10 great states for retirement
The Sun Belt has long held a natural allure for retiring Americans. Yet, in many cases, you can make a strong argument that the best states to retire are actually located farther north.
Bankrate ranked all 50 states according to a variety of factors that are important to seniors. Surprisingly, most of the top picks see a healthy dose of snow and swap ocean views for mountain landscapes. The highest-scoring spots were in the Midwest and West, with only one of the top states on the East Coast.
Instead of dependably warm temperatures, these states offer plenty of other perks for the 65-and-older set. The best states on our list typically have low costs of living, strong health care systems, low crime and tax rates, comfortable temperatures, low humidity and lots of sun.
Bankrate's 2015 ranking also included a specialized "well-being" score that considers residents' general happiness and satisfaction with their surroundings. The score is based on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index, which asked questions such as, "Were you treated with respect yesterday?" "Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?" "Is the city or area where you live getting better or worse?"
Finally, we allowed popular opinion to weigh in, using the results of a Bankrate national survey to fine-tune the scoring system.
Here are the best states to retire in the U.S.
Sources: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Healthways; the Council for Community and Economic Research; the FBI; the Tax Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration