Virginia: #7 Best State to Retire in 2018

Virginia isn't a classic retirement destination like Florida, but after ranking seventh on our list of the best states for retirement, it might become one.

Picking where to retire? Virginia probably isn't on the top of your list—but perhaps it should be near the top. 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 already retired residents, the Old Dominion finished a surprising seventh (one spot ahead of perennial favorite Florida). Read on to learn why Virginia fared so well in our retirement rankings.

Virginia: #7 Best State for Retirement

Population: 8.3 million

Share of population 65+: 13.8% (U.S.: 14.5%)

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Cost of living: 7% above U.S. average

Average income for 65+ households: $59,869 (U.S.: $53,799)

Average health care costs for a retired couple: Below average at $408,950 (U.S.: $423,523)

Tax rating for retirees: Tax Friendly

Virginia is for retirees. Overall living costs are above average, but high household incomes among seniors—11.3% higher than the national average of $53,799, to be exact—should be able to cover the spread. Plus, health care costs, a particularly worrying budget item for retirees, actually tend to be relatively affordable, with a retired couple in the state expected to pay 3.4% less than the average couple in the U.S. Plus, the Old Dominion doesn't tax Social Security benefits and allows residents 65 and older to deduct income up to $12,000 per person, depending on their income levels.

Learn more about how we ranked all 50 states for retirement including our methodology and data sources.

Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor,

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for 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.