Where you want to move in retirement is such a personal question. What kind of weather do you like, are you close by family, and what can you afford? WalletHub just released their view of the worst states based on affordability, health care, and liveability. The low ranking of some states is surprising given they are often recommended as good places to retire.

Take a look and see if it matches with your criteria.

Each State's Ranking

10 Worst States


10. Maryland

Affordability Rank (out of 50): 42
Quality of Life Rank (out of 50): 30
Healthcare Rank (out of 50): 19


9. Louisiana

Affordability Rank: 10
Quality of Life Rank: 45
Healthcare Rank: 45


8. Mississippi

Affordability Rank: 3
Quality of Life Rank: 50
Healthcare Rank: 50


7. Arkansas

Affordability Rank: 11
Quality of Life Rank: 49
Healthcare Rank: 46


6. New Mexico

Affordability Rank: 33
Quality of Life Rank: 47
Healthcare Rank: 39


5. New Jersey

Affordability Rank: 45
Quality of Life Rank: 33
Healthcare Rank: 29


4. Vermont

Affordability Rank: 50
Quality of Life Rank: 6
Healthcare Rank: 23


3. West Virginia

Affordability Rank: 22
Quality of Life Rank: 41
Healthcare Rank: 49


2. Rhode Island

Affordability Rank: 46
Quality of Life Rank: 43
Healthcare Rank: 18


1. Kentucky

Affordability Rank: 32
Quality of Life Rank: 48
Healthcare Rank: 47

WalletHub defines the criteria as follows, with a weight placed against each value. We listed all the criteria since it is important to understand what they consider important vs your personal criteria. For example, the proximity to museums might not be important for you in retirement.

One big question is where to move in retirement. If you're looking where move in retirement, check out our Retirement Relocator to get personalized recommendations.

How Ranks Calculated


  • Adjusted Cost of Living
  • General Tax-Friendliness
  • Tax-Friendliness on Pensions & Social Security Income
  • Tax-Friendliness on Estate or Inheritance Tax
  • Annual Cost of In-Home Services
  • Annual Cost of Adult Day Health Care
  • Percent of Population 65 Years and Older Who Could Not Afford a Doctor Visit

Quality of Life

  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older
  • Risk of Social Isolation
  • Elderly-Friendly Labor Market
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older in Poverty
  • Elderly Food Insecurity Rate
  • Expenditures Captured by the Administration on Aging per Population Aged 60 Years and Older
  • Access to Public Transportation
  • Mildness of Weather
  • Access to Scenic Byways
  • Shoreline Mileage
  • Museums per Capita
  • Theaters per Capita
  • Access to Adult Volunteer Activities
  • Elderly Volunteer Rate
  • Share of Residents Who Do Favors to Their Neighbors
  • Violent-Crime Rate
  • Property-Crime Rate
  • Quality of Elder-Abuse Protections
  • Air Quality
  • Drinking-Water Quality

Health Care

  • Family & General Physicians per Capita
  • Dentists per Capita: Full Weight
  • Nurses per Capita: Full Weight
  • Home Health Aides per Capita
  • Share of Geriatricians Required to Meet Estimated Need
  • Top-Rated Geriatrics Hospitals
  • Health-Care Facilities per Capita
  • Quality of Public Hospitals
  • Well-Being Index for Population Aged 55 Years and Older
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older with Good or Better Health
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older with Poor Mental Health
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older with a Disability
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older Who Are Physically Active
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older Who Are Obese
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older with Inadequate Sleep
  • Share of Medicare Enrollees Aged 65 Years and Older Who Have a Creditable Prescription Drug Plan
  • Life Expectancy
  • Death Rate for Population Aged 65 & Older

Images courtesy of Retirement Benefit News