Cost of living : 15 percent below U.S. average
Population : 6.8 million
Best city : Meridian Hills
PROS: The Hoosier State has a cost of living which is 15 percent lower than the U.S. average which means retirees can save a lot on essentials like food and housing. Compare that to California or Hawaii and you’ll see that your money can go a lot further there. There is a lively art scene and plenty of outdoor activities to do in spring and summer.
CON: Despite the low cost of living, Indiana is better for retirees who saved their pennies because the annual income is way below the national average (21.4 percent lower). Also, all retirement income except Social Security is taxed at regular rates and the winters are freezing.
Cost of living : 14 percent below average
Population : 2.95 million
Best city : Eureka
PROS: The cost of living in Kansas is a whopping 14 percent lower than the national average, which may explain why Dorothy thought there was no place like home. The Sunflower State also has plenty to offer nature lovers with beautiful prairies and plains.
CONS: Due to its less than ideal financial situation, Kansas is raising taxes to resolve its budget deficit. Social Security and most other retirement incomes will be taxed with rates ranging from 3.1 to 5.7 percent. That is something that may affect your standard of living if you are on a tight budget.
Cost of living: 18 percent above the U.S. average
Population: 1.38 million
Best city: Gilford
PROS: New Hampshire is quite tax friendly for seniors, not taxing any of their retirement income. If you have health issues, the Granite State was ranked fifth for senior health by the United Health Foundation. It is also a beautiful place, with scenic New England landscapes and colorful autumn leaves that can’t be beat.
CONS: Beautiful scenery doesn’t come cheap, however. New Hampshire has a fairly high cost of living compared to the national average, but you may be able to make it work if you take the tax breaks into account. Plus, let’s not forget the weather. Freezing winters and humid summers may not be ideal for retirees.
Cost of living : 4 percent above U.S. average
Population : 2.9 million
Best city : Salt Lake City
PROS: Utah offers good healthcare for seniors. It is ranked second in the country according to the United Health Foundation. The Beehive State is also famous for its outdoor activities, with five national forests, five national parks, and 43 state parks.
CONS: Utah is not tax-friendly to its seniors. It taxes Social Security benefits, which may add a burden to retirees who are already struggling financially. Utah has the third-lowest poverty rate in the country for seniors and its income levels are about average. So, it is probably not the best place to head if you are already struggling to make ends meet.
Cost of living : U.S. average Population : 573,909 Best city : Cody
PROS: The Equality State was rated fifth in fiscal health out of all fifty states by the Mercatus Center, which is pretty impressive. Retirees can also save some money because there is no state income tax.
CONS: Wyoming is not a good fit for city folk. If you don’t love nature, you won’t find much to do there. It also has one of the smallest populations in America at 573,909, with no big cities to be found. It is impossible, however, to ignore the natural beauty of the state.