You probably can't guess the best state to retire in for 2019.

By Andrea Romano
July 16, 2019

The state where you retire can greatly affect what retirement will be like.

In a new study, Bankrate ranked all 50 states in several categories to determine the best — and the worst — for retirement.

Even if you spent your working years in a city like New York City or Los Angeles, you’ll find that the best place to spend your golden years (after you’ve taken a celebratory retirement trip, of course), is: Nebraska.

The Great American Cattle Drive through Ogallala, Nebraska
Kevin Horan/Getty Images

Bankrate looked at each state’s affordability, health, local culture, crime rates, and weather. Nebraska, while ranking a little on the low side (30 out of 50) for weather (hello there, snow drifts), ranked high in terms of affordability (14 out of 50) and wellness (eight out of 50).

“Where to live is probably one of the most personal decisions one can make because it’s not just about preferences, it’s also about the financial considerations that are associated with it,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, in a statement.

After Nebraska, the next best states according to the study were Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, and Florida.

Hawaii, though one of the most expensive states (45 out of 50), ranked at number 10 overall due to culture, wellness, and weather (in which it ranked first).

Missouri and Michigan tied for first for affordability, while Vermont ranked first for wellness and tied with New Hampshire for low crime rates. Maine came in first for culture in the study.

At the very bottom of the list was Maryland, with a low ranking in affordability (47 out of 50) and culture (42 out of 50). New York, Alaska, Illinois, and Washington rounded out the worst five states for retirement.

New York was ranked as the least affordable state (although most of the state is not as expensive as New York City). Alaska and New Mexico tied for the worst state in terms of crime, and Texas ranked last in terms of culture. Alaska ranked last in the weather category, and South Carolina ranked last for wellness.

If you're planning on retiring soon, you may also want to consider how to take advantage of the freedom to travel more. And if you're looking for where to go, here are 11 trips you'll definitely want to take.


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