Cost of living : 1 percent above U.S. average
Population : 21.5 million
Best city : Jacksonville
PROS: Florida is one of the most tax-friendly states in America. Maybe this, along with its sunny skies, is the reason the Sunshine State has the highest share of seniors in the United States. The state benefits are also very financially secure.
CONS: The weather in Florida is unpredictable. The heat and humidity can be unpleasant, or even unsafe for retirees with health conditions. There is also the danger of hurricanes and powerful lightning storms. When there isn’t a hurricane warning, the weather is pretty nice…
Cost of living: 21 percent above U.S. average
Population: 7.8 million
Best city: Vancouver
PROS: The Pacific Northwest is undoubtedly beautiful, and the laid-back lifestyle may be extremely appealing, but unfortunately, living there does not come cheap. Retirees looking for a slightly more affordable option can check out Vancouver. It is less pricey and there is no state income tax.
CONS: It’s impossible to ignore the fact that the cost of living is 21 percent above the U.S. average. That may be less than the most expensive states, but still challenging for those on a fixed income. The average income for households of 65 and over is above $55K, so that is something to take into account.
Cost of living : 15 below the U.S. average
Population : 2.98 million
Best city : Hide-A-Way Lake
PROS: Retirees may flock to the Hospitality State for its low prices and attractive tax breaks. They won’t have to pay any taxes on their Social Security, distributions from IRA’s and 401K’s, or any additional retirement income. Plus, the state has the lowest property tax in the entire nation.
CONS: Although Mississippi offers low living costs and great tax breaks, the state is actually ranked last for senior health in America. Sadly, it also has the worst poverty rate for seniors in the U.S. – 13.4 percent.
Cost of living : 3 percent below U.S. average Population : 13 million
Best city : Pittsburgh
PROS: Pittsburgh is the best city in America to retire in, according to Forbes. You can get almost anywhere on foot or by bike and there is a high number of doctors per capita. The state of Pennsylvania is also generally good for retires with tax breaks and reasonably priced healthcare.
CONS: Pennsylvania’s budget is not well balanced, which makes its future financial policies unclear. States that are economically unstable (like Kansas), may raise taxes, which could affect retirees. Pennsylvania’s fiscal health was rated 45 out of all 50 states by George Mason University.
Cost of living : 7 percent below U.S. average
Population : 3.97 million
Best city : Athens
PROS: The Peach State is famous for its warm weather and low cost of living. It also offers relatively cheap healthcare for seniors, the sixth-lowest for couples in the U.S. There are also low state taxes, which could help retirees that need to stretch their limited budget.
CONS: If you think Southern living could be for you, be sure to prepare for the hot summers. They are long and humid, and most people stay inside during the middle of the day to avoid getting too sticky. And be sure to pack a lot of bug spray to keep the mosquitos in check!