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Best States for Retirement

Best and Worst States for Retirement 2011: Complete List

October 02, 2011

See the current Best States to Retire and Worst States to Retire lists

Not content to only rank the 10 Best States for Retirement and the 10 Worst States for Retirement, MoneyRates.com has ranked all 50 states. Check below to see where your state ranked on the list, which was made in accordance with current data on economic factors, crime, climate and life expectancy.

For 2011, MoneyRates.com weighted these factors based on the results of a poll that asked readers to rank them in terms of importance for retirement. Based on reader responses, economics determined 47 percent of a state's final score, climate accounted for 33 percent, life expectancy determined 12 percent and crime accounted for 8 percent.

For more detailed information on the methods used to determine these rankings, please see the 2011 list of 10 Best States for Retirement.

Here are the full rankings for all 50 states:

1. Texas

2. Kentucky

3. Oklahoma

4. Iowa

5. Louisiana

6. Virginia

7. Mississippi

8. South Dakota

9. Tennessee

10. Kansas

11. Nebraska

12. Missouri

13. Hawaii

14. New Mexico

15. Illinois

16. North Dakota

17. Utah

18. Georgia

19. Arkansas

20. Wyoming

21. Pennsylvania

22. Alabama

23. New Hampshire

24. Indiana

25. Arizona

26. Delaware

27. Colorado

28. South Carolina

29. West Virginia

30. Florida

31. Montana

32. California

33. Idaho

34. North Carolina

35. Ohio

36. Vermont

37. Nevada

38. Minnesota

39. Oregon

40. New Jersey

41. Wisconsin

42. New York

43. Washington

44. Rhode Island

45. Maryland

46. Alaska

47. Connecticut

48. Massachusetts

49. Michigan

50. Maine

You can also compare this list with the 2010 rankings.

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Your responses to ‘Best and Worst States for Retirement 2011: Complete List’

Showing 10 comments | Add your comment

12 August 2014 at 2:49 am

Ten. over MO. and IL. at #15. I'm flabbergasted! Who did this report and how much were they paid to make such a silly slanted vie?


23 November 2012 at 9:47 am

Iowa is NOT a great place to retire! I grew up there and am living there now. I will probably move. The rate for retirees making over $65000/yr is 9.8%!!! Who wants to give away 10% of their income to the state? The state also has raised property taxes every year during the past 5 years and taxes SS income. Bah humbug. Also, have a tornado shelter handy? Looking for someone to do some handyman work - with such a low unemployment good luck.

Joe M

24 June 2012 at 7:56 am

As a govt retiree from new york , my pension is exempt from ny state income tax if i had decided to retire there. States like Florida and Nevada have no income tax, so that can be a consideration. . New York city's culture and entertainment opportunities are among the best, but with even more tax burdens. Outside of the city presents fewer venues for entertainment and requires travel time . When a New Yorker retires to florida he is apt to experience culture shock . But South Florida's opporunities for entertainment and socialization are expansive, within its active senior retirement communities, and the flamboyant night life and music centers and clubs , especially in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. I chose to retire here for full time fun, and to travel to visit grandchildren.


9 May 2012 at 5:49 am

I agree with many of the comments that the ranking is skewed. A state ranked low for certain factors but within that state a city like mine North Myrtle Beach SC should be ranked about many of the best states. The climate on the coast is tempered by the ocean lower temp in summer, higher in winter. Lowest heat pump rates, gas taxes and property taxes around. For a retired person there is so much to do at no cost or no cost..etc..


4 March 2012 at 12:10 pm

We retired to an island in Washington state from Wyoming. We've saved so much money by living here it's not even funny! Like Wyoming, we have no state income tax. But, Wyoming charges you an arm and a leg to license your car. Food is much cheaper here in Washington. Property taxes are extremely low. No sales tax on food, medications, utility bill, etc. Health insurance, as all insurance, is regulated by an insurance commissioner so it's been fair and reasonable. Our medical care is excellent. Many doctors move here because of the quality of life. Most hospitals are non-profit as is our health insurance. It's number one in my book!

Chris Blaine

9 February 2012 at 12:00 am

It seems the rankings are improperly skewed; many of the best states to "retire" have high crime, and low life expectancy, but get good rankings for good employment. I don't get it; I thought we were looking at the best places for us to retire. I don't want to get a job, or get mugged or killed during my retirement. States that had good weather and taxes or low crime and high life expectancy (things that I thought were retirement objectives) ranked low because I might not be able to get a job there??


28 January 2012 at 1:43 pm

Alabama: Some of the lowest property taxes in the nation. No state property tax if you are 65, just city taxes. No tax on Social Security. No tax on military pension.Lots of military bases in Ala or near the border with other states. Never seen a rating better than #5. Tell me! What am I missing?


7 January 2012 at 2:01 pm

Illinois : the State's credit rating was just downgraded . the implications of this are a potential increase in taxes and decrease in government services. Also Illinois has a 2% sales tax on food and medicine whereas other states have none. Sales taxes in chicago and cook county are among the highest in the nation as are property taxes. as to weather , need I even mention chicago's winters? someone needs to rethink this list.


28 November 2011 at 5:06 pm



16 November 2011 at 7:21 pm

Really?? TN's problems are, but not limited to...rating very, very high in: violent crime, murders, corruption, animal abuse, substance abuse/illegal drug use, poverty, unemployment, school dropouts, depression/obesity/diabetes/cholesterol/cancer/infant mortality/dental neglect/allergies/# disabled, ozone levels,etc. NOT a good place to live!!

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