Cost of living: 38 percent above the U.S. average
Population: 7.1 million
Best city: Northampton
PROS: Massachusetts is one of the original 13 colonies and a truly historic state. It is the landing site of the Mayflower, home to the Boston Tea Party and much more. Plus, it’s a great home for sports fans.
CONS: The Bay State has a lot of added costs for retirees. The cost of living is 38 percent above the national average, healthcare costs are high, and it is not tax friendly. Also, the winters get pretty cold. Unless you want to be shoveling snow during your retirement, it may not be the place for you.
Cost of living: 32 percent above U.S. average
Best city: Anchorage
PROS: The Last Frontier is actually quite tax friendly to retirees, but it seems like not many are taking advantage of this fact. Despite its natural beauty, there is just a small population of retirees living in Alaska.
CONS: The Costs of living are high – 32 percent above the U.S. average. Health care in Alaska is also pricier than the national average, which is an important consideration for seniors. Most of the areas are rural and it is not a state for big city lovers, and don’t even get us started about the weather.
Cost of living : 12 percent below U.S. average
Population : 11.75 million
Best city: Bellbrook
PROS: The central location of the Buckeye State makes it a relatively easy place to travel from to visit friends and family on either coast or just go on vacation. The cost of living is low at 12 percent below the U.S. average and Social Security is not taxed.
CONS: The low cost of living and Social Security exemption may seem attractive, but the average household income for people 65 and over is not high. If you have plenty of savings, Ohio may be the place for you, otherwise, be prepared to deal with an average income of $42,667.
Cost of living : 4 percent above U.S. average
Population : 3.1 million
Best city : Winchester
PROS: Nevada is definitely a tax-friendly state, with no taxes on Social Security or any other retirement income and no state income tax! Poverty rates for seniors are lower than the national average (8.4 percent compared with 9.4 percent). Also, it is the home of the gambling paradise, Las Vegas.
CONS: The cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, but the temperatures can get way higher than average, ranging from 50 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Nevada’s desert climate makes it semi-arid year-round, which might make it the driest state in the country. The low humidity, however, can be good for people with allergies or breathing problems and may even help some skin conditions.
Cost of living: 21 percent above U.S. average
Population: 7.8 million
Best city: Vancouver
PROS: The Pacific Northwest is undoubtedly beautiful, and the laid-back lifestyle may be extremely appealing, but unfortunately, living there does not come cheap. Retirees looking for a slightly more affordable option can check out Vancouver. It is less pricey and there is no state income tax.
CONS: It’s impossible to ignore the fact that the cost of living is 21 percent above the U.S. average. That may be less than the most expensive states, but still challenging for those on a fixed income. The average income for households of 65 and over is above $55K, so that is something to take into account.