Top 10 States to Retire in 2024 (#8 Surprised Us)

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These states provide the best quality of life for retirees.
Updated June 6, 2024
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Imagine a retirement where the sun kisses your face, and your dollars stretch farther than ever. That's a possibility with many retirement locations without having to leave the country. 

In the quest for the perfect retirement destination, WalletHub has released its 2024 rankings for the best states to retire, reaching a final score based on the factors of affordability, quality of life, and healthcare.

As you start making your retirement planning moves, here are the 10 best retirement spots in the U.S. for 2024 to help you make some of your decisions easier. 

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Florida

frank peters/Adobe sunset at clearwater beach venice florida

Nestled in the embrace of sunshine and sandy beaches, Florida emerges as the unrivaled champion for retirees. 

With a total score of 62.19, it clinches the top spot, thanks to its affordability (ranked 4th), exceptional quality of life (ranked 1st), and commendable healthcare provisions (ranked 29th). 

Florida also boasts no estate, inheritance, or income taxes for retirees. Amidst the vast shoreline, retirees find solace, and with various recreational activities and low death rates for seniors, Florida becomes a retirement paradise.


Colorado

Sean Xu/Adobe beautiful scenery of greenery and snow mountains at moon lake in colorado

For those seeking the crisp mountain air over coastal breezes, Colorado stands as the second-best state for retirees with a score of 61.00. 

Offering a haven for physical and mental well-being, Wallethub ranks Colorado high for its low social isolation rates among seniors and a meager percentage of seniors living in poverty. 

The taxpayer-friendly conditions, with no estate or inheritance taxes, contribute to its appeal. Surrounded by the majestic Rockies, Colorado becomes not just a scenic retreat but a sanctuary for retirees seeking a fulfilling lifestyle.

Virginia

Daryl/Adobe fall over Monument Avenue in Richmond Virginia

Virginia secures its position as the third-best state for retirement, offering seniors a haven of safety and quality healthcare. 

Notably, Virginia boasts some of the nation's top elder abuse protections, ensuring that seniors are physically safer and less susceptible to financial exploitation. The state takes pride in high-quality geriatrics hospitals, providing comprehensive healthcare options for retirees.

Virginia stands out by lacking an estate or inheritance tax, earning the title of the tenth most taxpayer-friendly state. Residents also enjoy many miles of scenic shoreline, a low violent crime rate, and commendable air quality.

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Delaware

Wayne6/Wirestock Creators/Adobe cargo ship running under delaware memorial bridge

Claiming the fourth-best spot for retirement, Delaware's appeal lies in its remarkably low overall tax burdens, including the absence of estate or inheritance taxes. 

With nearly 20% of its population being seniors, Delaware fosters a sense of community and connectivity, contributing to the second-lowest risk of social isolation among seniors. 

The state prioritizes the well-being of its older residents, reflected in the lowest poverty rate among people aged 65 and older.

Wyoming

Jo Ann Snover/Adobe schwabacher's landing on snake river wyoming

Wyoming boasts robust protections against elder abuse, coupled with one of the lowest violent crime rates nationwide, fostering an environment of security for retirees. 

Wyoming's commitment to clean air further enhances its appeal, particularly for seniors with respiratory concerns. 

With favorable financial factors, including low tax burdens and the absence of estate or inheritance taxes, Wyoming emerges as a well-rounded choice for retirees seeking safety, community, and financial stability.

Idaho

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Boise, Idaho, USA Downtown

Sixth on the list, Idaho has emerged as a great place for senior living. With an affordability rank of 9, it is one of the more economical choices on the list.

Idaho doesn’t tax Social Security benefits and has low property and sales taxes. Along with its many national and state parks and outdoor opportunities, Idaho is a good climate for retirees looking for a change of pace.


New Hampshire

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe portsmouth new hampshire at sunset

One reason people flock to the state is New Hampshire does not have personal income taxes, state sales tax, or taxes on Social Security benefits. 

The state also offers property tax relief for seniors. New Hampshire offers a wide range of retirement options from coastal communities to mountainous settlements, making it an easy choice.

Minnesota

andreykr/Adobe Downtown Minneapolis Minnesota

Minnesota is one of the healthiest states due to its robust healthcare system, which is something seniors are drawn to and rely on heavily in some cases. 

A reasonable cost of living plus beautiful scenery and climate make Minnesota 8th on the list. Living costs, like groceries and housing, tend to be cheaper in Minnesota than in other states.

Montana

ricktravel/Adobe Glacier national park montana mountains and lakes

Montana has surged in popularity recently due to its off-grid appeal and gorgeous landscape. 

The appeal extends to retirees as well, as Montana has a 19% lower cost of living and 40% lower housing prices compared to other states. 

Montana also caps income taxes at 6.65%, has no sales tax, and limits taxes on Social Security and pension payments.

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Pennsylvania

checubus/Adobe skyscrapers surrounded by water trees and bridge in pittsburgh pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is cheaper to live in than its other East Coast counterparts. 

The state doesn’t tax Social Security, 401(k)s, pensions, or IRA for retirees over 60, and the cost of living is generally lower than its Tri-State neighbors. 

Pennsylvania is home to over 800,000 veterans, and as such has many military-friendly policies, like no taxes on military retirement.

Bottom line

Rawpixel.com/Adobe seniors cheering champagne bottle in a restaurant

In the quest for the perfect retirement haven, Florida and Colorado emerge as the front-runners, each offering a unique blend of affordability, quality of life, and healthcare. 

Whether it's the sun-drenched beaches of Florida or the refreshing mountain air of Colorado, these states beckon retirees with promises of financial security and an enriching retirement experience. 

As you plan your golden years, consider these top-ranking states to ensure that retirement is more than just trying to avoid living paycheck-to-paycheck and instead is a fulfilling and worry-free adventure.

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Author Details

Georgina Tzanetos Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who has been active in financial media for the past six years. She holds a master's in political economy from NYU, where she studied distressed labor markets.