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Top 10 Best Places to Retire in the US in 2022

Aug 25, 2022
in a nutshell
  • Florida is the top state for Americans looking to retire, based on a 2022 study that considered affordability, quality of life, and health care.
  • It’s closely followed by Virginia and Colorado, which scored high for quality of life and health care, respectively.
  • Cost of living is an important factor to consider when you’re deciding where to retire, but there are lots of other factors to consider as well.
Image of Here are the best places to retire in the US in 2022, based on affordability, quality of life, and health care.
in a nutshell
  • Florida is the top state for Americans looking to retire, based on a 2022 study that considered affordability, quality of life, and health care.
  • It’s closely followed by Virginia and Colorado, which scored high for quality of life and health care, respectively.
  • Cost of living is an important factor to consider when you’re deciding where to retire, but there are lots of other factors to consider as well.

That Florida is the No. 1 destination for Americans to retire, according to recent data collected by WalletHub, may not be a shock. Interestingly, though, the Sunshine State is followed closely by two lesser-known retirement destinations.

Researchers at the personal-finance website analyzed all 50 states using stats from the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other entities. The analysis ranked locales on a 100-point scale across three metrics: affordability, quality of life, and health care.

Virginia and Colorado ranked second and third, just behind Florida, the research shows. Both outrank it when it comes to health care, and both have comparable costs of living.

Based on the WalletHub findings, here are the top 10 most retirement-friendly U.S. states, based on their overall score. Their state rankings in individual metrics including affordability, quality of life, and health care.

9. New Hampshire (tie)          

Total score: 54.17    

Affordability: 34          

Quality of life: 2          

Health care: 8

9. Arizona (tie)

Total score: 54.17    

Affordability: 15          

Quality of life: 32        

Health care: 24

8. Utah

Total score: 54.23    

Affordability: 19          

Quality of life: 20        

Health care: 26

7. Montana

Total score: 54.44    

Affordability: 14          

Quality of life: 18        

Health care: 31

6. North Dakota          

Total score: 54.51    

Affordability: 25          

Quality of life: 16

Health care: 16

5. Minnesota  

Total score: 55.85    

Affordability: 36          

Quality of life: 3          

Health care: 1

4. Delaware    

Total score: 56.34    

Affordability: 6

Quality of life: 35        

Health care: 15

3. Colorado    

Total score: 59.27    

Affordability: 11          

Quality of life: 21        

Health care: 4

2. Virginia       

Total score: 59.32    

Affordability: 9

Quality of life: 7          

Health care: 13

1. Florida        

Total score: 59.41

Affordability: 4

Quality of life: 5          

Health care: 27

Watch out for ‘additional surprises’ when considering where to retire

Retirement may mark the end of your career, but it’s not the end of financial security considerations. If you’re worried about having enough for the future, moving to a lower-cost state could help your money last.

In the top three states on the list, the lower cost of living is a big draw. In the popular retirement city of Orlando, Florida, for example, the cost of living is 5% lower than the national average. In Richmond, Virginia, it’s 4% lower, and in Colorado Springs, Colorado, costs are 6% lower.

Keep in mind, however, how your other expenses may change. While “the cost of living in Florida can be cheaper than where you’re coming from, “especially if you are moving from a high-cost area, say, New York City,” says John A. Kilpatrick, Ph.D., managing director at real estate company Greenfield Advisors, “the typical salaries are lower as well,” which could be a concern if you decide to keep working.

“Plus, there [could be] some additional surprises,” he adds.

For example, in Florida, “you have to own a car. If you are coming from an area where auto usage is uncommon, you are going to have quite a shock. Mass transit is almost unknown,” he says.

Home prices in Florida, as well as in Virginia and Colorado, are above the norm. Compared to the national average of $344,141, according to Zillow, Florida homes are a slightly higher $342,077, while homes in Virginia and Colorado average $348,835 and $536,839, respectively.

While taxes or other costs may be lower in one place than another, Marcia Socas, a real estate broker in Central Florida, said, look at all “facets of your expenses,” in order to avoid “saving in one area and spending significantly more in another.”

Don’t forget about your quality of life

Being happy where you are is a big deal. Before committing to a new place, experts suggest you visit or rent for a while to see if you like it. The right choice takes research and includes many personal factors other than money, like proximity to family and friends.

Only you can determine the best retirement destination for you in terms of satisfaction.

This material has been presented for informational and educational purposes only. The views expressed in the articles above are generalized and may not be appropriate for all investors. The information contained in this article should not be construed as, and may not be used in connection with, an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or hold, an interest in any security or investment product. There is no guarantee that past performance will recur or result in a positive outcome. Carefully consider your financial situation, including investment objective, time horizon, risk tolerance, and fees prior to making any investment decisions. No level of diversification or asset allocation can ensure profits or guarantee against losses. Article contributors are not affiliated with Acorns Advisers, LLC. and do not provide investment advice to Acorns’ clients. Acorns is not engaged in rendering tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult a qualified professional for this type of service.

Shawn M. Carter

Shawn M. Carter was a writer for Grow.

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