Making Your Money Last

How Every State Ranks for Retirement 2015

Find our how your home state (or dream state) fares as a destination for retirees.

You can't decide where to retire based on number-crunching alone, but you can use it as a starting point to identify places you might want to live in during retirement (and places you probably don't). We weighed several factors related to affordability, safety and quality of life—essential considerations to most retirees—to rank all 50 states and the District of Columbia as retirement destinations. Take a look at the chart below to see where your state stands.

Rankings are based on seven factors: taxes on retirees; share of residents 65+; average income for 65+ households; poverty rate for residents 65+; cost of living for all residents; home values for residents 65+; and crime rates. Three of these factors are highlighted in the chart below. The share of the U.S. populations that is 65+ is 13.4%. The cost-of-living column shows how much a state's living costs come in above or below the U.S. average. Tax ratings, based on Kiplinger's Retiree Tax Map, divide states into five categories: Most Friendly, Friendly, Mixed, Not Friendly and Least Friendly.

RankStateShare of Population 65+Cost of LivingRetiree Tax Picture
1Delaware14.9%+6.4%Most Friendly
2Florida17.8%+4.6%Most Friendly
3West Virginia16.5%-2.0%Friendly
5South Dakota14.5%+0.1%Most Friendly
6Arizona14.4%+6.2%Most Friendly
8Iowa15.1%+0.2%Not Friendly
10Wyoming12.7%+6.4%Most Friendly
12New Hampshire14.2%+25.4%Mixed
13Mississippi13.2%-6.3%Most Friendly
16Connecticut14.5%+33.4%Least Friendly
18Nevada12.6%+6.3%Most Friendly
20Vermont15.2%+23.7%Least Friendly
22Maine16.5%+22.0%Not Friendly
23South Carolina14.2%+1.3%Friendly
26Alaska8.2%+31.4%Most Friendly
27Louisiana12.6%+0.3%Most Friendly
28North Dakota14.4%+3.1%Not Friendly
31Rhode Island14.8%+27.6%Least Friendly
34Georgia11.1%+3.3%Most Friendly
36New Jersey13.8%+21.4%Least Friendly
38Massachusetts14.1%+34.4%Not Friendly
40Montana15.3%+3.9%Least Friendly
43Utah9.3%+3.4%Not Friendly
44Oregon14.5%+14.3%Least Friendly
45Nebraska13.7%+2.0%Least Friendly
46North Carolina13.4%+2.1%Mixed
47Minnesota13.3%+3.6%Least Friendly
48New York13.8%+52.7%Least Friendly
49New Mexico13.8%+3.6%Mixed
50California11.8%+34.7%Least Friendly
51District of Columbia11.4%+39.9%Not Friendly
 United States13.4%  

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