What Are The Best And Worst States To Retire In Across America?

Many people choose to move across the country when they retire, but how do you know which state suits you? Well, this list showcases the best states to retire in. We wonder which state will take the top spot?


Most people have Hawaii on their bucket list, but what if you could also make it your home? These islands are pretty popular with retirees because they offer something truly different to mainland US.

There are beautiful beaches, impressive hiking trails, and weather that will keep a smile on your face every single day.

The most popular destination for retirees within this state is the city of Maunawili on Oahu, as it offers various activity options for the older generation to enjoy. However, you may want to keep in mind that the cost of living in Hawaii is a little higher than what you might be used to. In fact, it’s 87% above the national average.


California is one of the most famous states within the US, and it’s not hard to see why. Popular with celebrities and retirees alike, the Golden State really does offer something for everyone.

Not only does it have countless cities and fast-paced societies, but it also boasts beautiful national parks, rolling waves along the coast, and even a few deserts thrown in for good measure.

Yahoo Finance notes that the best city to retire in California is Beverly Hills, but you might need a bit of extra money in your pension fund to do that. That’s because California has the second highest cost of living in the United States.


Although many people see Massachusetts as a state full of young creatives and Millenials, it’s actually shrouded in history that many retirees find fascinating.

From the Boston Tea Party to the docking of the Mayflower, there is so much to see and do in this state.

Because of this, a huge number of retirees flock here every single year to start their new lives away from their former career. Yet, you might want to take note of the fact that winters in Massachusetts can get pretty chilly. As if that wasn’t enough, the cost of healthcare isn’t exactly budget-friendly.


If you’ve been to Alaska before, you’ll know that it’s pretty cold and quiet. Many retirees find this the perfect place for them to live out the rest of their days, as they get to truly connect with nature and take advantage of the beauty that resides in the world.

However, there is only a small population of retirees in this state because the cold does put people off.

Many people also choose to avoid this snowy state because it is quiet, and they want to make the most of their free time, rather than stay cooped up in a cabin. The cost of living in Alaska is 32% above the national average, so it’s best to weigh up the pros and cons and work out what’s best for you.

New Jersey

There are almost 9 million people in New Jersey, and a fair portion of this population is made up of seniors who have decided to retire in this state.

Of course, it’s not hard to see why. New Jersey offers so much for those who have decided to finally take a permanent break from their 9-5 career.

The Garden State is full of natural wonder, and you can spend your days walking around the small towns or checking out the ocean views around the larger cities. As if that wasn’t cool enough, you’re also just a short train journey away from the Big Apple! Yet, it’s important to note that property taxes, medical care, and the cost of living isn’t exactly cheap here.


If you’re not the kind of person that wants to sit still and enjoy doing nothing, then Connecticut might be for you.

While this state does offer retirees the chance to chill out, it also offers them the chance to take on a retirement job. In fact, this state offers retirees one of the biggest retirement incomes that the whole country has to offer.

This will help you immensely if you do decide to move to Connecticut, considering the cost of living is still around 24% above the national average. However, it’s important to note that this retirement wage will still be taxed heavily, alongside the high tax you will also pay on your property.

New York

What could be better than waking up to the sights and sounds of New York every day?

Of course, there are so many different areas of New York to choose from, whether you want to call the Big Apple your home, or whether you want to explore the more chilled vibe of Poughkeepsie.

However, many retirees do choose New York City as their retirement home, considering it offers some of the best public transport in the world, and serviced apartments that mean you don’t have to worry about anything. If you do decide to call the Big Apple your retirement, bear in mind the fact that this city isn’t exactly the most tax-friendly city in the country.

Rhode Island

If you’re the kind of person that loves to embrace the history of your country, then why not choose one of the 13 original colonies to be your retirement home? Rhode Island is home to around 1 million people and offers everything you could possibly want.

From ocean views to historical sites, you will never be bored if you move to this state.

If you have a large pension to your name, then you could really make the most of this state. Yet, it’s important to note that the cost of living is around 22% above the national average, and it’s known for its high taxes. Because of this, it’s best to weigh up your finances before making such a permanent decision.


Washington is an extremely beautiful state, so it’s not hard to see why retirees would want to spend their days of leisure exploring it as much as possible.

While there are certain areas of the state that do offer high income tax and a high cost of living, that’s not the case for the whole of Washington.

Yes, some of the places within this state offer affordable living, as well as the perfect mix of peace and quiet and stunning attractions. After all, who wouldn’t want to wake up with snow-capped mountains in front of them? However, bear in mind that the tax can be pretty high in certain areas, so do your research before you move.

New Hampshire

If you’ve never been to New Hampshire, you might want to add it to your bucket list. Either that or you should just move there entirely. This state has proved to be extremely popular with retirees over the years because it is truly beautiful in every way.

With quaint towns and impressive forests and natural parks, it seems as though this place can’t get any better – but it can!

New Hampshire offers impressive healthcare facilities, and the state doesn’t tax any retirement income you may earn. While the cost of living may be 18% higher than the national average in the US, this may balance things out when you take the tax situation into account.


Do you mind the rain? Well, Oregon is known for having a seven-month-long rainy season, so it might be time to invest in some rubber boots if you plan on retiring in this state.

If you are content with this precipitation, then you will get the chance to see the best that Oregon has to offer, from its natural beauty to its bustling cities.

The clincher for this state is the fact that Oregon offers healthcare costs that are a whopping 2.6% lower than the national average, so you’ll always know that you are in good – and cheap – hands. However, it’s important to remember that the cost of living is still pretty high, so you won’t get as much for your money in your daily life.


Maryland has a population of 6 million, and those people don’t just live there for no reason. The state has proved to be extremely popular, and it’s believed that the city of Chevy Chase Village is the best place for retirees to set up shop.

Many of the retired folks in this state find themselves a part-time job for something to do and to earn a bit of extra cash, and you’ll be happy to know that the average household income for retirees in Maryland is the second-highest in the country!

Although most people do earn more in Maryland, this is balanced out by the fact that the taxes are pretty high. In fact, there are various different taxes that you need to be aware of, including income, estate, and inheritance tax.


If you don’t mind living at a higher altitude, then Colorado may be the state for you.

With a population of 5.4 million, the Centennial State is teaming with healthy seniors that have ranked in fourth place within the United Health Foundation’s health rankings.

Yes, the number of retirees who suffer from health concerns are at an all-time low in Colorado, because you just can’t sit still when you are surrounded by so much natural beauty. However, this may also have something to do with the fact that house prices in Colorado are pretty steep. You won’t get a huge house for your money, but would you really want to stay inside anyway?


Vermont is known as the Green Mountain State, and you don’t have to look too far to see these green mountains or yourself.

With luscious forests and some of the most impressive wildlife in the country, there’s no doubt about the fact that Vermont is a hit with those who love to explore the natural world.

As if that wasn’t enough, Vermont also offers amazing healthcare that’s cheaper than the national average. Unfortunately, there are a few negatives to living in Vermont. It’s a fairly sleepy state with just over 600,000 people to its name, and it’s also known for being extremely unfriendly in terms of its taxes.


Delaware is also pretty small and quiet, but that might be what you’re after when you leave your working life behind.

If the pull of the ocean and the sandy shores of Rehoboth Beach seems too much to ignore, you might also love the fact that this state is pretty tax-friendly for seniors.

In fact, they don’t tax Social Security benefits at all, and pensioners’ investments and pensions are sometimes exempt from these taxes as well, depending on your circumstances. However, it’s also important to know that the cost of living is 11% higher in Delaware than the national average, which means that you might not be able to spread your pension as far as you might like.


With 8.3 million people to its name, there’s no doubt about the fact that Virginia is thriving with people of all ages. Yet, it also has a rather bustling retiree scene.

One of the main reasons for this is that Virginia offers some of the cheapest healthcare in the country, meaning that seniors can set up shop here and know that they won’t have to spend all of their pension on staying fit and healthy.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, retirees can also rest easy knowing that their Social Security will not be taxed. While this state does offer impressive cities, they might not be up to scratch if you’re looking for something that’s going to keep you busy all day, every day.


There’s a high chance that you’ve already visited Utah, because it’s a hugely popular state with people across the US and abroad. After all, everyone has heard of Salt Lake City!

Thanks to the impressive healthcare that exists within this state, more and more seniors are making their way to Utah and living out their days under the mountains and beside the forests.

While there are so many national parks and cities to explore, you might want to take note of the negatives. That’s because Utah is also known for being one of the least tax-friendly states in the country. If you don’t have a huge pension, it might not be the place for you.


When you think of Nevada, you probably immediately think of Las Vegas. It’s notorious for young party-goers and gamblers, but it seems as though a huge number of retirees also make their way to this state to settle down.

One of the main reasons for this is because Nevada is known for being a tax haven.

Residents don’t have to pay any income tax, and this means that they can enjoy their hard-earned money however they please. However, there are a few little glitches that you may want to think about. For starters, Nevada is basically in the desert, which means that temperatures can soar into the extremes. Alongside this, the cost of living is 4% above the national average.


If you’re a fairly sickly person, then you might want to consider Minnesota as your retirement state.

That’s because it’s considered the healthiest state in the country for seniors, as the healthcare is cheap and top of the range. After all, Rochester is home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.

This means that Minnesota is perfect for those who have small ailments or more complex problems, and you can guarantee that you will be looked after well. Unfortunately, you will have to deal with the brunt of their taxation rules at the same time. Minnesota taxes your Social Security and your income, so it’s important to bear that in mind.

South Dakota

Although South Dakota boasts just above 880,000 people to its name, it’s proving to be extremely popular with those who want to enjoy their retirement.

Not only is this state home to impressive cities such as Hot Springs, but it’s also home to the famous Mount Rushmore! Who wouldn’t want that on their doorstep?

This state is perfect for those who want to be at one with nature, but it’s also perfect for those who don’t want to give all of their money away to the tax man. It’s one of the most tax-friendly states in the country, but this comes at a price. South Dakota can be pretty temperamental in terms of its weather, and freezing blizzards are pretty common.


If you want to live just a short drive away from the likes of Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, then it might be time to add Montana to your retirement list.

Montana is often considered to be one of the most beautiful states in the US, and it’s also known to be a haven for those over 65.

However, it might not be the perfect retirement home for you if you’re looking for something fun and exciting. While Montana is overrun with national parks and beautiful views, it’s not the most vibrant state in the country. As if that wasn’t enough, the taxes may not work in your favor if you don’t have a huge income or pension.


Considering there are 6.7 million people living in Arizona, this state must be doing something right.

As the home of the Grand Canyon and some of the most beautiful scenery the US has to offer, more and more people find themselves heading to the desert landscape to ensure all-round sunshine.

However, this sunshine comes at a price, as the temperatures can sometimes soar into astronomical numbers. If you can’t stand dry heat, then Arizona might not be for you. You might also want to take into account the fact that the average income of seniors in Arizona is normally 10.8% below the national average. Would this work for you?

North Dakota

Located on the border of Canada, North Dakota is a place of natural wonder. It’s full of beautiful lakes, rocky mountains, and forests that truly do need to be seen to be believed.

As if that wasn’t enough to make you pack your bags and transport your life to this state, the low income taxes might be the clincher.

Couple that with the fact that the cost of living is pretty much the same as the national average and you’re onto a winner, right? Well, you might want to reconsider if you’re looking for a retirement life that’s full of excitement and fun. With a small population and few big cities, it’s not the most ‘happening’ state in the US.


There’s a high chance that you already know someone who is living out their retirement in Florida because it’s perhaps one of the most popular states for seniors in the US.

With beautiful weather, stunning condos and apartments, and low taxes, it seems as though Florida offers everything you could possibly want.

From smaller towns to big cities, you can choose what kind of vibe you’re after in Florida, but there is something you might want to consider before making your decision. While Florida may be known as the Sunshine State, the weather can be pretty temperamental. Storms and hurricanes can turn up in an instant, which means you need to be prepared.


If you love nature and have a pretty small pension to your name, then you can happily live your best life in Wyoming.

This state is covered in national parks, mountains, and hiking trails that will keep you active every day of the week, and it also offers you the chance to chill out and rest after a busy working life.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, the lack of income tax means that you can make the most of your money. However, if you’re looking for a more vibrant lifestyle, then being so far away from bustling cities might prove a little too boring for you. After all, only 577,737 people call this place their home!


Maine is home to the city of Portland, and we’d highly recommend that you check this place out at least once in your life. Better yet, you could move there! Maine offers a cost of living that’s 2% lower than the national average, but the perks don’t end there.

It’s also absolutely stunning, offers incredible food, and even offers cheap healthcare that’s available to all.

Although retirement income is taxed in this state, you won’t have to worry about your Social Security or your estate being taxed – unless your estate is over $11.8 million or more, of course. You won’t get too much in terms of income here, so it might be time to do your research.


With 12.8 million people living in Pennsylvania, it’s clear to see that this is a hugely popular state for those who live there. While it’s full of young people and middle-aged people in the height of their careers, Pennsylvania is also chock-full of seniors.

One of the main reasons for this is because Forbes has named the city of Pittsburgh to be the best retirement city in the United States.

The whole state is perfect for those who like to walk around and enjoy the local environment, and the healthcare situation is pretty impressive too. However, the state is also known for being financially unstable. With little money to its name, it’s suspected that taxes will be raised in the near future.


Are you a fan of cheese? If that was a resounding yes, then you might want to leave your old home behind in search of something new and cheese-filled in Wisconsin.

Of course, the cheese isn’t the only thing about Wisconsin that will win you over. The state itself is known for offering some pretty impressive tax breaks from those in low income families, and this often works in favor of retirees.

However, the cost of living is much higher. This means that you will have to spread your income pretty thin to afford a decent quality of life, especially if you have health concerns. That’s because healthcare in Wisconsin is higher than the national average.


Illinois is a huge state that offers big and bustling cities for retirees to explore, so this might mean that it’s right up your street. With a population of 12.9 million, these residents love the city for their own reasons, but it might have something to do with the fact that the cost of living is around 4% below the national average.

However, there are a few downsides that you might want to consider.

The fiscal standing of Illinois has been a little temperamental over the course of the past few years, and this has left many people in the lurch. Taxes and fiscal soundness have been up in the air, and it seems as though nobody really knows what’s going on.


If you’re the kind of person that wants to escape from the hustle and bustle of their everyday life and retire somewhere peaceful and quiet, then Idaho could definitely float your boat.

This state is shrouded in nature, and you don’t need to look too far to spot the snow-capped mountains in the distance. As if that wasn’t enough, the cost of living in this state will definitely work in your favor, considering its 5% below the national average.

The tax situation also helps those who don’t have a huge amount of money to their names, but Idaho isn’t for everyone. There is no major city that stands alongside the likes of New York or Los Angeles, and it’s pretty quiet.

New Mexico

New Mexico has often been given a bad reputation, no thanks to television shows and movies, but you’ll be happy to know that New Mexico actually comes with a huge number of positive traits.

Not only is the landscape something that really does need to be seen to be believed, but it’s also got a lot to offer in terms of activities and attractions.

The cost of living is pretty cheap compared to other states in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that it’s completely perfect. The tax situation will put you out of pocket if you’re not careful because the retirement tax could leave you with nothing. Because of this, you might want to do your research before making your final decision.

North Carolina

If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t like changing weather systems, then North Carolina could be the answer you’ve been searching for.

That’s because the temperatures in North Carolina stay pretty constant and mild for most of the year, which means that you can easily regulate yourself.

This state is also shrouded in natural beauty and boasts a low cost of living – but is there anything bad about North Carolina? Well, it seems as though it might not be great for retirees who fancy earning after they officially leave their old jobs. If you want to work here, then you’ll need to deal with the low income levels.

South Carolina

Like its northern neighbor, South Carolina also boasts a pretty constant weather system, which means that you always know what’s coming the next day.

The cost of living in this place is also around 7% below the national average, so you won’t have to scrape the barrel to afford the everyday necessities in life.

The tax situation normally works in favor of those who have retired in this state, but it’s important to note a few other factors that might affect your decision. While the temperature is normally mild and bearable, they do also suffer from humid summers. As if that wasn’t enough, the people of South Carolina are also considered to be pretty unhealthy.


With 10.1 million people to its name, there’s no doubt about the fact that the state of Georgia is bustling with people.

What might put a smile on your face is that a large portion of this number are retirees who have made it their mission to see what this state has to offer.

In fact, many retirees have fallen in love with this state thanks to the low taxes, equally low taxes, and the beautiful weather. However, if you have lived in the south before, you’ll know that this weather can be a little too much sometimes. That’s because the humidity can make the air extremely sticky, and many people know that Georgia at noon is almost unbearable.


If you’re the kind of person that loves culture and learning new things, then you should seriously consider joining the large group of retirees that now call Missouri their home.

That’s because this state was once home to the likes of T.S Eliot, Maya Angelou, and Mark Twain! As if that wasn’t enough, Missouri also offers a cost of living that’s a whopping 10% below the national average, which means that your money will definitely go a long way.

However, this low cost of living actually matches up to the fact that income in this state is also pretty low. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also known for offering poor and expensive healthcare for those who are a little older.


Although you probably know that Texas is an extremely large and popular state, did you know that there are 27 million people living there?

It seems as though these residents love their home, and this might have something to do with the fact that the cost of living is 10% below the national average.

As if that wasn’t enough, the tax situation will definitely work in your favor, as the income tax is fairly small. There are so many amazing places to check out in Texas, that you really do have the pick of the bunch if you do decide that this is the home for you. However, you might want to take note of the fact that healthcare isn’t cheap.


If you’ve always been fascinated with the likes of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, then Louisiana might soon make its way to the top of your list.

That’s because this state is full of amazing and impressive cities and towns that are famous across the world.

It seems as though you will never have a dull day if you call this place your home, and you even have the pleasure of knowing that the cost of living is below the average in the United States. Unfortunately, this comes at a price. Incomes are also pretty low in this state, which means that if you do decide to work, you won’t be adding a huge amount to your pension.


Nebraska is becoming increasingly popular with retirees, and it seems as though the city of O’Neill is topping the charts as the best city in the state.

With a cost of living that’s 12% below the national average, it seems as though seniors who move to this state will be in good hands in terms of the fiscal health of the place.

Although the cost of living might be the clincher for you, you might want to take note of the tax situation. That’s because Nebraska taxes their retirees on their income and their Social Security. So, it’s best to be sure of your decision before you head over.


If you’ve ever been to Tennessee, you’ll know that the whole state is pretty accessible for people of all shapes, sizes, and ages.

Not only is the price of living around 12% lower than the national average, but you’ll be happy to know that property is also pretty cheap.

Yes, this is even the case if you want to live in the city! As if that wasn’t enough, Tennessee also offers cheap healthcare that may be at the top of your importance list. However, it’s also important to note that the weather in Tennessee can be intense. The summer sun can be strong, and the humidity makes the hot temperatures seem even hotter.


The 11.6 million people who call Ohio their home must have some pretty impressive things to say about the state. One of the biggest draws of this state is that it basically lies in the center of the US.

Because of this, it’s perfect for retirees who have family members across the whole country, as travel options are readily available.

Ohio also offers a low cost of living and a lack of Social Security tax, so what could be better than that? Well, it seems as though it’s not completely perfect. That’s because Ohio also offers a low average income. If you have a lot of savings then you’re fine, but if not you might want to rethink things.


Ever fancied checking out the bustling city of Farmington? What about Michigan as a whole? Well, you might even want to consider making it your permanent home.

That’s because the 9.9 million people who live here have the pleasure of spending 12% less than the national average on their everyday lives.

This state is also perfect for those who love to surround themselves with water, as it offers some of the most beautiful lakes in the country. However, the local government is going to be making a few changes concerning seniors and their tax in the next few years, so it’s best to keep an eye out for these changes.


Iowa is often considered to be one of the many cultural melting pots in the US, and UNESCO has even given this state their very own name as the “City of Literature.”

If that isn’t enough to win you over, then you might be happy to know that Iowa also offers pensioners the chance to live Social Security tax free!

Despite this, income taxes are still in force, and they may take a huge chunk out of the money in your wallet. This means that you need to take a long and hard look at your finances to work out whether a new life in Iowa would work in your favor, or whether you should try something else.


Whether you call it the Heart of Dixie, the Yellowhammer State, or the Cotton State, there’s no doubt about the fact that more and more seniors are heading to Alabama to live out their retirement.

One of the main reasons for this is the fact that Alabama offers a cost of living that’s 13% below the national average.

It’s perfect for those who want to save their cash, as taxes and healthcare are pretty low. Unfortunately, it’s not completely perfect. The weather in Alabama can be unpredictable, and the state is often battered by thunderstorms and floods during the colder months. During the summer, the heat can also be pretty unbearable.


Dorothy has told us for decades that there is no place like home, and it seems as though more and more retirees are starting to believe her.

Kansas is a beautiful state that offers national parks, open fields, and beautiful prairies, which means that nature lovers will instantly fall in love with it.

Seniors can spend their days exploring what this state has to offer, but they also have to keep their eyes peeled. That’s because Kansas is a little unstable in terms of its fiscal health. Thanks to this instability, those in charge are raising taxes, meaning that your money may not stretch as far as you might have hoped.


The state of Kentucky has the pleasure of providing a cost of living that’s around 14% below the national average, which is a pretty impressive feat.

Alongside this, they also offer their residents’ amazing tax breaks that will keep more of their own money in their own pockets.

The 4.4 million people that live here have fallen in love with their state, but it’s not completely perfect. Kentucky is not known for being one of the healthiest states in the US, and the cost of healthcare is pretty high. As if that wasn’t enough, the number of nursing homes are dwindling.


If you’ve ever been to Mississippi, you’ll know that it offers everything that you could possibly want.

Not only does it boast smaller towns that are still bustling with energy, but they also offer larger cities that will give you that spice of life.

The price of living in Mississippi is pretty impressive, but it seems as though that’s not the only thing it has to offer. This state also offers a few perks in the form of tax breaks, especially when it comes to your property tax. However, seniors in this state do also suffer from the highest rate of poverty in the United States, which might make you think twice.


The cost of living in Indiana stands proud at 15% below the national average, which means that you can buy everyday essentials without breaking the bank if you do decide to live here.

But which is the best city for retirees?

It’s been noted that Meridian Hills is best for those who want a quiet life, but also don’t want to be too far away from the action. However, you might need to save up a bit before retiring to Indiana, because the annual income is also pretty low, and you will still be taxed on everything you have to your name. So, what do you think of Indiana?


If everything you know about Oklahoma has come from the musical, then you might want to visit this state to make sure you really know what you’re getting into!

This stunning state offers wide open spaces and bustling cities, which means you really can have the best of both worlds.

The cost of living here is pretty low, and so are the tax breaks. However, the seniors who live in Oklahoma rank pretty poorly in terms of their physical health. Many are inactive, and the lack of nursing homes and geriatric care means that they sometimes struggle to get the help they need.

West Virginia

Almost 2 million people call this state their home, and it’s not hard to see why. West Virginia is a beautiful area of the country, and Niche.com notes that Lewisburg is the place for seniors right now.

One of the main draws of this state is the fact that the cost of living is a whopping 17% below the national average.

This means that your money can stretch a long way, and it also means that you can explore the rich history on a budget. However, healthcare in this state has seen better days, which means you might want to take this into consideration if you have any health concerns.


Considered to be the best state in the US to retire to, Arkansas now sits proudly with a crown atop its head.

With a cost of living that’s 17% below the national average, seniors can rest easy knowing that they won’t have to shell out a fortune to live a peaceful life surrounded by the wilderness.

With everything from mountains to hot springs to its name, Arkansas really does have everything. However, it doesn’t have the best tax options for its residents. With high income taxes, many seniors often find themselves in the poverty line in this state.