What Are the Best US States to Retire In?

Many retirees desire to move to take advantages of what other states offer their age group. While warmer climate states, like Florida, California and Virginia, are meccas for those in their golden years, many retirees are deciding to move to colder weather states like Utah, Minnesota and Colorado instead.

Read on for our 15 top US states to retire in along with a few highlights of each one.

1. Florida

Florida is a gorgeous, tropical state that has lots of pristine beaches and warm weather year-round. This state is listed as one of the ten best states for taxpayers and retirees. There is no state income tax here, and there are lots of terrific retirement communities of every description.

Access to good healthcare and benefit programs are just some of the many advantages for retired individuals in this southern state. Cost of living is lower in Florida, and there are so many outdoor activities to enjoy along with easy-to-access transportation services and easy commutes to many attractions. See our guide on the best places to retire in Florida to learn more.

Highlights

  • Sunny and warm tropical climate
  • Access to good healthcare
  • Lots of outdoor activities
  • Gorgeous beaches and water activities
  • Golf courses, tennis courts and green parks and spaces
  • Scenic nature trails for hiking, biking and more
  • Plenty of shopping and dining venues
  • Lots of options in senior communities
  • Low cost of living and no state income tax

2. Virginia

Virginia is a popular state for retirees, and the state has some of the best tax laws in the country. This state is rich in historic parks, monuments, museums and restored buildings.

The state does get all four seasons, but the winter months tend to be on the milder side and shorter than many other states. There are lots of green spaces and lovely parks with hiking and biking trails as well as horseback riding paths.

Many retirees move to Virginia due to its outstanding healthcare, access to waterways and beaches and gorgeous golf courses. There are many cultural attractions with live plays, music concerts, dance shows and more.

The housing market in some parts of Virgina is fantastic. If wanting to live a quieter life but still have access to city attractions, Williamsburg, Fredericksburg, Fairfax and Roanoke are beautiful towns that are still close to all that city life has to offer.

Highlights

  • Milder temperatures with four seasonal changes
  • Lots of waterways with water related activities – boating, swimming and fishing
  • Plenty of green spaces and nature parks
  • Lots of historic sites
  • Terrific shopping, dining venues and entertainment
  • Lower cost of living overall
  • Access to fantastic healthcare
  • Mixture of city and country lifestyles
  • Large variety of festivals and celebrations – Bay Days, Chincoteague Pony Swim and more
  • Lower crime rates per population
  • A wide range of retirement communities

3. Colorado

Colorado is beautiful with lots of rugged mountains and plenty of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Most of the more rural communities here are still fairly close to a larger city.

This is ideal for seniors that want to live outside of the urban neighborhoods but want to have quick access to medical care, shopping and other necessities of living.

Although the average cost of living tends to be higher here in Colorado, the pension taxes are some of the lowest in the country. There are tons of retirement communities along with some of the best medical care and resources to be found.

This region also has excellent dining venues, and seniors living here tend to be healthier due to the fresh air and access to nature trails, kayaking, fishing and other activities.

Highlights

  • Good weather mostly
  • Lots of outdoor activities – fishing, hiking, biking and kayaking
  • Tons of retirees already live here – more retirement community options
  • Excellent healthcare
  • Splendid scenery and fresh air
  • Rural areas typically close to cities

4. Delaware

Delaware is especially revered by seniors for its easy access to the Atlantic coast while still being near to major urban areas. The healthcare here is suburb, and there are many financial advantages for seniors in this stunning state.

Many of the cities in Delaware boast lower crime rates, and the state has many terrific retirement communities and programs.

Delaware offers an affordable cost of living expense while also offering many tax breaks for retired individuals. There are also many cultural attractions and art festivals along with an active nightlife for most of the year.

Highlights

  • Affordable cost of living expenses
  • Great tax breaks for retirees
  • Centrally located to access many major cities
  • Great transportation options
  • Access to fantastic healthcare
  • Near to Atlantic Ocean beaches and water activities

5. Ohio

Ohio is an ideal state for retirees, and there are many reasons for this. The state has a lower cost of living expense rate, offers lots of tax breaks for seniors, and Ohio borders the beautiful Lake Erie with all its swimming, boating and fishing opportunities.

Cleveland Clinic is just one of the major hospitals in this region. There are many good retirement communities, and housing costs here are lower and perfect for retirees that wish to downsize their home.

Ohio also boasts many fine wineries, and the people living in this state have phenomenal opportunities for healthy living with all the outdoor pursuits and scenic areas to take advantage of everyday.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum is located here, and the beautiful Appalachian Mountains draws many for its camping, fishing and hiking opportunities. Read more about the best places to retire in Ohio on this page.

Highlights

  • Water views from Lake Erie offer many activities – swimming, boating, fishing and more
  • Lower cost of living
  • Easy to downsize a house for less
  • Many tax and other financial incentives for retirees
  • Access to camping, hiking and more in the Appalachian Mountains
  • Has all four-season changes
  • Excellent healthcare
  • Lots of retirement communities
  • Many terrific golf courses and other sports opportunities
  • Access to cultural events, festivals and art shows

6. Arizona

Many retirees have already made their home in sunny Arizona. The arid weather tends to be easier for those with lung issues and allergies, and this state has some of the top doctors and specialists in the country.

There are many fine retirement centers and communities, and the state is home to many quaint and charming small towns that are still nearby urban cities.

The beauty of the desert and mountainous state is truly magnificent. There are many great parks like the Grand Canyon, Red Rock State Park and more. Explore the caverns and hike the many nature trails in this region. There are many tax incentives too.

Highlights

  • Sunny and drier weather – better for lung issues and allergies
  • Access to topnotch healthcare
  • Lots of gorgeous state parks – Grand Canyon, Red Rock State Park and others
  • Lake Havasu – boating or swimming opportunities
  • Beautiful golf courses and nature hiking trails
  • Great tax incentives
  • Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
  • Oldest Rodeo in Prescott Arizona
  • Home to many native American tribes
  • Lots of arts and cultural events and centers
  • No snow except in higher mountain areas

7. Nevada

Nevada is considered a good place for retired individuals and couples. The Las Vegas region and its many suburbs are already full of retired folk. There are excellent healthcare facilities, and the warmer weather all year long helps those with allergies and lung problems.

This state has lots of great shopping and dining establishments, and there are some fantastic cultural and arts attractions as well.

Highlights

  • Low taxes and no state income tax
  • Great healthcare options in some areas
  • Retiree-friendly state
  • Motocross opportunities
  • Warm weather
  • Lots of cultural events and venues
  • A mix of urban, small town and rural areas

8. Minnesota

With so many people crowding every city and town along the west coast, it is no surprise that many have moved to other places. Minnesota is seeing a boon in retirees relocating to the state.

This is the “land of the lakes,” and there are plenty of opportunities to go boating, swimming, camping, hiking and mountain climbing among many other outdoor adventures.

Although the average cost of living expenses is on the higher side in this state, there are some areas where this is not the case. Taxes, however, are improving, and the state is very retiree oriented with many finer senior communities.

Highlights

  • Mix of small towns and urban areas
  • Lower cost of living in some towns
  • Lots of outdoor activities – hiking, biking, swimming, boating and more
  • Pretty mountains and many lakes to explore and camp
  • Good healthcare
  • Plenty of senior communities
  • Lower crime rate overall

9. New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a lovely place to retire, and many retirees here like the low crime rate, no state income tax and zero taxes on social security and sales.

Cost of living expenses are also lower here, and the beautiful region has lots of offer. Housing costs are also lower in New Hampshire, and the state is fairly diverse.

The residents of this state have close access to the Atlantic coast and its water activities. The winters are cold, but this is a great place to live if you like skiing and other winter pursuits. There are many historic sites to visit as well.

Highlights

  • Lower cost of living
  • Easy access to Atlantic coast
  • Lots of wintertime activities
  • Scenic hiking trails and historic buildings and sites
  • Low crime rates

10. Wyoming

The scenic state of Wyoming is best known for Yellowstone Park and all its many attractions and activities. If you love cold and snowy winters, then Wyoming is a place to seriously consider.

The state has no income tax and boasts a lower crime rate. This is the land of cowboys, but there are cultural attractions too.

Wyoming is senior-friendly and offers lots of nice retirement communities. Access to healthcare is good, but some healthcare services are higher here. Housing is affordable, and the transportation system is accessible to most.

Highlights

  • Home to Yellowstone Park
  • Opportunities for camping, hiking, skiing and other outdoor pursuits
  • Access to good healthcare providers
  • Overall effective transportation system in most larger cities
  • Senior-friendly state – lots of retirement communities
  • Lower taxes and low crime rates
  • Slower paced lifestyles

11. South Carolina

South Carolina is famous for its Atlantic coastline with stunning, sandy beaches, boating, fishing, swimming and other watersports combined with warmer weather overall. The taxes are low here, and there are many historic buildings and attractions to visit.

The shopping and food venues are terrific especially in the tourist areas. However, the rest of the state still has that laid-back southern lifestyle that many retirees crave.

South Carolina is by far one of the friendliest places to visit or live. Ther are lots of retirement homes and communities throughout the state. This region boasts a thriving arts and music scene with many different genres to please every taste. Of course, the food here is divine.

Highlights

  • Home to many famous beaches – water activities galore
  • Friendly state all around – southern hospitality and lots of shops, arts and festivals
  • Warm climate year-round
  • Lots of scenic parks, nature trails and outdoor activities to experience
  • Lower cost of living and tax friendly for seniors
  • Many historical sites and cultural attractions

12. Vermont

Some retirees prefer to live in less populated areas with beautiful scenery and reasonable housing costs. Vermont has much to offer seniors that includes gorgeous stretches of rugged coastline with all sorts of water activities to be enjoyed in warmer weather.

Although Vermont often is exposed to cold and brutal winter months, some still like the friendly and welcoming neighborhoods that tend to be closeknit.

Along with the miles of ragged coast, Vermont is also home to Lake Champlain that seems much like the coastal beaches with its sandy shores. This lake is near to the popular hiking trail named Colchester Causeway Trail.

Highlights

  • Low population rate for quiet living
  • Affordable housing
  • Access to the coast and lakes
  • Splendid hiking trails
  • Skiing and other winter activities available
  • Considered one of the oldest historic settings within the states
  • Local breweries
  • Plentiful farmer’s markets

13. California

Most retirees move to California to take advantage of its warm and mild climate that remains all year long. There are also many pristine beaches for swimming, boating, fishing and water skiing.

This state also has many different walking and biking trails, lots of golf greens, a laid-back vibe and mostly friendly neighborhoods.

California also has quite a few retirement communities with each featuring different amenities and perks. Access to good healthcare is also prevalent here, and there is a well-developed transportation network in most areas.

Highlights

  • Warm, sunny and mild climate all year
  • Ocean beaches and waterways for all kinds of water activities
  • Scenic parks and hiking trails
  • Health-minded people in general
  • Good hospitals and healthcare resources
  • Excellent wineries

14. Texas

Texas is a very large state that has many different cultural and geographical differences. This state has been a favorite for retired individuals. The weather here varies depending on which portion of the state being referred to, and the state is senior friendly with regards to taxes and cost of living expenses.

The lower portion of the state has access to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, while other regions face hot and humid summer days along with the frequent chance of dangerous weather like tornados, hurricanes and even brutal snowstorms.

There is already a large retirement population that has access to excellent healthcare services, retirement communities and lots of outdoor pursuits to enjoy during nicer weather.

Highlights

  • Lower crime and cost of living rates
  • Wide range of terrain and outdoor activities
  • Beach areas in southern portions, valleys and hills in other regions
  • Unique Tex-Mex food and culture
  • Low taxes for retirees
  • Lots of community fairs and rodeos

15. Utah

More retired individuals are moving to Utah in recent years. There is plenty of space, a growing number of retirement villages and communities and a lower crime and cost of living rate than some other states.

This spectacular region is home to a wide number and variety of national parks. The outdoor activities help to keep the population healthy, and seniors have access to low cost and available topnotch healthcare services.

This is the home of Sundance Film Festival among others throughout the year. Expect to find lots of outdoor music concerts with some entertainers already famous or soon will be.

Highlights

  • Low crime and cost of living expense rates
  • Skiing, fishing, hiking and many other physical outdoor pursuits
  • Spectacular scenery and lots of nice hiking trails
  • Home to many national and state parks – Arches, Canyonlands, Great Salt Lake and more
  • Outdoor music concerts
  • Affordable housing and healthcare

FAQs

1. Which state draws the most retirees in recent years?

A: Florida and Virginia are top running states for retirees, but midwestern states like Colorado, Minnesota and Utah are attracting more every year.

2. What are the top things that seniors look for when considering a retirement location?

A: Most seniors worry about finding access to good healthcare, reliable transportation means, low crime rates unlike Michigan and tax benefits for their age group. Retirees often choose a state with a climate that they like and where there are opportunities to enjoy outdoor pursuits.

3. What states offer more retirement communities and programs?

A: More states today are increasing their options for senior housing and retirement communities. The leading retiree locations already will have these retirement housing settings in place with more being added on a regular basis.

4. Why should seniors carefully plan and research their desired retirement location before making such a move?

A: It is important to determine your budget limitations before moving. It often helps to work with a financial planner or retirement specialist to assess accurately and thoroughly your current and expected future financial status.

A realtor or other retirement experts can also and help with evaluating different homes or communities well before a move. It is also crucial to have diversified asset classes in your portfolio to protect your wealth, see why rolling over a 401k plan to a gold IRA can be a good idea here.