By Chris Kahn • Bankrate.com
In the center of the country, there's a patchwork of states that's tough to describe without a map. They're north of the Sun Belt, east of California, west of Appalachia. Some are in the Midwest, a couple of states are in the West and one is ensconced in the South. While collectively they have no geographic identity, perhaps there's now a reason to give them one.
They're the best states in the country for retirement.
Bankrate's 2014 ranking found that these predominantly interior states would be the best choices for your golden years.
Just like last year, Bankrate considered a variety of factors in creating this ranking: the local weather, access to health care, cost of living, crime rate and tax burden. This year we fine-tuned the process by evaluating government statistics on health care quality, and we improved our measurement of weather to include levels of sunshine and humidity. Finally, this year's ranking adds a broad standard-of-living measurement from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a comprehensive survey gauging people's satisfaction with their surroundings.
Once again, such popular retirement states as Arizona (No. 16) and Florida (No. 39) didn't make the top 10. Yes, they're lovely places to visit, especially when it's cold everywhere else. But retirees must consider more than sunshine before making a move.
Here, in ascending order, is our 2014 list of 10 unexpectedly great states for retirement.
Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/best-states-for-retirement-1.aspx#ixzz31RuoBXw7
Click Read More to Find Out the WORSE Places for Retirement
10 bad states for retirees
10 bad states for retirees © Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
It's hard to be flexible on a fixed income. That's why some of America's prettiest, most vibrant locations are also some of the toughest on retirees.
They're usually more expensive, for example, with higher rents and more expensive restaurants. Tax rates also tend to be higher in urban areas. They also may not be as safe.
With that in mind, Bankrate ranked each state based on a variety of factors that everyone should consider before making a move into -- or out of -- their home state. They include a specialized cost-of-living index for retirees, crime statistics, tax rates and comprehensive weather data that factor in sunshine and humidity. Also new this year: Bankrate beefed up its ranking for health care quality, and consulted an extensive survey called the Gallup-Healthways' Well-Being Index. The index gauges the level of satisfaction residents report about their surroundings.
The states that fell to the bottom of our list still have a lot to offer. In fact, many are home to the top tourism destinations in the world. The problem, in the end, is that choosing a good place to retire isn't as easy as picking a vacation spot. Costs matter more. The local culture and infrastructure also matter.
Here, in descending order, are 10 of the lowest-ranking states for retirees based on our criteria.
Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/worst-states-for-retirement-1.aspx#ixzz31RuwggOZ