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Best and Worst States to Retire

The time has come for you to hang up your work wear and take your retirement. After all those years of preparing and saving, the day for striking out into the wide world without a steady paycheck has finally arrived. The best place for you to retire might be in the house you already live in, but for some people, downsizing or moving out of state may offer a better quality of life. Some states may offer a lifestyle and more advantages than you have right now. 

Currently, seven states do not tax any of your personal income, and that means no taxes on your retirement or any other funds you may be getting as income. While Alaska may be too cold for some, Florida may be an option. If you like the outdoors or gambling, perhaps Nevada is for you. The great state of Texas is an appealing prospect for many folks, as well as South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming.

However, it’s not all about being in a tax-free zone. There are many factors that add up to a better all-around state to live in. According to Bankrate and Gallup, South Dakota has the overall best quality of life in retirement, followed by Utah. The research takes into account cost of living, healthcare, crime rates, weather, and culture.

Unsurprisingly, New York came in at number 50 overall. New Hampshire came in with the number one crime rate but still managed to place at number four overall for retirement states. Figuring out what it is that is important to you personally will dictate where you retire.

While New York might be at a lowly number 50 on the list, some people will never move out of the city. For them, New York is the center of the universe. Moving to South Dakota might provide a better overall quality of life on paper, but there are folks who would prefer a bagel in a small hole-in-the-wall to a big fry-up in a country diner.

While certain states on the mainland come out on top, it’s interesting to note that Hawaii came in at number 11. Perhaps sipping cocktails and watching the sun go down over the ocean while you hold hands with your partner is a possibility.

Research by the AARP to find the best town or city to retire in shows that over a third of them were college towns. So, finding a great college town in one of the top states for retirement could be the answer.

There are some states that you may want to give a wide berth when you are planning your retirement. New Mexico and Maryland placed jointly at 48th place and Arkansas at 46th.

Finding the best place to retire is a subjective reality in many respects. If you love the ocean, you certainly won’t be thinking about retiring in an inland state. If you prefer the mountains, a Florida retirement won’t be on your agenda. Wherever you do retire, taking into account the tax laws of the state, as well as the healthcare facilities and crime rate, should definitely be a factor in your decision.  



Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. 

Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable– we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC

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