No. 8: Alaska
Weaknesses: Weather, crime
If it's humpback whales and caribou you want, look no further than Alaska, which has 54 million acres of national parks to explore. "The Last Frontier" is also a tax-friendly environment, without state sales tax or individual income tax.
Alaska's ranking improved 5 spots from last year, but the state still remains in our bottom 10. Part of the problem is crime. Alaska has the highest violent crime rate in the country, with nearly 636 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
Alaska also has a high cost of living. In 2015, apartment rentals averaged $1,358 per month in Anchorage, or 44% more than the national average, while homes were 71% higher than the national average.
Depending on where retirees live in the state, the weather is also something to consider. In Anchorage, summers are short and cool, with temperatures ranging between 55 degrees and 78 degrees. In the winter, they drop to between 5 degrees and 30 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. If you need vitamin D, think twice about Juneau, which gets little sunshine compared with many other cities.
Sources: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Gallup-Healthways; the Council for Community and Economic Research; the FBI; the Tax Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.