Cost of living : 17 percent below U.S. average
Population : 1.784 million Best city : Lewisburg PROS: With a cost of living that is 17 percent less than the national average, The Mountain State can be quite affordable. It also has beautiful mountains and forests, luxurious resorts, a rich history and much more, according to USA Today.
CONS: West Virginia is not very tax-friendly for retirees. It’s lowly ranked for its fiscal soundness by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Average incomes are low and healthcare for seniors is below-average.
Cost of living: 17 percent above U.S. average
Population: 6.2 million
Best city: Chevy Chase Village
PROS: The average income per household for people 65 and over in Maryland is the second highest in the nation, an average of $70,874. Plus, Maryland is home to the thriving metropolitan city of Baltimore and quite close to the sights and monuments of Washington D.C.
CONS: The income in this state may be high in comparison to the rest of the country, but it is also highly taxed. Social Security is exempt, but distributions from individual retirement accounts are not. Maryland also has an inheritance and estate tax.
Cost of living: 12 percent above the U.S. average
Best city: Hartford
PROS: The Green Mountain State provides good healthcare for its seniors. Retirees who love nature will enjoy the natural beauty of this state, full of trees, water, wildlife, and amazing scenery.
CONS: The home state of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is known as one of the “Least Tax-Friendly.” That and the cost of living, which is somewhat higher than the national average, may make it hard for retirees on a budget to live well.
Cost of living : 12 percent below U.S. average
Population : 10.2 million
Best city : Farmington
PROS: Michigan is appealing for retirees due to its low poverty rate and extremely low cost of living. The Great Lakes State also doesn’t tax Social Security benefits. If you love water sports or just looking at some beautiful scenery, you can enjoy the Great Lakes during spring and summer.
CONS: Michigan went through some tax changes which made things tricky for retired folks. Residents who are 67 and over have to choose between deducting Social Security income or a set amount from all their income sources: $20K for singles, $40K for couples.
Cost of living: 18 percent above U.S. average
Population: 4.27 million
Best city: Gold Beach
PROS: Oregon offers seniors slightly lower healthcare costs than other states, 2.6 percent lower than the national average. It also offers a multitude of outdoor activities for active pensioners to enjoy, if they don’t mind the rain. There sure is a lot of it during the eight-month long rainy season.
CONS: Oregon is not a very tax friendly state. Social Security is not taxed, but most other retirement income is. The state also has one of the highest state income taxes – 9.9 percent. Plus, the average income for seniors is on the low end, just over $45K.