We live in a blessed age where sixty is the new twenty, but with money in the bank. In the words of a wise but anonymous person, ‘retirement is not the end of a road but the beginning of an open highway’. How would you want to spend it? Would you like to spend it travelling to everywhere you have ever wanted to go? Or would you like to just kick back and watch TV while having margaritas in the afternoon? Or do you consider it to be the start of a new adventure?

If you ask us, retirement is an opportunity to reap the fruits of a lifetime of hard work. It is a chance to catch up on life, be it by watching TV in the living room, or by exploring new places. And for that reason, you would want to be in a place that is ideal for your retirement goals and plans.

So, let us take a look at some of the best states in the US that you can retire in:

Top-Rated States to Retire in America

  1. Missouri
  2. Ohio
  3. South Dakota
  4. Tennessee
  5. Alabama
  6. Virginia
  7. Georgia
  8. Florida
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Hawaii

1. Missouri


This is a state that has given birth to notable musicians, writers and filmmakers. We are talking about Sheryl Crow, Tina Turner, Doobie brothers, Akon and a lot more. If you have read ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’, you would enjoy visiting Hannibal, the town which the story is based in, which is also incidentally the hometown of Mark Twain, the novel’s author. Missouri also boasts of T.S.Eliot, Tennessee Williams and Kate Chopin being from there.

Walt Disney started his career in Kansas City, by setting up his Laugh-O Gram studio. What is it about the state that it managed to produce so much talent? Must be something in the air. But the thing that is for sure one would never be deprived of here is entertainment. That said and done, Missouri is an ideal state to retire in if you have had a well-paying job with a comfortable pension to count on.

It’s because though the cost of living is 10% less than the US average, so is the average household income, which happens to be $43,000. What should interest you is that it is $10,000 less than the national average.

On a good note, the average healthcare cost for a retired couple would be $408,746, which also happens to be less than the US average of $423,523. The average rent of a 2-bedroom house in Missouri would be $900 and the cost of buying such a house is $240,000. If the decision is made keeping these factors in mind, the state is a peaceful haven for all seeking to kick back and relax at 60.

2. Ohio


Ohio offers a lot in terms of performance arts and sports. You have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, as well as the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame. The Playhouse Square is also located there, which is considered to be the second largest performing arts centre in the US. A lot of other cities have their own orchestras and art institutions.

Ohio is also the home to eight professional sports teams across five major leagues in the US. Some of them are the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Columbus blue Jackets. One thing is for sure, Ohio will never disappoint in terms of always having something to look forward to, at any pace that you may want.

The financial situation of Ohio is somewhat similar to that of Missouri. The cost of living is 12% below the US average, but keep in mind that the average household income here is $42,667. The healthcare for a retired couple in Ohio would be around $417,912. To rent a 2-bedroom house in Ohio would cost about $950 a month. In case you want to buy a house, it would be $180,000. It is an easy place to stay in, provided it is chosen after proper consideration.

Also Read: Moving To Ohio – Relocation Guide

3. South Dakota

South Dakota

A state you should pick if you want your retired life to feel like an old Hollywood movie is South Dakota. The culture of this state is based on America’s Indian, rural and European roots. The state’s ethnic heritage and history is celebrated around the year, in a number of events such as Days of ’76, Czech Days, St. Patrick’s Day and the Cinco de Mayo festival. If you are lucky, you may be invited to one of the annual pow wow held by any one of the various tribes in their reservations across the state.

If you are up for the challenge, you may also volunteer to get on horseback and gather the Custer State Park’s herd of around 1500 bison, as part of an annual Buffalo Roundup. This is a state to ensure that you never stop being young at heart.

The Mount Rushmore state has a cost of living that is 4% less than the national average, with the average household income being $43,712. The cost of healthcare during all of the retirement could be $415,297 approximately. Renting a house in South Dakota costs $850 and buying one costs $200,000. The cherry on top is that this is an extremely tax friendly state for retirees. So, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Also See: Top 10 States for Mortgage-free Homes

4. Tennessee


Tennessee is where a lot of American pop culture music has developed. In fact, Nashville is known as the centre of country music. Four major professional sports franchises, them being the Tennessee Titans, Memphis Grizzlies, Nashville Predators and Nashville SC, are based here. Or if you are a fan of the quieter life, you could choose to move to the Appalachian Mountains. Either way, you know that you won’t be bored in Tennessee.

It is quite cheap to live in Tennessee, with the cost of living being 12% below the national average and the average household income as $47,893. A retired couple would have retirement healthcare costs around $411,617. The current average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Tennessee is $1,180 and that of buying a house is $164,500. No wonder this state is such a strong contender for the ‘best place for retirees to move to’ award.

5. Alabama


Alabama is a state tailor made for sports enthusiasts, especially football and baseball. One doesn’t have to limit themselves to checking the score on TV. They may go to the Legion Field or the Ladd-Peebles Stadium, two places with amazing seating capacity and perks to fully enjoy the game. The former houses UAB Blazers and hosts the Birmingham Bowl.

College football is extremely popular in Alabama. For the love of the sport, go to Bryant-Denny Stadium, which happens to be the fifth-largest stadium in the US, and watch the Alabama Football Team play a match. There is a treat for the golf enthusiasts out there as well. They would be happy to know that Alabama hosts quite a few professional tournaments such as the Barbasol, The Tradition (Champions Tour), Airbus LPGA Classic etc. Truly, never a dull day for anyone.

The Heart of Dixie has a cost of living that is 13% below the US average where the average household income also happens to be $44,934. The healthcare costs for a retired couple are pretty low, around $404,522. If you are renting a house in Alabama, it would cost $1,000 and buying one would be $143,500. This state gives a lot.

6. Virginia


The culture of Virginia has quite a few sources, which means that one will never tire of what this state has to offer. The Virginia wine, ham and architecture are probably the most well-known takeaways from the state. You would be pleased to visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Science Museum of Virginia, as well as a number of open-air museums such as Colonial Williamsburg, the Frontier Culture Museum and a number of battlefields of history.

Both the cities and suburbs of Virginia have quite the number of theatres and venues from which the resident and touring theatre troupes operate. Some of the more noteworthy music performance venues include The Birchmere and the Landmark Theatre. There is also a national park that is used as a performing arts center. It is the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

It doesn’t end here. A lot of counties host their own country fairs and festivals. The Virginia State Fair and the Neptune Festival are to name a few. Then there’s Norfolk’s Harborfest that has boat racing and air shows. There is also a six-day festival held in Winchester, called the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, that has parades and concerts. In case it wasn’t obvious, this state is where the Virginia Film Festival and the VCU French Film Festival are held every year. Talk about having things to do.

The cost of living here is 7% above the US average, but the average household income also happens to be $59,869. The healthcare costs for retirees is $408,950. Renting a house in Virginia would be $1,200 and buying it would cost $180,000. This truly is a state for retirees, considering it doesn’t even tax social security benefits.

Also Read: Moving to Virginia

7. Georgia


You probably immediately thought of ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ and ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’. You can also think of ‘The Walking Dead’ and just in case you are into it, ‘The Vampire Diaries’. This is also the setting for Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone With the Wind’ and Alice Walker’s ‘The Colour Purple’.

There are also a host of fine art museums like the High Museum of Art and the Morris Museum of Art. Georgia has its own state theatre which is the Springer Opera House, located in Columbus. The performing arts venues are not far behind with the Fox Theatre, Alliance Theatre and the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre located here. Georgia also has its own opera in the form of Atlanta Opera.

Georgia also has a professional team for all major sports, college games and Olympic contenders. A delight for retirees in every shape and form. The cost of living here is 7% below the US average and the average household income is $50,607. Healthcare costs during retirement would be around $404,460. A two-bedroom house for rent would cost $1,100 and to buy that house would be $216,314. Quite a good place for that active and ‘young at heart’ retired life.

See also: Moving to Georgia

8. Florida


Is there a better place to party away your retirement years in? A mix of immigrant cultures, especially those of Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Florida quite ingeniously mixes that with the American south culture, of which it has long been a part of. Eating out is something that you are going to thoroughly enjoy here, considering the plethora of flavours and dishes, with such substantial diversity, just waiting to be tasted. There will also be plenty of chances to exhibit any barbeque skills you might have acquired, as there are quite a few of those competitions held across the state. If you win, that will be something to brag to the grandkids about for a long time.

Tourism is an important industry in Florida. That should give you a clue to the vibrant nightlife the state has to offer, should you be up for it. But there are also amazing restaurants with all kinds of cuisine and a gorgeous coastline to enjoy basking under the sun in peace. Wouldn’t it be interesting to spend your life after 60 over here?

The cost of living is 1% above the national average with the mean household income being $51,187. But this certainly is no deterrent considering that Florida has no income tax, retirement tax or estate and inheritance tax. The cost of healthcare here is $425,025 during retirement for a retired couple. Renting a house here would be around $1,600 and buying one would be $250,000. Its retiree-haven status is indeed, well earned.

See also: Moving to Florida: Relocation Guide

9. New Hampshire

New Hampshire

You will meet some of the most open-minded people here. While the culture and the people of New Hampshire are fiercely protective of their environment and land, they are just that accepting and welcoming of other people, provided they can respect their beliefs. Coming to the fun part, many county fairs are hosted here, especially during the summer and autumn.

The Lakes Region is a popular tourist destination and has quite the number of summer camps, should you want to volunteer. If you happen to live in Tamworth, you may also attend the Barnstormers Theatre, which is one of the longest running professional summer theatres in the US. For the snow-bunnies out there, the state has ski areas and snowmobile trails as well as ice fishing houses over the frozen lakes. One may also visit Funspot, the world’s largest video arcade, in Laconia. A great place to take the grandkids.

The cost of living is 18% above the US average, with the mean household income being $53,204. Yet New Hampshire is one of the more desirable states for retirees, considering its tax benefits. There is no tax on social security benefits, the pension or any sales tax for that matter. The health care for a retired couple would be $424,052 during retirement. The rent of a two-bedroom apartment here is $1,400 and the cost of buying a house is $230,000. So, if you have decent savings, New Hampshire is nothing short of a dream.

Also Read: Moving to New Hampshire

10. Hawaii


Ah, the joy of living a life in Hawaii, soaking up the sun and the sand without a day going by that doesn’t feel like a party. There are too many things to enjoy here, be it the sea, the food, the mythology, the music or the endless vibrancy of the place. Hawaiian food is an amalgamation of the many flavours and many cultures brought to the islands over the years. Eating the food here is quite like taking a short world tour from a culinary point of view.

Need we say that you will have the best tan always, as well as be the ‘cool’ side of the family, simply by living in Hawaii? You wouldn’t lack entertainment or friends in this state. Just remember to take a small gift for them when you go over to their place for the first time, as they will bring to yours.

It goes without saying that living in this island paradise does not come cheap, but which good thing does? The cost of living is 87% higher than the national average with the mean household income being $71,997. The healthcare costs are surprisingly low, at $375,273 during retirement. Renting a two-bedroom house in Hawaii is $2,000 on average, and buying a house here would be $610,000. So, if you have the money for it, you are literally going to have the best retirement ever in the best place ever.


As another favorite anonymous person has said, ‘Don’t act your age in retirement. Act as the inner young person you have always been.’ Take this quote to heart and make all your decisions accordingly. Because this is the start of that phase of your life where you are answerable to nobody but yourself and have to live and love yourself without reservations.

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