Bankrate Lists Top States for Retirement—And South Dakota Is At The Top

Many of America’s seniors pick up and move upon retirement.

Not all states make great retirement destinations, though, particularly when it comes to health care costs.

Consumer financial services company Bankrate, Inc. recently published a list ranking the best states for retirees. To arrive at its conclusions, the firm considered factors that may be especially relevant to older adults, including health care quality, cost of living, cultural vitality, weather and well-being.


Perhaps surprisingly, warm weather destinations Arizona and Hawaii did not make the top five best places to retire—but South Dakota, Utah and Idaho did.

Currently, the top five best states for retirement, according to Bankrate, are:

1. South Dakota
2. Utah
3. Idaho
4. New Hampshire
5. Florida


The bottom five states for retirement are:

46. New York
47. New Mexico
48. Maryland
49. Louisiana
50. Arkansas

To arrive at these rankings, Bankrate relied on expert and government sources to compare all 50 states against one another. Then, the company weighted those rankings based on the importance ascribed to them by respondents to a 2017 Bankrate survey, which revealed that 47% of U.S. residents would consider moving when they retire.

The states with the best health care quality, according to Bankrate, are Minnesota, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. The states with the worst health care quality are Arkansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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