You have saved and planned and are looking forward to retirement. And now comes the million-dollar question: Where should I retire? Deciding where to retire might be simple, but no location fits every dream.
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According to a recent Bankrate.com report, Wyoming is the best state for retirement. Bankrate ranked all 50 states based on cost of living, taxes, health-care quality, crime rate, well-being and climate.
“Deciding where to live in the golden years is still a very personal decision,” said Bankrate.com research and statistics analyst Chris Kahn. "This list is meant to help inform, rather than choose a state for you. For example, if you want to retire on the beach and need top-notch health care, this can help narrow down your choices.”
These are the top 5 states to retire -- and here's why, according to Bankrate.
No. 1: Wyoming
- Taxes: Wyoming is the lowest-taxing state in the country when you combine income, sales, property and other taxes.
- Weather: Yes, the winters are frigid. But Wyoming also can boast better-than-average levels of sunshine. Cheyenne, for example, enjoys an average 68% of its maximum possible sunshine, according to government records from 1981 to 2010. That compares with a national average of 60%. Wyoming's climate is relatively dry. Its humidity levels in the morning and afternoon are both below the national average at 67.8 and 45.5 percent.
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No. 2: Colorado
- Weather: Good weather isn't only about the warmth. What Colorado lacks in heat, it makes up in low humidity (67.4% in the afternoon vs. a national average of 77.7%), and it's very sunny. Pueblo, Colo. gets as much sun as Key West, Fla., and it's actually sunnier than Honolulu or Miami.
- Community pride/satisfaction: National surveys of individual wellness show that seniors (65 and older) in Colorado are exceptionally satisfied with their community. The surveys, sponsored by the Healthways well-being company, ask questions such as "are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the city or area where you live" and "did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday." Given the responses, Colorado is ranked as the sixth best in the country when it comes to personal well-being.
No. 3: Utah
- Health care: The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality gives each state an annual scorecard on how well its health care system is operating. It tracks more than 150 different quality indicators in every state. This year, AHRQ says that Utah's health care system is the seventh best in the country.
- Weather: Just like other Rocky Mountain states, Utah makes up for its cold winters with mild summers, lots of sunshine and low humidity. Milford, Utah, for example, gets more sunshine than Tampa, Fla.
No. 4: Idaho
- Crime: Idaho has the second-lowest crime rate in the country, just behind Vermont, with 217 violent crimes and 1,864 property crimes per 100,000 people recorded in 2013.
- Cost of living: Idaho has the third-lowest cost of living in the U.S., ranking behind Mississippi and Tennessee.
No. 5: Virginia
- Crime: Virginia has the fourth-lowest crime rate in the country, with 196 violent crimes and 2,066 property crimes per 100,000 people recorded in 2013.
- Health care: Virginia's health care system is among the best in the country.