No. 1: South Dakota
That's right. South Dakota. The home of Mount Rushmore tops our list as the best state in the nation for retirees.
Yes, of course, it can get frigid in South Dakota. But the state also received excellent scores for all of our other criteria. It had one of the stronger health care quality rankings in the country and was second only to North Dakota in its wellness score.
Gallup's Dan Witters says states that scored well on the Well-Being Index tend to be places where residents feel safe and cared for. They're places with "stuff to do that makes it interesting to live and grow."
If anyone cares to look past South Dakota's chilly temperatures, "people would find there's a lot there" in the state to like, he says.
Also, the state is easy on the wallet, with a relatively low cost of living. It has the sixth-lowest crime rate and the third-lowest tax burden in the country.