Worst States for Retirement
MoneyRates.com rated the best and worst states for retirement in 2011 based on four factors: climate, economics, crime and life expectancy. Based on readers input, these categories were weighted. Economics contributed to 47 percent of the score, climate determined 33 percent, followed by life expectancy at 12 percent and crime at 8 percent. Based on these criterions, the worst states for retirement are:
1. Maine. Maine was considered the worst state for retirement based primarily on climate and economics. Economically, Maine has both a high cost of living, plus a high tax base. It ranked third worst for climate. But, to its credit, Maine has one of the lowest rates for both violent and property crime. It is average for life expectancy.
2. Michigan. Like Maine, Michigan rated high in poor economics with a high unemployment rate and above average tax burden. It’s climate is ranked well below average. Michigan also has a higher violent crime rate with a below average life expectancy.
3. Massachusetts. Massachusetts continues the trend with bad economics and climate. Massachusetts has low unemployment, but that can’t offset the high cost of living and taxes. But, Massachusetts has the fifth highest life expectancy of 78.4 years. It also boasts a low property crime rate.
4. Connecticut. Connecticut continues with a poor economic profile with it’s high cost of living coupled with high taxes. It’s climate is also rated below average, but ranks third in life expectancy. It has low violent and property crime rates.
5. Alaska. Economically, Alaska has a very low tax rate, but in the other direction, an equally high cost of living. It has the country’s most extreme climate. It also has a high murder rate.
6. Maryland. Economics are a drag on Maryland, because of the high cost of living. It has an above average rating for climate, but an above average for violent crime. It also has a lower than average for life expectancy.
7. Rhode Island. Rhode Island suffers from bad economics with high unemployment, high cost of living and high taxes. The climate is average, but it has a good life expectancy and below average violent and property crime.
8. Washington. Washington has a high cost of living, high unemployment and taxes. It’s climate has an average rank and one of the highest life expectancies. It ranked poorly in crime with one of the highest property crime rates in the nation.
9. New York. New York has a high cost of living, and a climate that ranked below average. New York has one of the lowest property crime rates, with an average violent crime rate.
10. Wisconsin. Wisconsin has the second highest tax rate in the country. It also rated below average for climate. It also has a worse than average crime rate.
The most important criteria for great places to retire is you. You need to decide what is important and isn’t to you. It’s fun to read the rankings of the worst places for retirement. Ultimately, you need to decide based on your retirement situation.