Ten Worst States to Retire

September 20, 2010 | By | Comments (0)

My husband and I lived in New York City for 15 years before moving to the suburbs when we had kids. We hope to move back when we retire. I've been told this is not such a hot idea, given the cost of living and the taxes. So I was happy to see that New York didn't make the list of worst places to retire, according to a new study from the Web site MoneyRates.com. Which ten states did?

Nevada led the pack as the worst place to retire, followed by Michigan and Alaska, according MoneyRates.com. The site based its ranking on economic factors — including cost of living in major metropolitan areas, unemployment and the tax burden — climate, violent crime and property crime rates and life expectancy.

Rounding out the top ten: South Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri and Arkansas.

In some respects the rating system was pretty simplistic. For instance, the ranking on climate was based on the fact that "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," according to the site.

"I'm sure that many people could find something to like about each one of the states that made the 'worst' list," said Richard Barrington, personal finance expert for MoneyRates.com, in a press release. "There are good and bad qualities wherever you go, but think of this list as sort of a buyer-beware advisory: before you retire in one of these states, there are certain things you should know about first."

Do you disagree with the top ten list? Why? Aside from being close to family and friends, what factors will be most important to you in retirement? Do you see yourself on the beach, in the mountains, in a big city or university town, soaking up the culture? Do you feel like you're on track financially to retire?