The 10 Worst States for Retirement
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What makes a place the ideal spot for retirement -- and what makes other places a potential disaster for retirees?
There are several personal choices that make some places more attractive than others -- where your children and grandchildren live is probably at the top. But there are some more objective and measurable factors that determine whether a state is a good or a bad place for retirees. The following are the factors that MoneyRates.com used to determine the ten best and worst states for retirement:
- Economic factors. Using a combination of cost of living in major metropolitan areas, unemployment and tax burden, MoneyRates.com rated the 50 states from best to worst according to economic conditions.
- Climate. Americans tend to set the thermostat at around 68 degrees. So, MoneyRates.com used this as the standard, and rated states according to how far their monthly temperatures varied from 68 degrees.
- Crime rate. Security is a particular concern for senior citizens, so violent and property crime rates were used to rank the safety of the state.
- Life expectancy. States conducive to long lives are naturally well-suited for retirees.
For frequently updated data, such as unemployment, the most recently available monthly figures were used, whereas for other criteria that reflect longer-term trends, such as climate, more historical information was used.
Based on the criteria stated above, the following are the ten worst states for retirement, with No. 1 being the worst. Since just about every state has at least something going for it, we highlight both the good and the bad, so you can decide which factors would matter most to you.
8. North Carolina
Economic factors: Cost of living is 97 percent of the national average, unemployment is at 9.8 percent, and the average state and local tax burden is 9.8 percent.
Climate: Average monthly temperatures range from 39.97 degrees in January to 77.49 degrees in July.
Crime rate: 19th in the nation in violent crime, and 7th in property crime.
Life expectancy: 75.8 years.
Reason for low rank:The climate is very temperate, but North Carolina rates poorly on the basis of crime rate, unemployment and life expectancy.
Economic factors: Cost of living is 93 percent of the national average, unemployment is at 10.3 percent, and the average state and local tax burden is 10.4 percent.