Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

This Is the Best State for Retirees in 2023

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® – Mar 22, 2023 at 12:18AM

Key Points

  • The Motley Fool recently asked 1,500 retirees what factors are most important when choosing a retirement destination.
  • Based on this information, Ohio is the top retirement destination for 2023, even though it wasn’t the best in any single category.
  • There is a lot to think about when deciding on the best retirement destination for you.

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Here's the state that offers the most of what today's retirees actually want.

There are some things that are often associated with great places to retire: Warm weather, lots to do, and access to good healthcare are a few examples. But these are only a few of the things retirees look for when deciding where to live.

Housing costs are one of the main factors, which isn't surprising given how much home values, mortgage rates, and rent prices have increased in recent years. Retirees also consider low crime rates, low taxes, the ability to walk around their communities, and many other factors.

With all of that in mind, The Motley Fool recently surveyed 1,500 Americans to find out what their biggest priorities are in finding a place to live in retirement, and then used this information to rank all 50 states.

Older couple looking at paperwork.

Image source: Getty Images.

The most important factors

We'll get to the most retiree-friendly state in a bit, but first, here are the five things (in order) that retirees say are the most important factors in their decisions on where to live in retirement:

  1. Quality of life.
  2. Housing costs.
  3. Healthcare quality.
  4. Crime rate.
  5. Healthcare cost.

Interestingly, these things outrank some of the other factors that are often associated with retirement destinations, especially weather and the proximity to family.

To clarify, quality of life is a rather broad category that includes things like prevalence of retail and dining options, outdoor and cultural activities, spiritual community, and organized activities for retirees. So, it makes sense that this would rank number one. After all, if you have a low quality of life, why would you want to live in a particular place?

The best state to in which to retire in 2023

I won't keep you in suspense. According to our rankings, Ohio is the number one state in which to retire in 2023.

In most categories, Ohio ranks near the middle of the pack. It is 24th when it comes to state and local taxes, 19th in violent crime rates, 28th in healthcare, and 26th in average temperature, just to name a few.

However, where Ohio excels is cost of living. It has the 8th lowest home values in the United States, and the overall cost-of-living index in Ohio is the 7th lowest. In a nutshell, Ohio is a well-rounded retirement destination at a bargain price, and that's what put it at the top of the list.

If you're curious, the rest of the top five states to retire in, according to our rankings, are Iowa, Minnesota, Florida, and Nebraska. You can see the full rankings and explanations in our research report.

Best states to retire by category

Although none of these states took the number one spot overall, here are the states that took the top spot in each of the most important categories:

  • Quality of Life: Hawaii and Massachusetts (tie).
  • Affordability: West Virginia.
  • Cost of Living: Mississippi.
  • Healthcare: Minnesota.
  • Crime Rate: Maine.
  • Low Taxes: Alaska.
  • Weather: Hawaii.

Every retiree is different

As a final thought, it's important to keep in mind that every retiree is different, and therefore the factors that matter most to one retiree might not matter nearly as much to another. Plus, some people may prioritize being around their friends, family, and familiar surroundings, while other retirees may be up for a new adventure. The bottom line is that these rankings can be a great way to get ideas about some potential retirement destinations. But just because a state ranks high doesn't necessarily make it a great fit for you.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.