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Best Places To Retire In 2020: Top States Ranked

7-Minute Read
Published on October 16, 2020
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One of the many advantages of retirement is that you aren’t limited to your current location. Once you’re no longer tied to a job, you can relocate to any state you choose. That’s why it’s common for many retirees to relocate during their senior years.

Plus, there are a lot of advantages to relocating during your retirement. Moving gives you an opportunity to live in a state with a lower cost of income, better healthcare options, and a lower tax burden.

And many people find that it’s nice to experience a different way of life in a new environment. But anytime you’re considering a big move, you want to do your research first.

This article will outline some of the best states to retire in (based on Census data, crime data and weather information) so you can make an informed choice that’s best for your situation. 

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The 13 Best States To Retire

When it comes to retirement, where you choose to settle down can make all the difference. The state you live in will have a huge impact on your quality of life, financial situation, and even your ability to stay active and get outdoors.

So when you’re trying to decide on a retirement location, there are a few key factors to consider. The weather, cost of living, wellness, culture, and crime rate are all things that will impact your ability to enjoy your retirement to the fullest.

Here are the 13 best states to retire in the U.S.:

1. Florida

There are a lot of advantages to living in Florida. You’ll enjoy lots of sunshine and nice weather year-round, and the state has a high population of adults aged 65 and older. This means there are plenty of comfortable retirement homes and communities to choose from.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Florida:

2. Arkansas

If you’re looking for an affordable and safe community to retire in, Arkansas is an excellent option. The cost of living is low, and the state has a lot of options when it comes to retirement communities. Plus, Arkansas offers beautiful scenery and lots of activities and community events.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Arkansas:

3. Nebraska

Nebraska is an affordable retirement location for most seniors. The crime rate is low, and there are a variety of activities you can engage in. However, Nebraska is located in the Midwest, so you’re going to experience all four seasons. The average temperature is 49 degrees, so you won’t enjoy the warm temperatures you’d experience in places like Florida.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Nebraska:

  • The Omaha Zoo and Aquarium houses the largest indoor jungle and indoor desert
  • Home to natural attractions like a large sand dunes complex and the annual sandhill crane migration
  • The famous investor Warren Buffett still lives in Omaha

4. Colorado

Colorado is a wonderful place to live, thanks to the beautiful scenery and low property taxes. The state also has high rankings for quality of life, healthcare options, and it's relatively affordable. However, the population for seniors is a bit lower than in other states on this list.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Colorado:

5. New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a great state to retire in thanks to the lack of personal income tax. That’s probably why a large percentage of seniors who are still employed choose to live in New Hampshire. The state receives high marks when it comes to healthcare options, and residents enjoy a high quality of life.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in New Hampshire:

  • New Hampshire is the birthplace of celebrities like Mandy Moore, Seth Meyers, Sarah Silverman and Adam Sandler
  • The state is known for its breathtaking ice castles – caves, tunnels and sculptures all made of ice
  • Every year, New Hampshire holds the Exeter UFO Festival to commemorate the state’s alleged extraterrestrial event

6. West Virginia

West Virginia offers an abundance of affordable housing for seniors. The property taxes and cost of living are low as well. The weather is relatively mild and the state provides quality healthcare options for all residents.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in West Virginia:

  • West Virginia has tons of historical sites, including Harper’s Ferry
  • From white water rafting, to hiking, to ziplining, there is plenty of outdoor adventure
  • Lewisburg, a city in southeast West Virginia, is named “America’s coolest small town

7. South Carolina

One of the advantages of moving to South Carolina is the abundance of outdoor activities. Residents get to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery, as well as easy access to beaches. The taxes are low and there are lots of options for affordable housing. However, retirement income does get taxed in South Carolina.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in South Carolina:

  • South Carolina is one of the best states for bird watchers and has over 430 species in the state
  • Every year, the state hosts the Spoleto Festival, one of the biggest performing arts festivals in the U.S.
  • With dozens of amazing golf courses, South Carolina is a dream come true for golf lovers

8. Delaware

If you’re looking for a good place to retire on the East Coast, you should give Delaware a chance. With Delaware, you can enjoy the experience of retiring in a small town while still having easy access to neighboring big cities. The state has no sales tax and low property taxes, so it’s an affordable option for most retirees.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Delaware:

  • Delaware is one of just five states that has zero sales taxes and the state has incredibly low real estate taxes
  • Delaware has over 10,000 acres of state parks and over 150 miles of trails
  • The state offers a number of art galleries, performing art theaters and estate tours

9. Arizona

Arizona is a great retirement location for nature lovers. You’ll enjoy warm weather and sunshine thanks to the desert location, while still having access to the mountains. This provides plenty of opportunities for retirees to be active outdoors. The housing costs are relatively low, and there is an active retirement community in the state.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Arizona:

  • You’ll have easy access to the Grand Canyon
  • The state also offers a variety of caves, national parks, festivals and other outdoor activities
  • Arizona still has a rich Native American culture that you won’t find many other places

10. Utah

Utah is a great retirement option for active seniors. The weather is nice and there are lots of options for outdoor activities. Plus, the state has a low crime rate, affordable living costs, and low taxes. And the average life expectancy in Utah is 80.2 years, which beats the national average.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Utah:

11. Kentucky

If you’re looking for an affordable place to live with nice weather, Kentucky is a great option. The state has very mild winters and lots of sunshine and warm weather in the summer. Kentucky doesn’t tax retirement income for veterans, and the taxes are relatively low. Plus, the state provides a wide variety of national parks to visit.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Kentucky:

12. Ohio

If affordability is high on the list of what you’re looking for, then you may end up sold on Ohio. Ohio offers one of the most affordable housing markets in the country, and the taxes are relatively low. And the state doesn’t tax retirement income for veterans. However, you will have to deal with some very cold winters.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Ohio:

13. Hawaii

You probably don’t need to be convinced as to why Hawaii is a great place to retire. The weather is beautiful which makes it easy for seniors to stay active and maintain a good quality of life. Plus, the crime rates are low in Hawaii. However, it is more expensive to retire in Hawaii, and the cost of senior living centers are higher than they are in other states.

Here are some of the biggest perks of retiring in Hawaii:

  • The mountains of Oahu are beautiful and make a great hiking spot
  • There are tons of opportunities to go scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing and anything else that involves water
  • All winter, the weather stays between 70 and 80 degrees, so it’s a great place for anyone who prefers warm weather

The Bottom Line On The Best States For Retirement

Choosing a retirement location is a personal choice, and different factors will be important to different people. But for most people, affordability, weather, crime rates, and quality of life will rank high on their list of considerations.

All of the states outlined in this article are good options for eventual retirement destinations. If you’re considering a big move and aren’t sure to start, make sure you consult with a mortgage expert first.

Our mortgage specialists can help you determine the type of home you can realistically afford, so you can live comfortably in your retirement years.

Apply for a Mortgage with Quicken Loans®

Call our Home Loans Experts at (800) 251-9080 to begin your mortgage application, or apply online to review your loan options.

Start Your Application