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Florida: #8 Best State to Retire in 2018

Florida is the first state you think of when it comes to retirement, but it's the eighth state in our retirement rankings.

When you're picking a place to retire, Florida will likely be among the top choices. And why not? The state appeals to the classic vision of the retirement lifestyle, from sunshine and beaches to golf courses and theme parks. But Florida's true allure to retirees might come down to the bottom line: money. After analyzing all 50 states for retirement based on financial factors critical to retirees, from living expenses and taxes to health care costs and the fiscal health of 65-and-over residents, the Sunshine State finished a respectable eighth. Why not #1? Read on to find out.

Florida: #8 Best State for Retirement

Population: 19.9 million

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Share of population 65+: 19.1% (U.S.: 14.5%)

Cost of living: 1% above U.S. average

Average income for 65+ households: $51,187 (U.S.: $53,799)

Average health care costs for a retired couple: About average at $425,025 (U.S.: $423,523)

Tax rating for retirees: Most Tax Friendly

If you're looking to party with your peers through retirement, head to the Sunshine State. Nearly 3.8 million seniors call Florida home, giving its population the highest share of residents age 65 and older in the country. Indeed, it's famous for its retiree-haven status, what with its warm weather, beautiful beaches and seven-season-long "Golden Girls" endorsement. But the main attraction for retirees to the Sunshine State must surely be the tax situation. Florida has no state income tax, estate tax or inheritance tax, and it doesn't tax Social Security or other retirement income, either. Plus, those benefits are pretty secure: Florida scores top marks for fiscal soundness, according to a recent report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, in large part due to its abundance of cash versus short-term liabilities.

Learn more about how we ranked all 50 states for retirement, including our methodology and data sources, and why South Dakota of all places beat out Florida for the top spot on our list.

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