Cost of living: 22 percent above U.S. average
Population: 1.1 million
Best city: Jamestown
PROS: Rhode Island is a historic place to live. It is one of the 13 original American colonies and has a lot to offer to history buffs, and with stunning ocean views, also to nature enthusiasts. There is also plenty to see and do in this small state, with tourist attractions and metropolitan areas.
CONS: Unfortunately, says that “Little Rhodie” is not very tax friendly. If you take into account the high cost of living, which is 22 percent above the national average, that could put a real strain on a senior’s budget. However, if you are independently wealthy, have family support or have recently struck it rich, Rhode Island may be the place for you.
Cost of living: 17 percent above U.S. average
Population: 5.4 million
Best city: Colorado Springs
PROS: The United Health Foundation ranked Colorado as fourth in senior health rankings in the nation. The state’s seniors also have low rates of obesity and physical inactivity compared to other places. Does that mean that Colorado’s retirees will live longer and healthier lives?
CONS: Buying a house in Colorado is not easy, it can become downright competitive in desirable cities like Denver. The high altitude can also be an adjustment, but after you get used to it, you will probably enjoy the nice weather, until winter that is.
Cost of living : 7 percent below U.S. average
Population : 5.2 million
Best city : Bluffton
PROS: South Carolina, not surprisingly, also has year-round mild weather which makes it an appealing place for retirees. The Palmetto State is also quite affordable, with a cost of living that is seven percent below the U.S. average. It is also tax-friendly for retirees, leaving more money to spend on your quality of life.
CONS: Although the weather is usually mild, the summers in this southern state can get hot and humid. Plus, South Carolina is not the healthiest state around, with plenty of smokers, rising obesity levels and a low consumption level of fruits and vegetables.
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.