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Hawaii named best state for retirement


The 2012 analysis of Best and Worst States for Retirement ranks U.S. states in accordance with their performance on retirement-relevant factors.

This year’s study names Hawaii as the best state for retirees and Michigan as the worst.

The study examined critical factors influencing the quality of retirement that can vary greatly by state.’s rankings are based on data about each state’s cost of living, property taxes, violent crime rates, property tax rates, climate, life expectancy for seniors, recent population growth in the senior demographic and unemployment. has conducted this research annually since 2010 and this year’s edition delivers some potential surprises on both sides of the results.

Hawaii took the top spot overall on the strength of a No. 1 ranking for senior life expectancy and a No. 2 ranking for climate, along with above-average scores in most other categories.

The Aloha State narrowly defeated the second- and third-place finishers in the study, Idaho and Utah, respectively, each of which scored in the top 10 in economic and senior-population-growth measures.

Michigan’s low ranking did not come from any one factor, but instead from being below-average in every measure in the survey. It was closely followed in the worst state rankings by Pennsylvania and Alaska.

Weak economic and senior-population figures held Pennsylvania back in the standings, while Alaska’s crime, climate and economic scores – all of which were among the 10 worst surveyed – hurt its ranking.

While the results are sure to be debated by anyone with strong personal feelings on these places, the rankings offer a strictly data-driven look at the states, said Richard Barrington, CFA, senior financial analyst.

“We recognize that individual tastes vary, so the best state for one person is not going to be the best state for everybody,” said Barrington. “Also, I’m sure there are things to love about each one of the states in the bottom 10. The point is, though, that crunching the numbers the way we do points out some things that seniors need to know when they make a decision about where to spend their retirement years. The analysis might make you consider a state you wouldn’t otherwise evaluate, or it might raise a red flag with respect to a state you were considering.”

The 10 best states for retirement, according to’s 2012 study:

1. Hawaii

2. Idaho

3. Utah

4. Arizona

5. Virginia

6. Colorado

7. (tie) Florida

7. (tie) New Mexico

9. South Dakota

10. (tie) California

10. (tie) Texas

The 10 worst states for retirement according to’s 2012 study:

1. Michigan

2. (tie) Pennsylvania

2. (tie) Alaska

4. Illinois

5. Massachusetts

6. (tie) Ohio

6. (tie) New York

8. Maine

9. Maryland

10. Rhode Island has been a leading source of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing since 1999. The site provides the highest rates on certificates of deposit, money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts. is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc., one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in ethical marketing practices.

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