The statistical geeks at WalletHub, Bankrate and Kiplingers recently took their respective shots at measuring how each state compares in terms of livability factors for your retirement years: from costs to culture to that critical aging issue, healthcare.
Lets politely say the conclusions varied.
So whos correct? Who do you trust? Retirement choices are no small matter.
Let me take a literal middle ground by considering their collective wisdom. As a public service, my trusty spreadsheet helped me combine this trio of retirement location rankings to give a better picture of the varying strengths vs. weaknesses of the states.
I reassembled their published ranking data — overall scores, subindex grades and related data — into three evenly weighted metrics: costs (buying power); character (culture and climate); and care (healthcare and healthiness). What did I learn?
Florida is the place to retire, statistically speaking to my composite index. It ranked No. 1 for costs and character. But if you dont care for humidity, and enjoy winters chill, No. 2 was South Dakota, which enjoyed No. 4 grades for costs and care.
Third-ranked was New Hampshire (No. 4 for character; 10th-best for care), then Virginia: (ninth-best for character) and Hawaii (No. 40 for costs but No. 1 for care!)
Conversely, dont think about Louisiana for your golden years, according to my math. It ranked last in my reassembled scorecard. Why? No. 49 for character and No. 50 for care.
Next worst score was Arkansas (No. 47 for character), then came Kentucky (No. 47 for care); New Mexico (No. 46 for character) and Illinois (No. 41 for care).
What about California? By my math, the Golden State ranked a middle-of-the-pack 26th for ones golden years. Californias seventh-worst ranking for costs was improved by a No. 16 grade for character and No. 18 for care.
Here is how the 50 states ranked as retirement options in order of my overall scoring then broken down by ranking for cost, character and care quality.
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