Surprise! WalletHub Ranks Wyoming Second Highest Retirement State

One of the best kept secrets, Wyoming not often identified as one of the great place to retire, is listed as number two by WalletHub in it’s recently released 2016’s Best & Worst States to Retire. Wyoming is rated number one in the “Affordability”, 16th  for “Health Care” and “Quality of Life” 28.

With nearly a third of all non retirees having no retirement savings or pension because many simply cannot afford to contribute to any type of plan, the personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis that identifies 2016’s Best & Worst States to Retire.

To help retirees find a retirement-friendly home that won’t break the bank, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key metrics. The organization’s data set ranges from the adjusted cost of living to the number of various entertainment options per capita to public-hospital rankings.

Best States to Retire Worst States to Retire
1 Florida 42 Maryland
2 Wyoming 43 Alaska
3 South Dakota 44 New York
4 South Carolina 45 West Virginia
5 Colorado 46 New Jersey
6 Idaho 47 Vermont
7 Texas 48 Connecticut
8 Montana 49 Hawaii
9 Nevada 50 District of Columbia
10 Virginia 51 Rhode Island

Comparing the Best & Worst

  • The adjusted cost of living for retired persons is highest in Hawaii, which is two times greater than in Mississippi, the state with the lowest.
  • The annual cost of in-home services is highest in North Dakota, which is two times greater than in Louisiana, the state with the lowest.
  • The percentage of employed residents aged 65 and older is highest in Alaska, which is two times greater than in West Virginia, the state with the lowest.
  • The percentage of the population aged 65 and older is highest in Florida, which is two times greater than in Alaska, the state with the lowest.
  • The property-crime rate is highest in the District of Columbia, which is three times greater than in Vermont, the state with the lowest.
  • The number of museums per capita is highest in New York, which is seven times greater than in Utah, the state with the lowest.

Methodology

In order to identify the most retirement-friendly states, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: 1) Affordability, 2) Quality of Life and 3) Health Care.

First, we compiled 24 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was given a value between 0 and 100, wherein 100 is the best value for that metric and 0 is the worst.

We then calculated the overall score for each state and finally ranked them using the weighted average across all metrics.

Affordability – Total Points: 40

  • Adjusted Cost of Living: Double Weight (~17.78 Points)
  • WalletHub “Taxpayer” Ranking: Full Weight (~8.89 Points)
  • Friendliness of Taxation on Pensions & Social Security Income: Full Weight (~8.89 Points)
  • Annual Cost of In-Home Services: Half Weight (~4.44 Points)

Quality of Life – Total Points: 30

  • Percentage of the Population Aged 65 & Older: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Elderly-Friendly Labor Market: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • WalletHub “Mild Weather” Ranking: Double Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Number of Museums per Capita (measured by the square root of the population): Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Number of Theaters per Capita (measured by the square root of the population): Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Number of Music Venues per Capita (measured by the square root of the population): Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Number of Golf Courses Capita (measured by the square root of the population): Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Availability of Adult Volunteer Activities: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Violent-Crime Rate: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Property-Crime Rate: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Air Quality: Half Weight (~1.25 Points)
  • Drinking-Water Quality (percentage of population potentially exposed to water exceeding a violation limit): Half Weight (~1.25 Points)

Health Care – Total Points: 30

  • Number of Family and General Physicians per 100,000 Residents: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Number of Dentists per 100,000 Residents: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Number of Nurses per 100,000 Residents: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Number of Health-Care Facilities per 100,000 Residents: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Public-Hospitals Ranking: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Emotional Health: Half Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Life Expectancy: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Death Rate for People Aged 65 & Older: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)

Sources: Data used to create these rankings were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Retirement Living Information Center, the Genworth Financial, the United Health Foundation, the County Health Rankings, Measure of America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Charity Navigator, Gallup Healthways, GolfLink.com and WalletHub research.

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