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No. 2: Colorado
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Colorado

No. 2: Colorado

Strengths: Good weather, personal well-being

Offering scenic views as far as the eye can see, as well as some of the best weather in the nation, what's not to love about Colorado? This Centennial State ranks in the top three for best weather in the U.S., behind only California and New Mexico, thanks to its relatively mild summers, dry air and sunny skies.

In Colorado Springs, the 30-year average for summer temperatures was a moderate 68.8 degrees, and the winter temperatures were not as frigid as one might expect in a state known for snowfall -- 30.8 degrees.

Colorado residents love their state. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index, which analyzes happiness and personal satisfaction, ranks Colorado as the sixth-highest in the nation for satisfaction levels among people who are retirement age.

One reason for that may be that the cost of living and crime rates remain below the national average. And residents also receive better-than-average health care.

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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

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