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Making Your Money Last

How Every State Ranks for Retirement 2015

Find our how your home state (or dream state) fares as a destination for retirees.

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You can't decide where to retire based on number-crunching alone, but you can use it as a starting point to identify places you might want to live in during retirement (and places you probably don't). We weighed several factors related to affordability, safety and quality of life—essential considerations to most retirees—to rank all 50 states and the District of Columbia as retirement destinations. Take a look at the chart below to see where your state stands.

See Also: 10 Worst States for Retirement

Rankings are based on seven factors: taxes on retirees; share of residents 65+; average income for 65+ households; poverty rate for residents 65+; cost of living for all residents; home values for residents 65+; and crime rates. Three of these factors are highlighted in the chart below. The share of the U.S. populations that is 65+ is 13.4%. The cost-of-living column shows how much a state's living costs come in above or below the U.S. average. Tax ratings, based on Kiplinger's Retiree Tax Map, divide states into five categories: Most Friendly, Friendly, Mixed, Not Friendly and Least Friendly.

Rank State Share of Population 65+ Cost of Living Retiree Tax Picture
1 Delaware 14.9% +6.4% Most Friendly
2 Florida 17.8% +4.6% Most Friendly
3 West Virginia 16.5% -2.0% Friendly
4 Pennsylvania 15.8% +14.8% Friendly
5 South Dakota 14.5% +0.1% Most Friendly
6 Arizona 14.4% +6.2% Most Friendly
7 Hawaii 14.8% +33.4% Mixed
8 Iowa 15.1% +0.2% Not Friendly
9 Kansas 13.5% +1.8% Friendly
10 Wyoming 12.7% +6.4% Most Friendly
11 Arkansas 14.7% -5.4% Friendly
12 New Hampshire 14.2% +25.4% Mixed
13 Mississippi 13.2% -6.3% Most Friendly
14 Alabama 14.2% -4.3% Friendly
15 Ohio 14.4% -1.5% Mixed
16 Connecticut 14.5% +33.4% Least Friendly
17 Oklahoma 13.8% -2.0% Friendly
18 Nevada 12.6% +6.3% Most Friendly
19 Kentucky 13.7% -4.5% Friendly
20 Vermont 15.2% +23.7% Least Friendly
21 Michigan 14.2% +0.6% Mixed
22 Maine 16.5% +22.0% Not Friendly
23 South Carolina 14.2% +1.3% Friendly
24 Idaho 12.9% +1.2% Friendly
25 Missouri 14.4% +0.7% Mixed
26 Alaska 8.2% +31.4% Most Friendly
27 Louisiana 12.6% +0.3% Most Friendly
28 North Dakota 14.4% +3.1% Not Friendly
29 Virginia 12.6% +9.0% Mixed
30 Wisconsin 14.1% +1.9% Mixed
31 Rhode Island 14.8% +27.6% Least Friendly
32 Washington 12.8% +11.9% Friendly
33 Colorado 11.4% +8.7% Friendly
34 Georgia 11.1% +3.3% Most Friendly
35 Tennessee 13.9% -3.7% Mixed
36 New Jersey 13.8% +21.4% Least Friendly
37 Indiana 13.3% -0.9% Mixed
38 Massachusetts 14.1% +34.4% Not Friendly
39 Maryland 12.7% +13.5% Mixed
40 Montana 15.3% +3.9% Least Friendly
41 Illinois 12.9% +12.1% Mixed
42 Texas 10.7% +1.5% Friendly
43 Utah 9.3% +3.4% Not Friendly
44 Oregon 14.5% +14.3% Least Friendly
45 Nebraska 13.7% +2.0% Least Friendly
46 North Carolina 13.4% +2.1% Mixed
47 Minnesota 13.3% +3.6% Least Friendly
48 New York 13.8% +52.7% Least Friendly
49 New Mexico 13.8% +3.6% Mixed
50 California 11.8% +34.7% Least Friendly
51 District of Columbia 11.4% +39.9% Not Friendly
United States 13.4%