It must be an unwritten rule for anyone trying to sell something to people about to retire: Put together an annual list of the best and worst places to retire. The ratings are sure to attract readers who expect to move to less-expensive cities after they stop working, as WalletPop pointed out only five months ago in a story about how to pick a place to enjoy life after a lifetime of work ends.
Another best-worst list is out, this time from MoneyRates.com, which helps people (retirees?) find the best bank rates. Here's a rundown of the best and worst states for retirement, according to the lists MoneyRates come up with by comparing objective criteria.
It based the lists on these factors: Cost of living in major metropolitan areas, unemployment and tax burden, climate at 68 degrees, violent and property crime rates, and life expectancy. Here are the lists from MoneyRates, with a short review of what makes them stick out. Go to MoneyRates.com for more details:
10 best states for retirement:
- New Hampshire. It's a safe and cheap place to live. Its cost of living is 89% of the national average and the average state and local tax burden is 7.6%, putting it among the lowest in the U.S. in both categories. The state ranks 48th in the nation in violent crime and in property crime. The only criteria it didn't score well in was climate.
- Hawaii. Best climate and highest life expectancy, at 80 years, although the temperature probably isn't too far off that number. Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the country.
- South Dakota. Low cost of living and tax burden.
- North Dakota. Low temperatures and crime somehow lead to a high life expectancy.
- Iowa. Low cost of living.
- Virginia: Mild temperatures and low crime.
- Utah. Low violent crime rate and high life expectancy.
- Connecticut. Low crime and close to major metro areas Boston and New York.
- Vermont. Low crime and high life expectancy.
- Idaho. Low crime and cost of living.
- Nevada. It has the second lowest tax rate in the country, but scored poorly on just about every other criterion. The state is third in the nation for violent crime. The cost of living is 105% of the national average and unemployment is at 14.3%.
- Michigan. High violent crime and unemployment.
- Alaska. High cost of living and harsh environment.
- South Carolina. High crime and one of the lowest life expectancies (74.8 years) in the country.
- Maryland. Average state and local tax burden of 10.8%.
- Tennessee. Second in the nation in violent crime.
- Ohio. Another state with a high tax burden, at 10.4%.
- North Carolina. High crime and unemployment.
- Missouri. High crime and low life expectancy.
- Arkansas. High crime and a tax burden of 10%.