Personal preferences matter when it comes to picking where to retire. Do you prefer year-round warm weather or all four seasons? Do you want to be near the grandkids or far away from family? These are questions you need to answer for yourself. What we can help you with is whether a particular state fits your retirement budget. We ranked all 50 states for retirement based on a host of financial factors including cost of living, tax burdens on retirees and the affordability of health care. We also examined how economically healthy each state is, as well as the physical health of each state's population of residents age 65 and over. After crunching all of the numbers, Tennessee ranked fifth on our list of the best states for retirement. Take a look at why.
Tennessee: #5 Best State for Retirement
Population: 6.5 million
Share of population 65+: 15.0% (U.S.: 14.5%)
Cost of living: 12% below the U.S. average
Average income for 65+ households: $47,891 (U.S.: $53,799)
Average health care costs for a retired couple: Below average at $411,617 (U.S.: $423,523)
Tax rating for retirees: Tax Friendly
The Volunteer State is a good choice for budget-conscious retirees. According to data from the Council for Community and Economic Research, every major metro area offers below-average living costs in almost every category of expenses, including health care—among the biggest financial concerns for aging Americans. Plus, Tennessee does not levy state income taxes, so your retirement income can stretch even further. And being economically healthy, Tennessee should have no issues maintaining its tax-friendliness; it ranks eighth of all states for fiscal soundness, according to a recent report from the Mercatus Center.
Learn more about how we ranked all 50 states for retirement including our methodology and data sources.
Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for Kiplinger.com in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.
Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.
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