Cost of living : 4 percent above U.S. average
Population : 884,659
Best city : Hot Springs
PROS: The state famous for Mount Rushmore was ranked as one of the most tax-friendly states. South Dakota is not only affordable but extremely scenic. With many trails and views of mountains and prairies to enjoy.
CON: North Dakota is not ideal for those who don’t like icy weather and blizzards. It is extremely rural, with no big cities in sight, and is one of the least populated states in the nation. City lovers should probably go elsewhere.
Cost of living : 12 percent below U.S. average
Population : 6.95 million
Best city: Lookout Mountain
PROS: Tennessee is a tax-friendly state for retirees. There is no state income tax, which means a little more bang for your buck. Everyday living in metropolitan areas is quite affordable, including the price of healthcare which is quite important to seniors.
CONS: The weather in summer can be intolerable, with July temperatures reaching 92 degrees Fahrenheit. If you throw in some humidity, the summer months may seem like they are never going to end. There is also the traffic situation, which can get quite bad, especially in the bigger cities like Memphis and Nashville. If you are planning a trip out of town, make sure to bring some patience.
Cost of living : 3 percent above U.S. average
Population : 7.2 million
Best city : Green Valley
PROS: Arizona is famous for its sunshine, striking desert landscape, and its Grand Canyon national park. The weather makes it the perfect retirement option for those who have faced too many freezing winters. It is a more affordable retirement option than expensive states like New York or California, with a cost of living just three percent above the national average.
CONS: The dry heat of Arizona is almost impossible to bear during the summer, with temperatures in some places reaching between 104 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also not the most inexpensive place to live with an average income for senior households that is 10.8 percent below the U.S. average.
Cost of living: 52 percent above the U.S. average
Population: 39.46 million
Best city: Beverly Hills
PROS: California is an inarguably beautiful place. It is the state that has everything: beaches, forests, deserts, and a variety of national parks. For those seeking a more fast-paced lifestyle, California also offers numerous big cities.
CONS: California is the state with the second-highest cost of living, only behind Hawaii. If you want to enjoy year-round sunshine, it’s going to cost you! Sadly, it seems like many people are paying the price, 19 percent of the population in California lives in poverty.
Cost of living: 87 percent above U.S. average
Population: 1.46 million
Best city: Maunawili
PROS: Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu is the most recommended city for retirees in the Aloha State. It features a golf course, beautiful hiking trails and is close to the Hawaii capital of Honolulu. Hawaii is widely known for its beautiful landscapes and abundant water sports.
CONS: Hawaii is expensive! The cost of living is a whopping 87 percent above average. That is even higher than the pricey California. According to Kiplinger, the average income for people 65 and over is above $71K, so that is something to consider. It is also expensive to get off the island, so visits to the grandchildren may become infrequent.