18 States Americans Don’t Want to Retire In

Retirement is a significant phase of life that demands careful planning and consideration, especially when choosing a location to settle down.

While some states offer a haven for retirees with favorable conditions, others are less appealing due to various factors such as high living costs, poor healthcare, and low quality of life.

Based on a comprehensive review of various sources, here are the states that many Americans prefer to avoid when planning their retirement.

Kentucky

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Kentucky tops the list as the worst state to retire in, with a total score of 43 out of 100. The state’s affordability is relatively low, ranked 32nd, while its quality of life and healthcare are also subpar, ranked 41st and 44th, respectively.

High crime rates and limited access to quality healthcare facilities make Kentucky less appealing to retirees.

New Jersey

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New Jersey is another state where retirees might think twice before settling. With a total score of 44, the state ranks 49th in affordability, making it one of the most expensive states to live in.

Despite having a moderate quality of life rank of 35, the high cost of living and taxes outweigh the benefits, making it unattractive for retirees.

Mississippi

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Mississippi, with a total score of 44, is plagued by poor quality of life and healthcare, ranked 50th and 48th, respectively.

Although the state has a lower cost of living (ranked 12th), the inadequate healthcare services and overall low quality of life make it an undesirable place for retirement.

Rhode Island

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Rhode Island scores 45 overall, with healthcare ranked at 23rd and affordability at 42nd. The state’s high taxes, cost of living, and mediocre quality of life contribute to its unfavorable ranking for retirees.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA downtown skyline at twilight.

Oklahoma, with a total score of 46, is another state that retirees tend to avoid. It ranks 17th in affordability but falls short in quality of life and healthcare, ranked 47th and 45th, respectively. The lack of healthcare facilities and services significantly impacts its attractiveness.

Louisiana

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Louisiana’s total score of 46 is indicative of its challenges. The state ranks 16th in affordability but severely lacks healthcare and quality of life, ranked 47th and 46th, respectively. High crime rates and poor healthcare services are major deterrents for retirees.

New York

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New York, despite its many attractions, scores 47 overall, primarily due to its high cost of living, ranked 50th in affordability. The state also struggles with healthcare (ranked 12th) and quality of life (ranked 10th), making it a less favorable option for those on a fixed retirement income.

Washington

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Washington State, with a score of 47, ranks 45th in affordability, making it an expensive place to retire. While it performs moderately in healthcare (ranked 27th) and quality of life (ranked 17th), the high living costs overshadow these benefits.

Arkansas

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Arkansas, with a total score of 47, ranks low in quality of life (49th) and healthcare (42nd). Despite being relatively affordable (ranked 13th), the poor living conditions and healthcare services deter many retirees.

Illinois

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Illinois rounds out the list with a total score of 47. The state is ranked 47th in affordability, making it one of the more expensive places to retire. Its quality of life (ranked 16th) and healthcare (ranked 26th) are also not compelling enough to attract retirees.

Alaska

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Alaska ranks 50th overall due to its high cost of living and harsh climate. The state’s affordability is ranked 43rd, making it one of the most expensive places to retire.

Additionally, the extreme cold and long winters can be challenging for older adults. The state’s healthcare and crime ranks are 38th and 49th, respectively.

West Virginia

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West Virginia faces significant economic challenges, contributing to its overall rank of 3rd. The state ranks 1st in affordability but 50th in healthcare quality, indicating limited access to quality healthcare. The overall economic situation affects the quality of life (ranked 26th), making it less appealing for retirement.

New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA downtown cityscape at twilight.
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New Mexico has an overall rank of 22. The state faces a higher crime rate (ranked 50th) and limited healthcare facilities (ranked 19th), which deter many retirees. While the cost of living is relatively low (ranked 24th), the trade-offs in terms of safety and health services make it a less desirable retirement destination.

Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, USA autumn town skyline.
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Vermont, despite its scenic beauty, ranks 28th overall. The cost of living and taxes are high (ranked 39th in affordability). The state does well in healthcare (ranked 14th) and well-being (ranked 7th), but the high living costs and long, cold winters may not be ideal for everyone.

Maryland

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Maryland ranks 42nd overall, with high costs of living and taxes making it less attractive for retirees. The state ranks 46th in affordability and 12th in healthcare. The high property taxes and overall expenses can be prohibitive for those looking to stretch their retirement savings.

Hawaii

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Hawaii ranks 9th overall due to its high cost of living and healthcare. The state’s affordability is ranked 45th, making it one of the most expensive places to retire. The high prices for everyday goods and services can be prohibitive for those on a fixed income, and the state’s healthcare system, though ranked 12th, is not as robust as in other parts of the country.

Georgia

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Georgia ranks 15th overall and faces challenges that make it less appealing for retirees. The state has a high crime rate, ranked 29th, and its healthcare system is not highly rated, with a ranking of 35th.

While Georgia offers a lower cost of living (ranked 12th), the trade-offs in safety and healthcare quality make it less desirable for retirees.

Nevada

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Nevada ranks 25th overall, primarily due to its low rankings in healthcare and crime. The state is ranked 23rd in healthcare quality and 40th in crime, making it a less safe and healthy place for retirees. While Nevada’s cost of living is moderate (ranked 29th), the high crime rates and poor healthcare services outweigh this benefit.

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