I recently wrote a post about the best states to retire in, While researching that article, I found myself asking, what are the worst states to retire in? I figured I needed to give equal time to some of the worst retirement rated states. But don’t get me wrong. I found that the “good” retirement states were subjective, and I found that the “bad” states were equally subjective. You may find that one person’s “good” state is another person’s “bad” state. So, once again, decide what’s important to you and find a place to retire that is best for you! However, I did list the worst states to help you make that decision.
These states were rated on their climates, cost of living, crime rates, cost and availability of health care, housing costs, quality of life, easy access, and a few other considerations.
10. Alaska: Don’t let the incredible natural beauty and the cool crisp temperatures fool you. While taxes and real estate prices are fairly low, the cost of health care can be as much as 5 times more than in the lower 48. Also, high alcoholism, depression, and suicide rates make it a difficult life, especially if you are on your own up there. Remember that winters in Alaska have around 6 hours of daylight every day, which might be the cause of depression.
9. New Mexico: Sunny New Mexico sounds like a wonderful place to retire, if you like mild winters and don’t mind the hot summers. There also seems to be decent health care available to seniors. However, the cost of housing is 5% to 20% above the national average, depending on what area you are seeking to live. Also, Las Cruces has the highest violent crime rate in the nation.
8. Rhode Island: Stunning views, amazing beaches, and all the sea food you can eat are some of Rhode Island’s claims to fame. If you can withstand the nor’ easters and don’t mind shoveling snow, it’s not a bad place to visit. However, it’s not a great place to live, since the taxes, cost of living, and utility prices are astronomically high. And although Rhode Island’s health care is ranked 7th in the nation, it’s transportation infrastructure is the worst in the country, and the cities are known for political corruption and crime.
7. Kentucky: Although Kentucky has a low cost of living, 11% of Kentucky seniors live in poverty. Health costs are high, and seniors there report poor health due to higher than average smoking rates, lack of physical activity, and limited access to affordable nutritious food. These all outweigh the hometown lifestyle and the great hunting and fishing,
6. Arkansas: The state’s natural beauty, streams and rivers, and of course, the hot springs unfortunately can’t compensate for the highest crime rates in the country, and the lowest points for healthcare nation-wide. Even though the cost of living is fairly low, it’s hard to get past the oppressing humidity and the extensive mosquito population. WalletHub’s most recent ranking put Arkansas dead last for quality of life.
5. New York: What can one say about New York? You have the excitement of city, but just down the road you have rural living, ski slopes and the incredible beauty of its mountains, rivers, and lakes. However, there is little help for the retiree, as New York’s cost of living is 29% above the national average. Also, health care rates a poor 48 out of 50.
4. Hawaii: The Hawaiian life style is envied around the world for its beaches and jungles as well as it’s amazing food, beautiful weather, and laid back living. However, limited space and distance from the rest of the world cause problems such as high housing prices, high cost of living, high gas prices, and the loneliness of being cut of from your mainland family and friends. I have also heard that people who are used to wide open spaces of the American West get claustrophobic on small islands.
3. West Virginia: West Virginia’s mountains and low cost of living might sound inviting, but there is little else to recommend retirement in that state. Expensive health care, coupled with high obesity rates, and the fewest dental visits in the nation, make for the country’s 5th most unhealthy seniors. And due to the declining coal industry, the small towns are crumbling as the crime rates rise.
2. New Jersey: There seems to be a lot of fun to be had in New Jersey. They have beaches, boardwalks, casinos and restaurants equal to none in the country. However, New Jersey one of the highest cost of living rankings and the second highest tax burden in America.
1. Louisiana: Known for its friendly people, amazing culture, awesome food, and incredible.music, Louisiana has a lot to offer. But the reason Louisiana is ranked THE WORST state to retire in, is the summer heat and humidity, the ridiculously high sales tax, low quality health care, the second highest crime rate in the nation, the occasional Category 4 or 5 hurricane, and a batch of hungry alligators.
Pick Your Own Criteria
Once again, think about what is important to you. Thank about what you can live with and what you can’t live without. Here is a list of general criteria to help you think of what’s important to you:
- Closeness to family and friends
- Weather, climate, humidity, and elevation
- Wildlife and insects
- City or Rural
- Political or Religious environment
- Close to shopping and attractions
- Tourist or Non-tourist area
- Job availability for seniors
Speaking of Jobs for Retirees…
I just wanted to mention again about “living the laptop life” and supplementing your retirement income with affiliated marketing through Wealthy Affiliate. See my review of Wealthy Affiliate here. Having the extra income that you can earn anywhere will allow you the freedom to live where you want to live when you retire, without worrying too much about the cost of living or the price of housing. And with Wealthy Affiliate, you don’t have to be tied down to one place! You have the opportunity to search out anyplace you want to live, or spend your retirement on the road, seeing and doing new things!
Where you want to retire is subjective. So, even though I have listed the above places as “the worst”, you may find that they are indeed a good fit for you. Research, visit places, and figure out what works for you and doesn’t work for you. Then pick a place that has what you want and need for your retirement. Most of all, enjoy the process!
Thank you for reading, and please put your comments and questions below.