Ranking the 50 States for Retirement 2011

I’m not sure how many people make retirement living decisions based on lists of the best places to retire. I do believe that baby boomers like reading these lists. I know I do. The publishers know this as well because it seems that everyone has a retirement destination list or ranking to share. Recently, I found a list that ranked every state according to its pros and cons for retirees.

< This list is somewhat unique because it asked the readers to rank the different retirement living factors according to their importance. According to reader preferences, in this list economics determined 47 percent of a state’s final score, its climate determined 33 percent, life expectancy determined 12 percent, ¬†and crime was weighted at 8 percent. With economics and climate so important, you can predict that the southern states would do well.

I was somewhat surprised to see that both Kentucky and Tennessee (states where we spend our time) were ranked in the top 10. Climate and economic factors carried the day for these states.

The lowest ranked state for retirement was Maine, right below Michigan, Massachusetts and Connecticut. I wouldn’t have predicted that Maine would be the worst but the other lowest ranked states didn’t shock me at all.

What is really interesting is how radically the rankings changed from 2010. This is because the readers – not the editors – determined which retirement living factors were most important to them. If you let the editors decide what is important, they can create some crazy rankings about retirement locations. One example is this story, where Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Newark, New Jersey made a top ten retirement city list. Seriously – Newark?

Here is the link to the complete list. Best States for Retirement 2011: All 50 States.

If you want more detail about the top ten retirement states, read this article also.

So how does your state rank for retirement? Do you agree?


  1. says

    Thats cool! although it would have been much fun if they made two categories. One for considering retirement factors (what they are looking for) and for basing it on thei travel experience, so that the readers could also see which of these places could really come out with facts.

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