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Where is the best place to retire? This ranking puts Florida above all for 2024. Here’s why

In August, financial services company BankRate released a list of the best states to retire to. That list ranked Florida in eighth place, placing Iowa in first place because of its affordability.

But WalletHub just released its list of the best states for retirement in 2024 and Florida is back on top.

Florida has long-been the state that the rest of the country – at least much of the eastern part of the country – couldn’t wait to retire to. It’s known for beach and golfing communities peppered with, or even created for, senior living communities like The Villages.

Here’s WalletHub’s top 20 best states for retirement in 2024 and why Florida tops the list.

WalletHub’s list ranks Florida as the best state for retirement for a number of reasons, but mainly because of its affordability. Ironically, the state’s low affordability score on BankRate’s summer 2023 study is why the Sunshine State was dethroned by Iowa.

But WalletHub’s study measured each state across more than 40 metrics in three categories: affordability, overall quality of life and health care. Using slightly different affordability metrics, WalletHub ranked Florida as the fourth-most affordable state.

The metrics ranged from things like retired taxpayer-friendliness and share of population aged 65 and older, to violent crime rates and each state's quality of elder abuse protections.

Here’s WalletHub’s list of the top 20 best states for retirement this year:

  1. Florida

  2. Colorado

  3. Virginia

  4. Delaware

  5. Wyoming

  6. Idaho

  7. New Hampshire

  8. Minnesota

  9. Montana

  10. Pennsylvania

  11. South Carolina

  12. Utah

  13. South Dakota

  14. Arizona

  15. North Carolina

  16. Massachusetts

  17. California

  18. Wisconsin

  19. North Dakota

  20. Missouri

Although the cost of living is higher than in most states, there are some financial benefits to those who live in or retire in the state.

“(Florida) ranks as the best state to retire due to its relatively low taxes for retired people, including no estate, inheritance or income taxes,” WalletHub’s study says.

“The cost of adult day health care (health services for seniors who don’t need around-the-clock care) and homemaker services are also lower than in most other states.”

There’s also the obvious reason that many retirees are drawn to Florida: warm weather and plenty of beaches and golf courses.

Florida has the second-most shoreline miles in the country, giving retirees plenty of beach towns to choose from.

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