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10 Best States to Retire in for 2020

Cheyenne Reed

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Choosing your next vacation spot is tricky enough, but how about choosing a permanent new home to retire to? For many, the stress of weighing critical factors like affordability, healthcare accessibility, and even the weather can put a damper on the excitement of retirement. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best states to retire in 2020. Time to get inspired!

1. Florida is the Unofficial Retirement Capital

florida beaches

Florida is often an appealing option for people beginning to consider their new retirement home. And in fact, its reputation is a reality, because no other state has a higher population of people aged 65 and older. Therefore, it is by far one of the best states to retire in.

Options abound if you’d like to live in a community tailored to your new lifestyle. And of course, the weather is a no brainer. Even in the winter, you get at least 7 hours of sunlight per day, and the temperature averages around a balmy 70 degrees the majority of the year. Cities packed with activities are rarely far away. Add to that low property taxes and no state income tax at all, and it’s clear to see why this state is a winner for many.

2. Iowa Has Many Appealing Features for Those Planning to Retire

beautiful iowa

Iowa likely isn’t a state you’ve dreamed about retiring to, but there are a lot of good reasons it should be! It isn’t the most glamorous destination on the list, but it quietly does well in all of those categories that retirees consider.

The average home only costs $173,561, and life expectancy reaches nearly 80. If you’re looking to make friends with other new retirees, they’ll definitely be available; 22.4% of the population is aged 65 or older! Don’t overlook cities like Iowa City and Des Moines that are chocked full of culture, entertainment, and activities as well!

All of these pros make Iowa easily one of the best states to retire in.

3. Hawaii is Easily the Most Beautiful of the States to Retire In

Hawaiian Summer
Source: Hawaiian Summer | DeviantArt/alierturk

You’d have trouble finding anyone who is surprised to find Hawaii on this list. With the calming crashing of waves practically always within earshot, and paradisaical weather a daily, Hawaii is arguably one of the most beautiful places on Earth and therefore one of the best states to retire in.

Breathtaking nature is all over, but city centers like Honolulu are packed with things to do, and the amount of native culture is unparalleled. It doesn’t top any lists with its cost of living expenses, but their average property tax rate is one of the lowest in the nation at 0.27%.

It can’t be forgotten that Hawaii has won the title of healthiest state in the country 9 times since 1990, so if you’re shooting for that octogenarian title, parked on their idyllic beaches is the only place to be.

4. Retire in North Carolina if You Want it All

north carolina
visittheusa.com

North Carolina is not only a popular vacation spot but a great option for new retirees as well! Some of the biggest advantages of living in North Carolina as a retiree is on the tax front. This state has no tax on Social Security Income, no State Estate Tax and a low rate of income taxes, which is only continuing to decrease.

North Carolina strikes the perfect balance for the climate as well, boasting all 4 seasons, but moderately so. Nature lovers will flock to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and those who prefer an urban setting will love the offerings in Charlotte. Top it off with a lower than average cost of living, and we’ve got a serious contender for one of the best states to retire in.

5. Idaho is the Perfect Place for Affordable Retirement

idaho

Idaho is a retirement option that might catch you off guard. But, if you look closely, there are many benefits to be uncovered. For example, the crime rate is well below the national average, and sales tax remains at a low 6%, while Social Security and prescription drugs aren’t taxable at all.

For the retiree looking to spend their newly found free time outdoors, this state has over 30 state parks including a piece of prestigious Yellowstone National Park.

Boise might be a city that has never crossed your mind, but you’ll find it has plenty to offer. Enjoy tons of craft breweries and vineyards, as well as access to Boise State University. Boise is also highly ranked for its walkability and ease of bicycling, which is great news for seniors looking to stay active.

6. Missouri Promises to Make the Retirement Years the Best Years

missouri skyline

If you’re looking to retire to a destination that has that true Midwestern hospitality, Missouri might be one of the best states to retire in. This state is a great option for those who like the best of both worlds. Cities like St. Louis and Kansas City have list of attractions that draw visitors from all over the country. But much of the state is beautifully rural with that small-town charm that can’t be beaten.

The cost of living in Missouri is well below the national average, and the state also happens to house 2 nationally ranked hospitals – a factor that is important as retirees continue to age. It would be nearly impossible to run out of lakes, caves, and parks to enjoy, and just as unlikely that you would ever be hungry in this legendary home of barbecue.

7. Oregon is For the Retired Nature Lovers

oregon

Oregon is becoming an increasingly popular option for retirees! Most recent statistics illustrate that the crime rate here is nearly 30% below the national average. Luckily for retirees, Social Security benefits are not taxed here.

Oregon is often ranked one of the greenest states in the nation, and you’ll find it’s very easy to be healthy here with seasonal farmers markets full of fresh, local veggies, and bike-friendly cities that encourage you to get moving!

You’ll get all four seasons in this state, but temperatures typically stay moderate. Retirees can take advantage of the weather to visit majestic beaches, cliff sides, and lakes or head into one of the cities that is full of quirky attractions.

8. Texas Has Great Weather and Many Places to Choose From

texas

If Texas hasn’t crossed your mind as a retirement destination, it should. This state ranks in the top ten for the lowest cost of living. The benefits don’t stop there: Texas sports a low sales tax rate (6.25%), no state income tax, and more than 600 hospitals in the state!

You’ll never have a boring day here, where cities like Dallas and Austin offer endless activities and culture. In fact, WalletHub ranked this state the second most diverse, trailing only California.

Nature isn’t lacking either, with acres of wildflower-covered ranch land available. Texas has it all and is a real contender as one of the best states to retire in!

9. Arizona

arizona
independent.co.uk

We would be remiss to not include Arizona on this list. It calls to many retirees as a weather haven, where warm temperatures reign year-round in the south. Those who prefer the 4 seasons, though, don’t despair! Cooler temperatures and even snow are available in the northern parts of the state. Either way, 300 sunny days a year can’t be beaten. The weather actually makes it one of the best states to retire in if you suffer from arthritis or high blood pressure.

The natural beauty available in Arizona is unlike anything else. It’s the home of parks and monuments galore, including none other than the breathtaking Grand Canyon National Park. All nature is balanced with urban cities as well. World-class golf courses and luxury shopping aren’t hard to find in this state.

Why not become part of a diverse population that includes 20 different Native American tribes and tons of Spanish speakers? Enjoy no tax on Social Security benefits and access to great healthcare options as well.

10. Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park
Source: outtherecolorado.com

Colorado is another one of those states that has something to offer for everyone and is definitely one of the best states to retire in. Four seasons mean that you end up with an average temperature of about 44 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll find nearly as many sunny days here as in Arizona.

Colorado has the second lowest obesity rate in the country. So, there’s no better place to go if you’re looking to be outside and active. Tons of national parks are available, not to mention world-class hiking and skiing.

Financially speaking, Colorado is a great place for retirees, boasting some of the lowest property taxes in the world. Food and medicine cannot be taxed here either. Whether you prefer small-town vibes or big city bustle, you can find it in Colorado.


Which factors are most important to you in a retirement destination? Do any of these states check all of your boxes?

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