Map: Here are the best and worst U.S. states for retirement in 2020

Dhara Singh


July 2, 2020·8 mins read

If you’re looking for the best place to retire, you have many geographical options, according to a new ranking from Blacktower Financial Management. Most of the top states for retirees aren’t in the south, a departure from last year’s rankings.

“Retirement relocations are always fluid as last year Florida was No. 9 and this year it’s No. 1,” said Christopher Thornton, U.S. country manager at Blacktower, in a recent conversation with Yahoo Money. “I do think when it comes to planning for retirement people desire more outside space.”

Blacktower did not account for the coronavirus pandemic and the surging cases in some of the top 10 retirement states. The firm regularly releases its rankings and going forward, Thornton said, the factors they measure such as crime, population and average property prices could be adversely affected by the pandemic if its effects are long term.

“I don’t think the migration for retirees will wane,” he said. “They’ll just be delays in logistics of moving, but I don’t think there will be a seismic shift.”

Florida takes the top spot for Best U.S. States for retirement, according to financial firm Blacktower Financial Management. (Graphic Credit: David Foster)

For the most recent ranking, Blacktower sourced data from government and nonprofit sites and calculated a cumulative score based on the following factors. Delaware was excluded from the study because the state’s cost of living metric was unavailable.

  • Cost of living: The median cost of living in the United States is indexed at 98.5, derived from a national survey by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
  • Crime: This number represents how many violent crimes were committed per 100,000 people in 2017. The crime rate in the U.S. was 394 crimes per 100,000 people.
  • Age: This data was sourced from the Census. The average share of those 60 and older among the 50 states is 21.46%.
  • Property price: Average property prices were also sourced from Census data. The average among the 50 states is $263,544.
  • Life expectancy: The average life expectancy in the 50 states ranged from 74.5 to 81.5 years, based on data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent health research center

Worst 10 states for retirement

The worst states appear in ascending order.

4 – New Mexico

New Mexico’s high crime rate of 783.5 points is a major deterrent for retirees and the reason it fell in the rankings this year.

New Mexico’s high crime rate of 783.5 points is a major deterrent for retirees and the reason it fell in the rankings this year. (Source: Getty Creative)