Retirement planning: best states to retire in 2019. Bankrate ranked U.S. states by factors like weather and affordability to find the best state to retire.

Whether you dream of retiring at a beachside oasis, on a hilltop with a mountain view, or near your kids in a home with a big yard for grandkids to play in, location is a huge part of retirement planning and everyone wants to know which state is the best state to retire in 2019. 

New research by Bankrate compared each state across five factors (affordability, crime, culture, weather and wellness) to determine the best and worst states for retirement.

Before we get to the results, why don’t you take a guess? Which state do you think is the best place to retire?

Retirement Planning: Best States to Retire in 2019

If you guessed Nebraska was the best state to retire in 2019, ding ding we have a winner. Wellness was the factor that pushed Nebraska into the number one spot. Nebraska had over 60 percent of the health measures that achieved the benchmark or better, higher than about two-thirds of the other states, according to the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. Nebraska also ranked within the top 15 states for affordability. 

Iowa came in second place because of its affordability and it scored within the top 20 states for culture. A relatively moderate climate and low cost of living placed Missouri in third, but other states ranked higher for culture, wellness and safety. South Dakota came in fourth, ranking better than most states on every measure except for weather (average annual temperature of 46 degrees). 

Florida rounded out the top five with the second-best climate and a spot in the top 15 states for culture. Nearly 20 percent of the population in Florida is 65 and older, the largest share of 65+ folks of any state, so if you’re a social butterfly it might be a good fit for you.

The 5 Worst States to Retire in 2019

According to Bankrate’s analysis, Maryland is the worst place to retire. Maryland landed in the bottom 10 for affordability and culture and in the bottom 20 for wellness and crime. New York was a close second with the worst affordability of all the states and low scores for weather and wellness.

Alaska was the third-worst state to retire in overall. It’s the state with the worst weather and it came in second for the state with the worst crime. Illinois came in fourth place with the second-worst score for wellness and affordability in the bottom 10. Washington closed out the top five worst states to retire in with spots in the bottom 20 for affordability, crime, weather and wellness.

What is the Best State for You to Retire In?

“Where to live is probably one of the most personal decisions one can make because it’s not just about preferences, it’s also about the financial considerations that are associated with it,” says Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.

Hamrick is right, preferences are just one piece of the retirement planning puzzle. You’ll want to consider your budget, your proximity to family and to healthcare services, the types of activities and hobbies you want to take up in retirement and the type of climate that suits you best. 

If you have awful seasonal allergies, you’ll want to take the area’s pollen count into consideration before you make any major decisions. Similarly, if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) you’ll want to avoid temperature extremes that can exacerbate symptoms.

Retirement planning is all about bridging your dreams for retirement with the realities of your daily life. Take the time to evaluate all of the factors that are most important to you. Then you can zero in on the best state for you to spend your retirement in. 

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