Best and Worst States for Retirement

October 29, 2013 ( – A new analysis found that Idaho is the best state to retire in, pointing to many conditions that are friendly to retirees.

On the other end of the spectrum, those who are considering retirement to Louisiana may want to take a second look at their options, as the state ranks last in the “2013 Best States to Retire and Worst States to Retire” analysis. ranked each of the 50 U.S. states by examining a variety of retirement-related factors in each state, including:

  • Senior population;
  • Economic factors, including cost of living, taxes and unemployment;
  • Violent and property crime rates;
  • Climate; and
  • Life expectancies at age 65.

While this analysis favored some traditional retirement havens, such as Florida (No. 6) and Arizona (No. 7), it also captured strong performances from some less-obvious retirement destinations, such as No. 1 finisher Idaho, Iowa (No. 2) and South Dakota (No. 4). The range of places on the list gives retirees a wide variety of destinations to consider, said Richard Barrington, senior financial analyst for

“A comfortable retirement isn’t always about warm weather and beachfront property,” said Barrington. “Freedom from crime, low property taxes and a reasonable cost of living may be more important to some people. We think the diversity of our list gives people a true range of choices to consider.”

According to the analysis, Louisiana’s poor finish was mainly because of its high crime rates and low senior life expectancies. Barrington said that these problems may help explain why so few seniors inhabit the state today.

“Notably, Louisiana has an unusually small proportion of seniors among its population,” said Barrington. “That seems to confirm that seniors don’t typically find it a great place to retire.”

As for the other places on the worst list, Barrington said that they are not necessarily bad for retirees, but that prospective residents should examine each state’s downsides carefully before committing to a move.

“It’s not to say that people can’t be happy retiring in these bottom-ranked states,” said Barrington. “It’s just that there are some prominent flaws that older people should be aware of before choosing those areas as places to retire.”

The Best States to Retire 2013, with a tie for 10th place, include:

  1. Idaho
  2. Iowa
  3. Hawaii
  4. South Dakota
  5. Oregon
  6. Florida
  7. Arizona
  8. North Dakota
  9. Vermont
  10. (Tie) Minnesota/Utah

    The Worst States to Retire 2013 include:

    1. Louisiana
    2. Mississippi
    3. Nevada
    4. Alaska
    5. Illinois
    6. Tennessee
    7. Massachusetts
    8. New Jersey
    9. Rhode Island
    10. Georgia, based in Foster City, California, is a provider of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing.

      More information on the best states for retirement can be found here. Details about the worst states can be found here.