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March 31, 2017

Maine makes 'top 5 states for retirement' list

Big snowstorm coming our way? No problem. Despite Maine’s unpredictable spring weather and long cold winters, the personal finance site puts our state among the top five best places for retirement.

Maine comes in at No. 3 in Bankrate’s top five retirement destinations, following New Hampshire and Colorado. Iowa and Minnesota round out the Top 5. 

The highest-ranking warm-weather state is Arizona, which places 12th, followed by Florida (17), South Carolina (25), Georgia (35) and Hawaii (36) as other sunny and warm locales that are typically thought of as prime destinations for retirement.

“Bankrate’s latest ranking of the best and worst states to retire finds the fun-in-the-sun places often associated with retirement may have drawbacks as we face aging issues and our savings dwindle,” the finance site reported in its latest ranking of the best and worst states for retirement. “Retiree meccas like Florida and Arizona don’t come close to cracking our top 10.

Our top pick, New Hampshire, probably won’t be the best place to work on your tan, but it will provide many of the necessities for a comfortable and sustainable retirement.”

The bottom five states for retirement: Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia and Alaska.

In ranking the states, Bankrate pulled together data based on what people say they want in retirement, using these eight criteria:

  • Cost of living
  • Health care quality
  • Crime
  • Cultural vitality
  • Weather
  • Taxes
  • Senior citizens’ overall well-being
  • The prevalence of other seniors.

Two of its categories are new: cultural vitality (whether residents can find fun stuff to do) and the prevalence of other seniors (whether it would be easy to find other retirees to hang out with).

Nari Rhee, director of the Retirement Security Program at the University of California-Berkeley’s Labor Center, told Bankrate that retirees on fixed incomes should be mindful of all of those variables, instead of simply choosing the commonplace ones of warm weather and low taxes.

“They think, the state has low taxes, ergo I can stretch my dollars further,” Rhee says. “but if that also means they’re going to be paying more for out-of-pocket costs for their health care or long-term care, then that’s going to make a difference.”

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