If you’re day-dreaming of retiring to traditional havens like Florida, Arizona and Nevada, here’s a one-word retort: Nebraska.
That’s right. Nebraska came out on top in Bankrate.com’s annual ranking of states based on their appeal as retirement hubs. The analysis considered affordability, wellness, weather, culture and crime, in that order.
Following Nebraska in the top five were Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota and Florida.
Nebraska was rated high in wellness (eighth) and affordability (14th) and in the top half in crime (19th) and culture (21st). It scored among the bottom half of states only in weather (30th).
“Nebraska isn’t top mind for many Americans considering where to retire,” says Bankrate.com data analyst Adrian Garcia. “But if you’re looking for a place with high marks for affordability and wellness, you might fall in love with the country’s heartland.”
Meanwhile, Missouri ranked first in affordability. South Dakota was in the top 15 in both culture and wellness. Florida was second in weather.
Maryland fared worst, with New York, Alaska, Illinois and Washington rounding out the bottom five. Maryland was fourth from the bottom in affordability, ninth-worst in culture and 13th worst in wellness. It scored in the top half only in weather (18th).
“Maryland’s poor scores for the factors retirees care most about pushed it to the bottom of Bankrate’s ranking, even below the less affordable New York and California,” Garcia says.
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New York was last in affordability and 13th from the bottom in weather, more than offsetting its seventh-best score in culture. Alaska was worst in weather and tied for worst in crime. Illinois was second from the bottom in wellness and 11th worst in affordability. Washington was in the bottom 15 in affordability, crime, weather and wellness.
“There are many factors to consider when deciding where to retire,” Garcia says. “Some people may choose to stay close to family, while others prefer to seek out warm weather or affordable living.
“It comes down to very personal preferences, so it’s important to weigh all factors and determine what is most important for your happiness.”
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