Can You Guess Which State Is Ranked As 'The Worst Place To Retire?' Check Out The 5 States You May Want To Avoid

When planning for retirement, most people envision a place that offers comfort, convenience, and quality health care. While there are plenty of reports on the best places to retire, it's equally important to consider which states might be less desirable.

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A 2024 survey from WalletHub highlights the locations that might not meet the retirement dream. Kentucky, New Jersey, and Mississippi have been identified as the least favorable states for retirees, according to WalletHub's 2024 rankings. 

This survey compared the 50 states across three key dimensions: Affordability, Quality of Life, and Health Care, which were evaluated using 46 specific metrics.

Kentucky claimed the dubious honor of being the worst state to retire, primarily due to its high taxes, crime rates, and inadequate health care facilities. The state’s poor performance in the WalletHub survey is reflected in its overall score, which considered factors like the adjusted cost of living, tax-friendliness for retirees, and the accessibility of affordable health care. For example, metrics such as the annual cost of in-home services and adult day health care were evaluated alongside the share of the elderly population who could not afford a doctor visit, highlighting significant barriers to health care access in Kentucky.

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Not only is Kentucky one of the worst places to retire, but it's also considered one of the worst states to live overall, according to the WalletHub survey. A separate survey from SelectSoftware Reviews ranks Kentucky as one of the least suitable states to raise a child.

The list of the bottom 10 states also includes New Jersey, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New York, Washington, Arkansas, and Illinois, all marked by challenges that could compromise a retiree's quality of life. These states scored poorly across dimensions like Quality of Life, including factors such as access to public transportation, the mild weather, and the availability of cultural amenities like museums and theaters that contribute to a fulfilling retirement.

Florida is the best state to retire in, followed closely by Colorado and Virginia. But, of course, lists like these are based on data â€" residents may have different views. Does your favorite retirement spot match these rankings, or do you have another place in mind?

Wherever you decide to retire, it’s a good idea to check if you’re on track to cover all the necessary expenses — housing, health care, and leisure activities, to name a few. Consulting a financial advisor can genuinely pay off here. They can help assess your financial health and plan for future expenses. Working with a professional can give you the extra confidence you need to enjoy your retirement years.

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*This information is not financial advice, and personalized guidance from a financial adviser is recommended for making well-informed decisions.

Jeannine Mancini has written about personal finance and investment for the past 13 years in a variety of publications including Zacks, The Nest, and eHow. She is not a licensed financial adviser, and the content herein is for information purposes only and is not, and does not constitute or intend to constitute, investment advice or any investment service. While Mancini believes the information contained herein is reliable and derived from reliable sources, there is no representation, warranty, or undertaking, stated or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information.

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