retirement

2013's best places retire: How your state ranks

Retirement » Best Places To Retire: How Your State Ranks

People have distinct ideas about the best places to retire. For many, it's about proximity to beaches, lakes, golf courses or grandchildren.

Bankrate took a more pragmatic approach to come up with its latest, more robust, list of best and worst states for retirement. We looked at practical considerations concerning health, safety and costs. We gathered state statistics on cost of living, crime rates, tax rates, access to medical care and average annual temperatures. We then ranked the states from best to worst, with the best being those states with a relatively low cost of living, low crime rates, low tax rates, easy access to medical care and higher-than-average year-round temperatures.

Check out how your state ranks for retirement

StateRankOverall scoreHospital beds per 1,000 population*Doctors per 100,000 populationCrimes (property & violent) per 100,000 populationState and local tax burden** (%)Average temperature (1981-2010)Cost of living (rank from CCER data)
State: TennesseeRank: 1Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 71Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.30Doctors per 100,000 population: 263.55Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 4,204State and local tax burden** (%): 7.70Average temperature (1981-2010): 57.94Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 2
State: LouisianaRank: 2Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 78Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.40Doctors per 100,000 population: 262.66Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 4,244State and local tax burden** (%): 7.80Average temperature (1981-2010): 66.74Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 18
State: South DakotaRank: 3Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 84Doctors per 100,000 population: 5.00Doctors per 100,000 population: 219.06Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,072State and local tax burden** (%): 7.60Average temperature (1981-2010): 45.55Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 25
State: KentuckyRank: 4Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 86Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.30Doctors per 100,000 population: 232.35Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,947State and local tax burden** (%): 9.40Average temperature (1981-2010): 55.96Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 5
State: MississippiRank: 5Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 92Doctors per 100,000 population: 4.40Doctors per 100,000 population: 177.88Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,295State and local tax burden** (%): 8.70Average temperature (1981-2010): 63.59Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 14
State: VirginiaRank: 6Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 96Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.20Doctors per 100,000 population: 274.49Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,446State and local tax burden** (%): 9.30Average temperature (1981-2010): 55.45Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 21
State: West VirginiaRank: 7Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 98Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.90Doctors per 100,000 population: 232.12Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,590State and local tax burden** (%): 9.70Average temperature (1981-2010): 52.04Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 13
State: AlabamaRank: 8Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 99Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.20Doctors per 100,000 population: 218.17Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 4,026State and local tax burden** (%): 8.20Average temperature (1981-2010): 63.06Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 11
State: NebraskaRank: 9Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 101Doctors per 100,000 population: 4.00Doctors per 100,000 population: 245.38Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,006State and local tax burden** (%): 9.70Average temperature (1981-2010): 49.15Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 7
State: North DakotaRank: 10Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 102Doctors per 100,000 population: 5.00Doctors per 100,000 population: 244.39Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,184State and local tax burden** (%): 8.90Average temperature (1981-2010): 40.94Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 27
State: MissouriRank: 11Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 103Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.10Doctors per 100,000 population: 246.02Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,756State and local tax burden** (%): 9.00Average temperature (1981-2010): 54.80Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 12
State: TexasRank: 12Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 105Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.40Doctors per 100,000 population: 214.23Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,881State and local tax burden** (%): 7.90Average temperature (1981-2010): 65.21Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 10
State: KansasRank: 13Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 106Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.50Doctors per 100,000 population: 222.55Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,434State and local tax burden** (%): 9.70Average temperature (1981-2010): 54.57Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 4
State: OklahomaRank: 14Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 108Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.00Doctors per 100,000 population: 173.50Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,811State and local tax burden** (%): 8.70Average temperature (1981-2010): 59.80Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 1
State: OhioRank: 15Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 120Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.00Doctors per 100,000 population: 266.74Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,662State and local tax burden** (%): 9.70Average temperature (1981-2010): 51.21Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 16
State: MontanaRank: 16 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 121Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.70Doctors per 100,000 population: 220.57Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,587State and local tax burden** (%): 8.60Average temperature (1981-2010): 43.22Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 31
State: PennsylvaniaRank: 16 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 121Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.10Doctors per 100,000 population: 305.35Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,577State and local tax burden** (%): 10.20Average temperature (1981-2010): 49.14Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 34
State: GeorgiaRank: 18Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 122Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.60Doctors per 100,000 population: 217.45Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 4,000State and local tax burden** (%): 9.00Average temperature (1981-2010): 63.69Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 17
State: FloridaRank: 19Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 123Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.80Doctors per 100,000 population: 247.86Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 4,037State and local tax burden** (%): 9.30Average temperature (1981-2010): 70.88Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 30
State: IllinoisRank: 20Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 124Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.60Doctors per 100,000 population: 280.15Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,118State and local tax burden** (%): 10.20Average temperature (1981-2010): 52.17Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 23
State: New HampshireRank: 21Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 125Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.20Doctors per 100,000 population: 274.87Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,472State and local tax burden** (%): 8.10Average temperature (1981-2010): 44.19Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 40
State: WyomingRank: 22 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 127Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.50Doctors per 100,000 population: 184.42Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,486State and local tax burden** (%): 7.80Average temperature (1981-2010): 42.44Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 32
State: IowaRank: 22 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 127Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.30Doctors per 100,000 population: 189.28Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,586State and local tax burden** (%): 9.60Average temperature (1981-2010): 48.13Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 15
State: IdahoRank: 24Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 128Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.10Doctors per 100,000 population: 168.83Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,269State and local tax burden** (%): 9.40Average temperature (1981-2010): 44.83Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 8
State: South CarolinaRank: 25Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 129Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.70Doctors per 100,000 population: 229.79Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 4,476State and local tax burden** (%): 8.40Average temperature (1981-2010): 62.64Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 26
State: IndianaRank: 26Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 130Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.70Doctors per 100,000 population: 216.94Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,494State and local tax burden** (%): 9.60Average temperature (1981-2010): 52.06Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 6
State: NevadaRank: 27Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 132Doctors per 100,000 population: 1.90Doctors per 100,000 population: 187.76Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,123State and local tax burden** (%): 8.20Average temperature (1981-2010): 50.34Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 19
State: ArkansasRank: 28Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 134Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.20Doctors per 100,000 population: 203.42Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 4,235State and local tax burden** (%): 10.00Average temperature (1981-2010): 60.68Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 3
State: District of ColumbiaRank: 29Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 136Doctors per 100,000 population: 5.70Doctors per 100,000 population: 807.15Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 5,998State and local tax burden** (%): 9.30Average temperature (1981-2010): 58.20Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 49
State: UtahRank: 30Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 138Doctors per 100,000 population: 1.80Doctors per 100,000 population: 208.06Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,168State and local tax burden** (%): 9.30Average temperature (1981-2010): 49.22Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 9
State: North CarolinaRank: 31 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 140Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.40Doctors per 100,000 population: 254.24Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,877State and local tax burden** (%): 9.90Average temperature (1981-2010): 59.29Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 24
State: New JerseyRank: 31 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 140Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.40Doctors per 100,000 population: 316.34Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,459State and local tax burden** (%): 12.40Average temperature (1981-2010): 53.15Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 47
State: ArizonaRank: 33 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 141Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.10Doctors per 100,000 population: 209.67Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,960State and local tax burden** (%): 8.40Average temperature (1981-2010): 61.07Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 33
State: New YorkRank: 33 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 141Doctors per 100,000 population: 3.10Doctors per 100,000 population: 395.92Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,311State and local tax burden** (%): 12.80Average temperature (1981-2010): 45.87Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 46
State: HawaiiRank: 35Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 143Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.30Doctors per 100,000 population: 316.98Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,625State and local tax burden** (%): 10.10Average temperature (1981-2010): 76.40Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 51
State: MichiganRank: 36 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 145Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.60Doctors per 100,000 population: 250.21Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,057State and local tax burden** (%): 9.80Average temperature (1981-2010): 44.99Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 20
State: MassachusettsRank: 36 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 145Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.40Doctors per 100,000 population: 469.01Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,687State and local tax burden** (%): 10.40Average temperature (1981-2010): 48.23Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 44
State: New MexicoRank: 38 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 147Doctors per 100,000 population: 1.90Doctors per 100,000 population: 243.59Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 4,099State and local tax burden** (%): 8.40Average temperature (1981-2010): 53.95Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 22
State: ColoradoRank: 38 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 147Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.00Doctors per 100,000 population: 259.69Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,927State and local tax burden** (%): 9.10Average temperature (1981-2010): 45.80Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 29
State: Rhode IslandRank: 40Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 148Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.40Doctors per 100,000 population: 375.55Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,924State and local tax burden** (%): 10.90Average temperature (1981-2010): 50.48Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 45
State: ConnecticutRank: 41Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 149Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.30Doctors per 100,000 population: 376.38Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,440State and local tax burden** (%): 12.30Average temperature (1981-2010): 49.44Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 48
State: DelawareRank: 42Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 150Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.40Doctors per 100,000 population: 250.94Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,970State and local tax burden** (%): 9.20Average temperature (1981-2010): 55.74Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 38
State: MinnesotaRank: 43Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 154Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.90Doctors per 100,000 population: 293.19Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,771State and local tax burden** (%): 10.80Average temperature (1981-2010): 41.78Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 36
State: VermontRank: 44 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 155Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.10Doctors per 100,000 population: 373.74Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,444State and local tax burden** (%): 10.10Average temperature (1981-2010): 43.08Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 41
State: MarylandRank: 44 (tie)Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 155Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.00Doctors per 100,000 population: 421.43Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,354State and local tax burden** (%): 10.20Average temperature (1981-2010): 54.65Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 42
State: MaineRank: 46Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 157Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.70Doctors per 100,000 population: 278.39Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,669State and local tax burden** (%): 10.30Average temperature (1981-2010): 41.35Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 39
State: WisconsinRank: 47Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 161Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.40Doctors per 100,000 population: 259.10Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,670State and local tax burden** (%): 11.10Average temperature (1981-2010): 43.72Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 28
State: CaliforniaRank: 48Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 162Doctors per 100,000 population: 1.90Doctors per 100,000 population: 268.69Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 2,995State and local tax burden** (%): 11.20Average temperature (1981-2010): 59.84Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 43
State: WashingtonRank: 49Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 172Doctors per 100,000 population: 1.70Doctors per 100,000 population: 269.99Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,869State and local tax burden** (%): 9.30Average temperature (1981-2010): 48.68Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 35
State: AlaskaRank: 50Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 176Doctors per 100,000 population: 2.20Doctors per 100,000 population: 228.45Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,239State and local tax burden** (%): 7.00Average temperature (1981-2010): 35.90Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 50
State: OregonRank: 51Hospital beds per 1,000 population*: 178Doctors per 100,000 population: 1.70Doctors per 100,000 population: 274.47Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population: 3,362State and local tax burden** (%): 10.00Average temperature (1981-2010): 48.77Cost of living (rank from CCER data): 37
State:  Rank:  Hospital beds per 1,000 population*:  Doctors per 100,000 population:  Doctors per 100,000 population:  Crimes (property & violent) per 100,000 population:  State and local tax burden** (%):  Average temperature (1981-2010):  Cost of living (rank from CCER data):  
National averageRank:  Hospital beds per 1,000 population*:  2.83271.003,253952.75Cost of living (rank from CCER data):  

*For hospital beds: The Kaiser Family Foundation reports the national average differently, using the median of 2.6 per 1,000 population. **For state and local tax burden: The Tax Foundation reports the national average differently, favoring more populous states to create a weighted average of 9.9 percent.

Here's a brief description of our methodology: For medical statistics we examined the number of hospital beds per 1,000 residents and the number of doctors per 100,000 residents from the Kaiser Family Foundation and U.S. Census, respectively. Statistics of violent crimes and property crimes per 100,000 people come from the 2011 FBI Uniform Crime Report. Tax rates are based on an estimate of the state and local tax burdens, including income, sales, property and other taxes, by the Tax Foundation. Average annual temperatures over 30 years come courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Western Regional Climate Center. Bankrate's analysis of cost-of-living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research, which produces a ranking from lowest cost of living, or most favorable (No. 1) to highest, or least favorable (No. 51). We include the District of Columbia in our ranking. The "overall rank" reflects the composite rank for each state after combining all the factors, with 170 as the worst score and 81 as the best.

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