HomeTrending24 Best States To Retire in the US

24 Best States To Retire in the US

After years of working hard to the ground, there’s nothing else more exciting than planning your life after retirement. So to make sure you get to live the best years of your life aka your golden years, to the fullest, take a look at this list of the best states in the US to retire in, considering the most basic and most essential factors that seniors need—quality healthcare, affordability, and safety.

Best city: Portland

Population: 1.3 million

The Pine Tree State lands the 24th spot on our list because it was given the best score out of any other state in terms of culture. Surprisingly, the state offers a lot of different activities for its residents, so if you decide to move here, expect that your days will be far from boring. Aside from that, the state also has an extremely low crime rate which is good news for retirees as you don’t have to stress about your safety and protection. However, a downside of Maine is its weather conditions, but it surely makes up for it by having a very low cost of living and healthcare.

Best city: Pittsburgh Population: 12.8 million

Oh, what a joy to spend the remaining days of your life eating delicious Philly cheesesteaks. The state boasts 12.8 million residents with a high number of doctors per capita which is truly delightful for seniors. Most of its cities are very walkable and bikeable, providing ways for its senior residents to go around and be physically active. One of its more famous cities, Pittsburgh, was also named the best city to retire in by Forbes because of its reasonable cost of living and high quality of life score.

Best city: Madison Population: 5.8 million

There are several good points about Wisconsin that’s why it’s 22nd on our list. First, social security is tax-exempt in Wisconsin which means your retirement savings can spread much farther. Second, it’s home to a whole lot of great cheese, as well as cheese curds. The third is its cost of living is relatively low compared to other states and there are tax breaks for its low income retired residents. But Wisconsin doesn’t come without some cons like it isn’t very tax-friendly and has the lowest household income averages for people above 65. Take a chance.

Best city: Leland Grove Population: 12.9 million

If you want to spend your golden years in the Land of Lincoln, then move to Illinois. One of its suburban towns, Leland Grove was named one of the best places to retire in Illinois by Niche. The cost of living in this state is below the national average, making it very affordable for senior retirees.

Best city: Sandpoint Population: 1.6 million

Aside from its beautiful nature and environment, which most, if not all, retirees will surely enjoy, Idaho is also one of the states that don’t charge social security, inheritance, and estate taxes. The Gem State also has a very cost of living and was ranked the fifth most peaceful state in the country because of its extremely low crime rate. However, the only challenge you might face in this state is its cold, dark, weather, but if you’re up for some gloomy and laid back days, then Idaho might be the move you have to take. 

Best city: Asheville Population: 9.9 million

In terms of weather and affordability rate, North Carolina is winning. Its cost of living is low and social security isn’t taxed. However, income levels are low for some people above 65 plus retirement income is taxed at 5.9%. The upside of living here, though, is the lush and abundant views of nature it offers and wonderful weather conditions that are consistently at mild temperatures year-round. 

Best city: Bluffton Population: 4.8 million

Just below North Carolina is none other than South Carolina which also offers affordable living rates and retiree-friendly taxes. Just like North Carolina, the Palmetto State also has pretty mild weather all year-round except for summer which gets scorching hot and humid. So, don’t forget your sunscreens! South Carolina is also the nation’s leading peach producer and interestingly, one of its towns called Johnston is known as the Peach Capital of the World. What’s up, peaches!

Best city: Athens Population: 10.1 million

Although South Carolina is the country’s largest producer of peaches, the honor of being called the Peach State belongs to Georgia. With low living costs, low state taxes, and pleasantly warm weather, this state is a good place for retirees. Healthcare is also not an issue as Georgia ranked sixth among the states with the lowest healthcare cost for couples. You have to take note, however, as this is a Southern state, that summers in Georgia can be pretty hot and humid, but if you’re a summer-lovin’ type of senior, then what are you waiting for? Buy that one-way ticket for the midnight train to Georgia.

Best city: Columbia Population: 6.1 million

Enjoy laid back country living in a state surrounded by miles and miles of gorgeous coastline at Missouri. The Show Me State definitely has a lot to offer its senior residents which include: having one of the most affordable living costs across the nation—10% below the national average, non-taxable social security, healthcare costs below US average, and pleasant weather conditions with 200 days of sunshine in a year. But the downside of Missouri is it ranked pretty high among other states in terms of crime rate. If you’re planning to move here, don’t forget to buy double locks and install CCTV cameras just to keep safe. 

Best city: San Marcos Population: 27 million

Do you want to spend your golden years smoking BBQs in your backyard under the sun while blasting your favorite oldie music? Well, the Lone Star State is waiting for you. Although it may not seem like it at first glance, Texas is a senior-friendly state with costs of living below the nation’s average and the average income for people above 65 isn’t that bad, plus it isn’t taxable. Aside from retirement income, social security, pension income, and other forms of income for retirees are also non-taxable in Texas. However, healthcare in this state is not as affordable as it is in other states.

Best city: Baton Rouge Population: 4.6 million

Louisiana is the place to be for active seniors as it boasts of various sites and activities that promote their culture. This state is home to many festivals such as the Bayou County Superfest, Essence Music Festival, Voodoo Experience, Festival International, and its most popular—Mardi Gras. It’s a good place for retirees because it has the third-lowest property taxes in the US and it also doesn’t tax social security and pension income. The downside of the home of Mardi Gras, however, is the average income for seniors is low, averaging only to $50,744.

Best city: O’Neill Population: 1.9 million

You might not know it but the Cornhusker State was once ranked the best state to retire in by Bankrate in 2019. The state offers the basic and most important things that seniors need from healthcare, low costs of living, and safety. In fact, in 2017, nearly 3,000 retirement-age adults moved to Nebraska to enjoy a slower pace of life surrounded by friendly neighbors. But even though the cost of living is low, it’s not as tax-friendly to seniors as Texas is. Retirement income is taxable and social security may only be exempted from tax if it’s below $43,000 for singles and below $58,000 for joint filers.

Best city: Lookout Mountain Population: 6.5 million

Home of the famous Tennessee whiskey and a number of famous personalities like Justin Timberlake, Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin, Davy Crockett, Kathy Bates, Samuel L. Jackson, and Morgan Freeman—Tennessee. This state has senior-friendly taxes, low costs of living, and affordable healthcare. Overall, it’s a good state to spend your retirement days, but something that might throw you off the hook is that Tennessee’s temperature can go way up to 92 degrees Fahrenheit in July and even hotter and more humid during the summer.

Best city: Bellbrook Population: 11.6 million

First off, Ohio’s geographical location makes it very accessible for both East and West coasts so family members and relatives can easily visit for the holidays or a vacation. Second, the Buckeye State has a relatively low cost of living at 12% below the nation’s average. Just like some of the other states, income tax and social security are also non-taxable here. Although, if you don’t have enough savings in your bank account to support the rest of your golden years, you’ll have to deal with a pretty low average income in Ohio, which is at $42,667.

Best city: Farmington Population: 9.9 million

The Great Lakes State is a very appealing choice for seniors who are water sports fans or even just water fans as Michigan is also known to have the most shorelines out of all the states in the US. Aside from ts low costs of living, non-taxable social security, and low poverty rate, what makes Michigan a very suitable state for senior retirees is that its people are known to be very friendly, warm, welcoming, and hospitable. But living in Michigan also poses a challenge for retirees because, in 2020, senior residents above 67 years old must choose between deducting social security income or $20,000 of all income sources for singles and $40,000 for couples.

Best city: Iowa City Population: 3.1 million

Ranked among the safest states to live, Iowa also offers non-taxable social security income and pension income for its senior residents. The Hawkeye State is moderately tax-friendly to seniors with other forms of retirement income being taxed at 8.98% but residents 55 and up are eligible for a deduction of up to $6,000 on that income. Although Iowa seems pretty small compared to other states, it doesn’t mean that it lacks in culture and fun activities. No need to worry about that because the Hawkeye State is home to a very vibrant and active cultural and social scene.

Best city: Orange Beach Population: 4.8 million

In the Heart of Dixie, expect to have lower costs of living, as in 4.4% less than the average retired American couple. Social security benefits are non-taxable, healthcare is affordable, and although income tax is still taxable, it’s only at 2%-5%. Like most Southern states, Alabama can get super hot during the summer and get intense rains and storms during November. Some essential things you need to know before moving to Alabama are: it’s basically summer all year long, football is king, college football is a big thing in Alabama with almost everyone in the state watching the big games, lots of old-style lodging, and there’s a bit of everything down there, from mountains, beaches, wetlands, forests, and caves, they have all of them. Ready to call Alabama your sweet home?

Best city: Eureka Population: 2.9 million

If you’ve got a pretty solid retirement plan and big fat savings, then the Sunflower State might be a good state for you. Kansas is home to many scenic planes and prairies which are truly appealing especially to nature lovers. When it comes to affordability, however, Kansas isn’t the best choice for seniors who are budget conscious as most retirement incomes, including social security benefits are taxable from 3.1%-5.7%. 

Best city: Lexington Population: 4.4 million

Home of the famous Kentucky colonel and Kentucky fried chicken, the Bluegrass State offers a place for retirees where they can enjoy low costs of living and a number of tax breaks. Social security income is not taxed while other forms of retirement income are exempt up to a total of $31,100 per person. Moreover, it’s a state that is host to many retirement towns including some that have been previously certified as retirement communities. 

Best city: Hide-A-Way Lake Population: 3 million

The Magnolia State is another tax-friendly state that offers tax breaks for seniors. All your social security benefits, retirement income, pension income, and other forms of income are non-taxable plus the cost of everyday living in this state is relatively lower than any other state. Its property taxes are also one of the lowest in the country. The state of Mississippi is also the humble home of some famous personalities like Tennessee Williams, B.B. King, Jimmy Buffett, William Faulkner, Jim Henson, Oprah Winfrey, and the legendary Elvis Presley. However, despite the awesome tax breaks and the low cost of living, Mississippi ranks last for senior health according to the United Health Foundation.

Best city: Meridian Hills Population: 6.6 million

The state of Indiana has low costs of living at 15% below the national average which makes everyday costs and necessities like food, transportation, housing, and gas much cheaper than other states. All other forms of retirement income are taxable, except for social security benefits. Just like Kansas, Indiana would be a better home to retirees with a more stable financial situation as its annual income is 21.45 below the country’s average.

Best city: Nichols Hills Population: 3.9 million

Overall, the Sooner State’s cost of living and taxes are lower than other states across the country. It doesn’t tax social security benefits and up to $10,000 can be excluded from retirement income. It was also listed as one of the best states to retire in by Forbes magazine in 2015. However, Oklahoma has some drawbacks for seniors because first, the state ranks third-worst for senior health. Second, sales tax is higher than in other states. And third, Oklahoma’s crime rate is pretty high.

Best city: Lewisburg Population: 1.8 million

West Virginia seems like the perfect state for seniors to spend their golden years because it features scenic views, beautiful mountains, numerous natural beauty sights, rich historical background, and grand resorts. What more could a retiree ask for? Well, a low cost of living and a good healthcare system. West Virginia’s living cost is 17% below the national average, its property and sales taxes are among the lowest in the US, and social security and retirement incomes are just partially taxed.

Best city: Bella Vista Population: 3 million

Over 6,000 acres of beautiful lakes, wildlife, hot springs, rivers, and mountains, it’s the Natural State of Arkansas. The Natural State is one of the most ideal states to retire in due to its nature-inclined environment, low costs of living, non-taxable social security benefits, and other tax breaks. Most especially, Arkansas is quite known for providing affordable healthcare for seniors ranking the third lowest for retired couples in the US. One of the best places to settle down in Arkansas is a town called Hot Springs Village, which apparently, is “a place to live for all ages.” It offers different activities such as golfing, boating, and chilling on hot springs, which all seem very enticing. 


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