. Nevada – low wellness and affordability scores, high crime
  6. Washington – low wellness and affordability scores, high crime
  7. Illinois – next to lowest wellness score, low affordability score, high crime
  8. Alaska – lowest weather score, low affordability, second lowest crime
  9. New York – lowest affordability score, low weather and wellness scores
  10. Maryland – low affordability, culture and wellness scores


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