Where are the best places to retire in the US?

FOX Weather churned through surveys and weather data to show you 2023's best places to retire in the U.S. Affordability, wellness, transit, crime, wellbeing and culture all went into the rankings.

Do you sit at your work desk and dream of a retirement where you are casting a reel into a babbling brook, enjoying morning coffee looking down on a ski run or feeling the warm sand between your toes? Well, the hours tied to your computer may crawl but the years fly. Retirement is on the horizon for so many. 

Many have been planning for retirement since their first full-time job building up 401-Ks and penchants. Where do you want to spend your hard-earned retirement? Where will it go the furthest? And where will you be the happiest and most comfortable as you age and priorities change?

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Those thoughts are overwhelming enough to cause anyone to toss and turn at night. So FOX Weather took a look at weather and census data. Then we turned to three large surveys conducted by Bankrate, WalletHub and U.S. News and World Report. They crunched numbers on crime stats, accessibility to transit and medical care, cost of living and taxes and put out lists.

Of course, findings from the three lists differ because the companies measured and weighted affordability, wellness, culture, weather and crime differently. We did find a few similarities though.

Mild temperatures rated top for most respondents. So Florida came up top or near the top.

1. Florida

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Florida is the best state retire in 2023 according to Bankrate’s 2022 survey. Florida is the warmest state second only to Hawaii. The state also boasts the second-largest population of residents over 65-years-old. And several cities are very high on culture and diversity lists.

Hurricanes hurt the weather rating, however. And while tax burdens were light, cost of living took a hit with rising home prices, especially near the coast.

Take a look at the Sunshine State’s cities that showed up in WalletHub and U.S. News' top 10:

Neither list had any Florida city in the bottom 10 list.

2. Georgia

Georgia came in second for the best state to retire for Bankrate. The state’s climate is relatively mild and comes in as the fifth-warmest.  Coastal areas of the Peach State are susceptible to hurricanes though. And the National Weather Service puts Georgia in the middle of the pack for tornadoes.

Culture, arts and entertainment per capita, lowered the score. The state also has one of the lowest 65 and over populations.

Cities within the state don’t show up often in the city lists. But, several cities in neighboring states do.

3. Michigan

Michigan is the highest-scoring cold weather state, coming in third per Bankrate. The company said the state is the most affordable in the nation with a low cost of living and tax burden.

Ann Arbor is the 8th best place to retire and Grand Rapids the 26th, according to US News. Grand Rapids was the highest ranking Michigan city, coming in at 43 in WalletHub. 

Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, South Dakota - fill out the top 10

Ohio scored well with affordability, putting the state in fourth place. Missouri, also affordable with a milder climate lost points for culture, crime and wellness. Kentucky’s weather scored high but well-being and culture scores dropped the state into 6th place.

Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and South Dakota round out the top 10 best states to retire. Their cities are well represented in the WalletHub and U.S. News surveys:

Arizona came in first for weather. New Hampshire had the lowest crime. Massachusetts can boast the best well-being score.

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