What’s up everyone
I don’t know about you, but I dream of the day I can retire. And where is the best place to do that? Which state is the most cost efficient without sacrificing the lifestyle we have become accustomed to? And, no offense to Florida, but it’s not our style.
So I did a little research, and found this list by WalletHub which I found really interesting.
I’ll go through the top 10 States and let you know if it’s a contender for us. Stay tuned until the end where I reveal our top choice! Let us know your thoughts too! You may be surprised at the list…I know I was…
So let’s dive right in-
WalletHub evaluated all 50 U.S. states in three key categories: affordability, quality of life and access to health care. Each category factored in data from various agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Council for Community and Economic Research.
A state’s overall retirement friendliness was based on its total score across all three categories. So even if a state scored high for affordability, lower scores for quality of life and health care could bring down its overall rank.
#10. North Dakota
North Dakota came in 22nd for affordability, 25th for quality of life and 20th for healthcare. It also ranked #14 in US News and World Report Best State 2023 rankings.
Most of North Dakota is devoted to farming and much of the states population is employed in agriculture. It’s also known for its Badlands, now part of the 70,000 acre Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
I’ve personally never been to North Dakota so if you’re watching this and you live there or have visited there, comment below and tell us how it is.
For me, I think I need to keep looking.
Idaho came in 15th for affordability, 17 for quality of life and 31st for health care. It also ranked #3 in US News and World report best state 2023 rankings.
Idaho is as well known for its potatoes, trout and precious stones as it is for its unspoiled, rugged landscapes. Snowy mountains, deep valleys, lakes and rivers cover the Gem State, which is twice the size of the six New England states combined. I know there are some awesome ski resorts in Idaho like the Sun Valley Ski resort and we love skiing so maybe Idaho should be a contender. Then again, I tore my ACL and MCL skiing in the last few years, so there’s that. And Idaho is a very conservative state so depending on which way you lean towards, that would be a pro or a con. I think I need to keep looking.
Minnesota came in 40th for affordability, 2nd for quality of life, and 1st for health care! It also ranked #5 in US News and World report.
I can’t get past 40th for affordability and it’s so cold there, I’m not really sure why the quality of life is so good? Anyone out there who can clarify?
The Mayo Clinic is there so maybe that’s why it’s #1 for healthcare. I’ll visit but can’t see us retiring there.
#7 South Dakota
The Dakota’s are having a good day! South Dakota came in 25th for affordability, 30 for quality of life and 9th for healthcare. It also ranked #12 in US News and World 2023 rankings.
I always wanted to visit Mount Rushmore, so maybe a trip to South Dakota is in our future. And they do have a strong economy. But the weather won’t cut it for us. There is extreme weather in both the winter and summer states and. The state lies in an area called Tornado alley with an average of 7 tornados yearly and have hail, flooding rains and winds. So, I think it’s a pass on South Dakota.
#6. New Hampshire
New Hampshire came in 31st for affordability, 5th for quality of life, and 7th for health care. It ranked #6 in US News and World report.
Now I know New Hampshire is great for outdoors. Besides it’s 13 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline-you have skiing, rock climbing, camping, snowboarding, and other winter-related sports. And it’s regarded as one of the most tax-friendly states, as there is no income taxes, sales taxes, or social security taxes. You have all 4 seasons and NH is considered both liberal and conservative so there’s a nice mix. I think New Hampshire is a good contender for us. The only real con I see is that it is expensive. So let’s continue.
Delaware came in 6th for affordability, 33 for quality of life and 18th for health care. It was ranked 18 by US News and world report 2023. Now, I may be biased towards Delaware because we go to Rehoboth Beach every summer with the family and we absolutely love it. But living at the beach is really expensive so we need to think about that. Delaware has all 4 seasons and is relatively close to NYC and DC so if we start jonsing for a city, we’re not too far away. But what if you dont want to travel 3-4 hours. Is there enough to do in Delaware itself all year around? Something to think about…
Wyoming came in 5th for affordability, 9th for quality of life, and 38th for health care. It was ranked #26 by US News and World Report 2023.
Wyoming is stunning and I have been to Jackson Hole skiing and it was amazing. You definitely have more land than people in Wyoming so if you’re looking for space, this may be the state. One reason Wyoming won’t work for us is that there are no professional sports teams to root for. And 38th for heath care when we’re thinking of retiring…well, that’s a hard pass for us.
Colorado came in 14 for affordability, 27 for quality of life and 5th for health care. US News & World report ranked Colorado 15.
Unlike Wyoming, Colorado has a lot going on. It has the 2nd strongest economy in the country with a lot of diversity including tech, crops and tourism. Between Denver, Aspen and Vail to name a few popular destinations, you have multiple ski destinations and in the summer months you have so many hiking options. It’s also a highly educated state. It is expensive to live in Colorado, esp when it comes to housing. And personally, I’m not great in high altitude. So, it’s not a hard no, but I think we would have to try it first.
Florida came in 9th for affordability, 4th for quality of life and 28th for health care.
US News & World report ranked Florida 10th.
So, I started this video by saying Florida wasn’t for us but maybe I’m being too rash. I mean it’s great for taxes. There’s no state tax or personal income tax. And you have so many choices of beach towns which is nice. And it’s hot and sunny all the time. But with all that hot weather comes bugs and humidity – 2 of my least favorite things. ESP mosquitos. And the health care isn’t great – remember this is about retiring. Honestly, I would miss the 4 seasons. So, I was right, no to Florida
Virginia came in 16th for affordably, 11 for quality of life and 11 for health care.
Full disclosure: I am a licensed realtor in Virginia (and MD and DC) but this is NOT my list. But I can help you if you want to move here! Lol
US News & World report ranked Virginia 13.
The state has one of the lowest overall tax rates in the country and there is plenty to do there, esp in Northern VA. Great wineries, lots of parks and some skiing in the winter. You’re right next to DC and across the river from MD so you really are able to take advantage of all 3 locations. Virginia seems to have it all, including really good health care. So, is this the obvious choice?
Well, after reviewing the list, we sat down and came up with our top 3. Delaware, New Hampshire and Virginia. Virginia is easy but also predictable for us. So we may try the Delaware beaches first or the shore of New Hampshire and have VA as a back up. All good choices in my opinion.
What about you? Where do you want to retire? Is it on the list? Comment below!