According to Bankrate, the top 10 states to retire in are South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, Iowa and Virginia, as of February 2015. Bankrate's rankings factor in weather, health care, cost of living, crime rate, taxes and resident satisfaction according to a survey.
The 10 lowest-ranking states on Bankrate's list are New York, West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Maryland and Kentucky. Rankings can vary significantly based on the factors used by the ranking organization. For example, the National Institute on Retirement Security listed Alaska within its top five states for retirees. Rankings can also change significantly from year to year if the organization changes its ranking system. Louisiana and Kentucky both dropped from the top 10 in 2013 to the bottom 10 in 2014.
Positive aspects shared by most of Bankrate's top states are a low cost of living and high quality, affordable health care. While some of these states don't have large populations, the residents tend to enjoy living there. A high cost of living was a common factor in several states' low rankings. Hawaii, in particular, was the most expensive state in which to live. Although Florida was ranked 39 by Bankrate, Top Retirements ranked several Florida communities highly in its own rankings.