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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.

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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.

RankStateCostCharacterCare
1Florida112
2South Dakota4201
3New Hampshire2243
4Virginia1896
5Hawaii40812
6Utah7334
7Montana181812
8Massachusetts34429
9Iowa37108
10Vermont50238
11Colorado20289
12Idaho21255
13Delaware122614
14Maine48321
15North Carolina152417
16Pennsylvania31714
17Arizona252020
18Wyoming5337
19Minnesota441723
20Connecticut42641
21Michigan142027
22Nebraska332718
23Kansas153123
24Missouri73111
25Wisconsin461428
26California441638
27North Dakota373710
28Alabama114422
29Texas34018
30Tennessee14216
31Oregon321935
32Ohio281525
33Washington253829
34Rhode Island431345
35New Jersey471146
36Mississippi93933
37West Virginia272341
38Nevada54132
39South Carolina303629
40New York481250
41Maryland412949
42Alaska155035
43Indiana134234
44Oklahoma104537
45Georgia244825
46Illinois353044
47New Mexico374647
48Kentucky363540
49Arkansas284741
50Louisiana224948

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is Californias anti-business vibe killing the states economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

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