No. 9: Arizona
- Great weather
- Personal well-being
Retirees who want to relax in a warm climate will be drawn to Arizona's desert land. The state scored among the highest in the country for pleasant weather, and it comes as no surprise that there's rarely a cloud in the sky. On average, Yuma sees sunshine 90% of the year, while Phoenix and Tucson see rays 85% of the time.
This sunny outlook could explain why people who live here report a fairly high level of happiness. Arizona ranked in the top 10 in the Gallup-Healthways Index for overall wellness.
Arizona also places a fairly low tax burden on its residents: 8.8% compared with a national average of 9.9% of income as of 2012, according to data released this year by the Tax Foundation. A state's tax burden is the amount of residents' income that goes to state and local taxes.
One downside: Crime is a bit of an issue in Arizona. The Grand Canyon State is the only one in Bankrate's top 10 that has a higher-than-average crime rate compared with other states.
Sources: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Gallup-Healthways; Council for Community and Economic Research; FBI; Tax Foundation; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.