The best and worst states to retire to in 2019

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 @ 10:22 AM

When it comes to retirement destinations, many people look to settle down in sunny Florida or Arizona, but an increasing number of older Americans have their eyes set on the nation’s heartland.

A new Bankrate study says Nebraska may have the greenest pastures of all for retirees. Florida does make the top five, but not ahead of other heartland states Iowa (#2), Missouri (#3) and South Dakota (#4).

Tired of working? Here are the best states for retirees

To come up with the results, BankRate.com weighed a number of factors important to older Americans, including affordability, culture, wellness, and weather.

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Maryland was rated the worst state in which to retire, ranking low in metrics like affordability (fourth worst) and crime (18th worst). The one positive mark was Maryland’s weather, which ranked 18th best.

Here are top 50 best & worst states to retire in 2019

STATE OVERALL RANK AFFORDABILITY CRIME CULTURE WEATHER WELLNESS
Source: Bankrate’s 2019 “Best and worst states for retirement” study
Nebraska 1 14 19 21 30 8
Iowa 2 8 15 20 34 12
Missouri 3 1 42 33 19 27
South Dakota 4 17 23 12 39 10
Florida 5 25 29 13 2 31
Kentucky 6 9 9 46 15 24
Kansas 7 7 39 37 20 21
North Carolina 7 13 28 28 12 33
Montana 9 16 31 2 45 20
Hawaii 10 45 24 9 1 9
Arkansas 11 4 46 39 9 34
Wisconsin 12 20 15 17 43 7
North Dakota 13 22 17 26 49 2
Vermont 14 42 1 3 44 1
New Hampshire 15 39 1 4 41 3
Alabama 16 10 44 44 7 31
Texas 17 24 37 50 4 13
Idaho 18 15 4 30 42 15
Mississippi 19 6 24 49 6 40
Wyoming 20 23 9 13 46 11
Oklahoma 21 11 41 43 11 35
Tennessee 22 12 46 34 14 35
Massachusetts 23 43 11 9 33 4
Michigan 24 1 22 35 40 43
West Virginia 25 18 18 27 24 39
Ohio 26 5 19 29 26 47
Rhode Island 27 44 8 5 28 16
Georgia 28 19 35 45 5 44
Indiana 29 3 27 41 25 46
Connecticut 30 46 7 8 29 5
Maine 31 35 3 1 48 18
Delaware 32 30 36 9 16 41
Colorado 33 36 32 22 37 6
Pennsylvania 34 28 13 15 31 28
Utah 35 21 21 47 32 17
Louisiana 36 29 48 48 3 25
New Mexico 37 26 49 38 21 22
Arizona 38 33 43 39 10 29
Virginia 39 32 6 36 17 42
Minnesota 40 31 14 31 47 14
South Carolina 41 27 45 22 8 50
New Jersey 42 48 5 16 22 23
California 43 49 34 17 13 19
Oregon 44 37 30 6 35 45
Nevada 45 34 40 17 27 48
Washington 46 41 37 25 36 37
Illinois 47 40 26 32 23 49
Alaska 48 38 49 24 50 26
New York 49 50 11 7 38 30
Maryland 50 47 33 42 18 37

Older Americans aren’t just crunching the numbers when it comes to retirement. There are many other factors that influence where to retire.

“Some people may choose to stay close to family, while others prefer to seek out warm weather or affordable living,” Bankrate.com data analyst Adrian Garcia says. “It comes down to very personal preferences, so it’s important to weigh all factors and determine what is most important for your happiness.”

Want to learn how to stretch your dollars now for later? Here’s how to maximize your retirement savings in 2019.

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