The 20 Worst States for Your Retirement

After analyzing all 50 states for retirement based on financial factors critical to retirees, these ranked as the worst states to retire in 2018.

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Deciding where to retire can be as important as planning when to retire. After all, your retirement destination determines how much you’ll need to pay in taxes, what your living costs will be and what kind of health care options you’ll have. And all those factors contribute to the big retirement-planning question: How much money do you need to retire?

The answer in many of the following states is: a lot. We ranked all 50 states for retirement based on financial factors critical to retirees including living expenses, tax situations, health care costs, household incomes, poverty rates and the economic wellness of the state itself, as well as the health status of seniors there. And the bottom of our rankings were littered with high-cost and high-tax areas.

Of course, your decision of where to retire will depend on more than just financial matters. In fact, the top reason people move in retirement is to be closer to family, according to a survey by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, a research firm focused on the aging population. No matter the reason, if you decide to retire in one of these 20 states, be sure your retirement nest egg is big enough to underwrite your choice.


See "How We Ranked Every State for Retirement" at the end of the rankings for details on our data sources and methodology.

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.