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15 Worst States for Retirement

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Choosing the best place to retire is a personal decision. No amount of number-crunching can make it for you. Only you can decide how close to your grandkids you want to live or whether you want to hit the road or even head abroad. However, an examination of some of the objective factors that matter to retirees—in particular those tied to safety and economic security—can help you narrow the options. With this goal in mind, we rated all 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of how well each suits the unique needs of retirees.

Our rankings favored states that are affordable and economically healthy, as well as those with lower crime rates. We also took into account the presence of a robust retirement-age population. Finally, we weighed the tax situation for retirees in each state. Note that we did not account for weather because some retirees yearn for year-round warmth while others might prefer the changing seasons.

We found the worst places for retirees scattered throughout the country. All but one state on our list have above-average living costs that can strain fixed incomes. The following states might be great places to work, raise a family or visit, but they hold the least appeal when judged strictly as retirement destinations.

Populations, household incomes, home values and poverty rates are from the U.S. Census Bureau. Rates for both violent crimes and property crimes are from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The cost-of-living data is provided by the Council for Community and Economic Research. Tax rankings, based on Kiplinger's Retiree Tax Map, divide states into five categories: Most Friendly, Friendly, Mixed, Not Friendly and Least Friendly.

15 Worst States for Retirement

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