The Best (and Worst) States to Grow Old In
Life + Money

The Best (and Worst) States to Grow Old In

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

Trying to decide where to spend your golden years? New research finds that it might be best to avoid traditional retirement destinations like Florida and settle instead somewhere that offers high quality health care at low cost, as well as excellent quality of life. 

The senior living website ranked the best and worst states for aging, according to a number of financial, health care and quality of life variables. The study found that higher costs are not necessarily related to higher quality of care. In fact, sometimes the opposite is true.

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“The main takeaway from this research is that the traditional retirement destinations don’t always offer the best mix of quality and quantity,” said Dayna Steele of in the report’s press release.

South Dakota snagged the top spot for aging, thanks to the state’s high-quality health care and senior care. South Dakota also boasts one of the highest well-being ratings. Iowa and Minnesota rank second and third, respectively.

Only two warm and sunny states, typically thought of as being ideal retirement destinations, cracked the top 10: Hawaii and South Carolina. California came in 17th, Arizona is 20th and Florida ranked 31st.

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Long-term senior care in West Virginia is relatively affordable, but the state ranked dead last due to its low quality of life and lack of health care services. New Jersey, one of the most expensive states for senior care, came second to last, with New York rounding out the bottom three.

Here are the 10 best states to grow old in, according to

10. Wisconsin
9. Nebraska
8. South Carolina
7. Hawaii
6. Colorado
5. Oregon
4. Alaska
3. Minnesota
2. Iowa
1. South Dakota

And here are the 10 worst states to grow old in, according to

10. Alabama
8. Ohio (tied)
8. Pennsylvania (tied)
7. Mississippi
6. Rhode Island
5. Indiana
4. Kentucky
3. New York
2. New Jersey
1. West Virginia