Retirement Blog

Finance Blogs » Retirement » 10 states for healthy retirement

10 states for healthy retirement

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Posted: 7 am ET

Health is the most significant uncontrollable factor in retirement planning. Get it wrong and it can destroy your security, comfort and happiness during your retirement years.

No surprise here: Having money makes it likelier that you'll be healthy in retirement. Almost 60 percent of people older than 65 who are in the highest income group rate their health as very good or excellent, according to a study by the United Health Foundation, using numbers primarily derived from U.S. government statistics. By comparison, only about 25 percent of those in the lowest income group say their health is very good or excellent.

The study says that suffering a chronic condition is linked to economic stability in retirement, with roughly 66 percent of all Medicare spending going to people with more than five chronic conditions. How do you avoid a chronic condition? United Health points to these four behaviors as leading to chronic illness.

Smoking. Smoking is estimated to cost $96 billion annually in medical expenses as well as $97 billion in lost productivity. It affects not only smokers themselves, but can lead to heart disease and lung cancer in adults who share the household.

Drinking too much. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to liver and cardiovascular diseases. It is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Obesity.  More than 200,000 deaths annually in the U.S. are attributed to obesity, with $147 billion spent in 2008 on obesity or obesity-related health issues.

Living the sedentary life. Physical inactivity increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. United Health Foundation points out that physical inactivity is responsible for an estimated $24 billion in direct medical spending and almost 200,000, or one in 10, U.S. deaths annually.

Where you live also can be a factor. United Health measured retirement health and economic conditions to determine the 10 healthiest and the 10 unhealthiest states for seniors.

Here are the 10 healthiest states for seniors:

  1. Minnesota.
  2. Vermont.
  3. New Hampshire.
  4. Massachusetts.
  5. Iowa.
  6. Hawaii.
  7. Connecticut.
  8. Colorado.
  9. Utah.
  10. Maryland.

Here are the 10 unhealthiest:

  1. Mississippi.
  2. Oklahoma.
  3. Louisiana.
  4. West Virginia.
  5. Arkansas.
  6. Kentucky.
  7. Alabama.
  8. Georgia.
  9. Nevada.
  10. Tennessee.
«
»
Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
4 Comments
J Call
July 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm

What do you base your criteria on the unhealthiest states? You did not what that was.

Gloria Gaines
July 07, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I read a lot of alternatives regarding Social Security for people on social security who are able to work.

What about people who are not able to work and have nothing when social security runs out?

Thomas M Jolly
June 21, 2013 at 10:44 am

Mr. Vaughn's apparent confusion is based upon the inaccuracy implied in the statement that follows: "The study says that suffering a chronic condition is linked to economic stability in retirement, with roughly 66 percent of all Medicare spending going to people with more than five chronic conditions. How do you avoid a chronic condition? United Health points to these four behaviors as leading to chronic illness." This is yet another attempt to shift the problems an aging populace to life-style choices alone. That the health of our geriatric population (or those of any age group, for that matter) isn't affected by factors such as smoking, eating and drinking to excess and sedentariness would be silly. However, the sheer fact of aging, combined with treatments and medicines designed to keep people with chronic conditions alive that just two generation ago would have meant death, has converted mortality to morbidity.

Lawrence Vaughan
June 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm

You need to fix this in the article above-
"The study says that suffering a chronic condition is linked to economic stability in retirement"...??????????

Add a comment

(Comments may take 5-10 minutes to appear)