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10 States Where You Will Want to Retire Forever

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Where to retire is a deeply personal decision that no one else can make for you. However, if you haven't already settled on a destination, a comprehensive analysis of your options can help narrow your search.

We rated all 50 states based on quantifiable factors that are important to many retirees. Our rankings favored states that are affordable—especially in terms of lower taxes on retirees and lower health care costs. Then we took health into account—both the economic health of each state and the overall health of the population. Finally, we rewarded states with relatively prosperous populations of residents age 65 and up.

The following 10 states span the country and top our rankings of retirement destinations. They offer a wide diversity of climates and lifestyles, so you're likely to find one that suits your tastes. Of course, states are big places, so we narrowed the search even more for you. Within each, we identified a city or two that should hold particular appeal to retirees. Take a look.

The average health care cost in retirement of $387,731 we cite is a lifetime cost for a 65-year-old couple who are expected to live to 87 (husband) and 89 (wife). For a complete explanation of our methodology and our data sources, see the Methodology slide at the end of this slide show.

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