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10 best states for retirement

Retirement » 10 Best States For Retirement

No. 5: Wyoming
Wyoming © Krishna.Wu/Shutterstock.com

No. 5: Wyoming

Budget-conscious retirees would find their finances in much better shape in Wyoming. The Cowboy State can boast the lowest taxes in the country, according to the Tax Foundation. The Washington, D.C., tax research organization looked at a variety of state and local taxes, including those on property, merchandise sales, gasoline, tobacco products and motor vehicles.

It found that Wyoming residents paid 6.9 percent of their collective income in state and local taxes in 2011, the latest year for which statistics are available. The national average was 9.8 percent, and the highest-taxing state was New York, with a 12.6 percent state and local tax rate.

Besides the ultra-low taxes, Wyoming residents also enjoy a relatively low crime rate. And despite the cold, the weather isn't really that bad, either. Lander, Wyoming, for example, gets more sunshine than Tampa, Florida.

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.

Source methodology: Bankrate collected the latest available statistics on cost of living, violent and property crime, health care quality, state and local taxes, wellness and weather (humidity, percent available sunshine and temperature). States were then given standardized scores, with more points going to a lower cost of living, lower crime rate, lower tax burden, stronger health care, better wellness grades and better weather. The scores were combined to create a composite score.

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