United States

The 10 Best U.S. States for Retirement in 2021

Cecilie_Arcurs | E+ | Getty Images

Planning for your golden years is important, including choosing where you want to live.

A number of factors may influence your decision. Perhaps you're worried how close you'll be to family and friends, whether you'll find a good health-care provider or whether your money will stretch far enough.

To see how each U.S. state compares, personal finance website Bankrate ranked the best and worst states for retirement for 2021. The data took five factors into account for each location: affordability, wellness, culture, weather and crime, with the biggest emphasis on affordability (40%) and wellness (20%).

"This is a deeply personal decision, and there's a lot of subjectivity, and so we're trying to add some objectivity," Jeff Ostrowski, Bankrate.com analyst, tells CNBC Make It. "I think the most important thing is where you feel comfortable, where your kids are, where your doctors are and where your friends are."

Although Georgia ranks at the top of the list this year, Ostrowski says it was neck and neck with Florida. However, Bankrate's emphasis on things like affordability propelled Georgia to the top. The state has light tax burdens and ranks 3rd in terms of affordability.

Check out the top 10 best states to retire in the U.S. below:

Traffic on Interstate 85 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on Thursday, May 13, 2021.
Elijah Nouvelage | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Traffic on Interstate 85 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

1. Georgia

  • Affordability rank: 3
  • Wellness rank: 32
  • Culture rank: 41

2. Florida

  • Affordability rank: 14
  • Wellness rank: 24
  • Culture rank: 15

3. Tennessee

  • Affordability rank: 1
  • Wellness rank: 42
  • Culture rank: 29
Downtown Columbia, Missouri
Stephen Emlund | Getty Images
Downtown Columbia, Missouri

4. Missouri

  • Affordability rank: 3
  • Wellness rank: 34
  • Culture rank: 34

5. Massachusetts

  • Affordability rank: 42
  • Wellness rank: 1
  • Culture rank: 12

6. Wyoming

  • Affordability rank: 17
  • Wellness rank: 28
  • Culture rank: 10

7. Arizona

  • Affordability rank: 16
  • Wellness rank: 27
  • Culture rank: 40
Large ship entering the port of Cleveland. Cleveland, Ohio.
Getty Images
Large ship entering the port of Cleveland. Cleveland, Ohio.

8. Ohio

  • Affordability rank: 19
  • Wellness rank: 31
  • Culture rank: 32

9. Indiana

  • Affordability rank: 7
  • Wellness rank: 41
  • Culture rank: 45

10. Kentucky

  • Affordability rank: 14
  • Wellness rank: 46
  • Culture rank: 47

The data is meant to provide a starting point for those aiming to narrow down their options. "If you're thinking of moving to some other part of the country, use this ranking as a way to maybe open up about some possibilities you hadn't thought of," Ostrowski says.

In order to rank each state, Bankrate gathered data from from a number of sources. Here are the sources it used for each metric, as well as how heavily each factor was weighed.

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