The Best States for Retirement in 2021

The golden years can offer great promise — moments with grandchildren, time for travel and leisure. But they can also be a source of great stress — over money, declining health and decisions about relocation.

Where you retire can make all the difference. A recent study by the financial website WalletHub.com offers some guidance, ranking each of the 50 states in terms of their suitability for retirement. A total of 45 metrics across three categories (affordability, quality of life and health care) were weighed to rate every state.

Among the measures of affordability were the cost of living, annual costs of adult day deva and in-home services, taxes and inheritance laws.

Each state’s health deva rating was affected by the quality and availability of geriatric deva, the life expectancy and health of seniors, and even Covid-19 positivity and death rates — good to know for this pandemic or the next — among other factors.

The quality-of-life scores took into account many metrics, each with less weight. Among them: the state’s share of population aged 65 and older and how those residents were affected by crime, the availability of public transportation, poverty, food insecurity, and opportunities to work and volunteer. Environmental factors, like mildness of weather, were also considered. While we shouldn’t ignore climate change, as the recent snow storms in southern states suggest, weather made up less than 3 percent of each state’s overall score.

In this week’s chart, you’ll find the best and worst states for retirement as determined by WalletHub, as well as two categories that helped or hurt each state.

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