Get All Access for $5/mo

20 States That Are Better Than Florida For Retirees Florida has been a popular state for people to retire to but Rhode Island, Delaware, and Ohio may also be great states for retirees.

By Madison Hoff

adamkaz/Getty Images via Business Insider
  • Florida has been a popular state for people to retire to.
  • But Rhode Island, Delaware, and Ohio may also be great states for retirees.
  • Insider looked at different data to create a ranking of where the best states to retire to are.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Even though retirees have historically flocked to Florida, Rhode Island and Delaware may be two great alternatives for those ready to enjoy their golden years.

That's according to Insider's analysis of various datasets to find the best states for retirees to live in. Based on our methodology, 20 states ranked above Florida.

According to one analysis of the American Community Survey from the Census Bureau, Florida was the No. 1 state retirees were heading to.

But some retirees may not wish to move to Florida.

Insider wanted to see what other states may be great for retirees based on several factors, including average temperatures as well as the cost of living. According to our analysis and methodology, there were 20 states that ranked above Florida. This includes Arkansas, Texas, and Maine.

The following are 20 states that may be great for retirees. Below these top states is more information about our methodology and our full list of data sources we used in creating this ranking.

19 (tie). Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska

John Coletti/Getty Images

Nebraska may be good for retirees interested in a cooler average temperature compared to other states. The state had a 60-month average from December 2017 to November 2022 of 49.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The state had pretty high employment in nursing care facilities in June compared to most other states, with 6 per 1,000 residents.

For retirees looking to move soon, recent data on Redfin shows there were more sales for homes in the state as of December 2022 than there were a year earlier, but the median sale price has risen from a year ago.

19 (tie). Arizona

Papago Park in Arizona

Matt Mawson/Getty Images

Home to the Grand Canyon and a beautiful desert landscape, more people in general are moving into Arizona from elsewhere in the US, Census Bureau data suggests. Net domestic migration to the state was 70,984 between 2021 and 2022, higher than most states. Some retirees may also want to head to this Southwest state.

Arizona had a relatively high average annual growth in Medicaid spending per enrollee from 1991 to 2020 with a value of 4.1%. It also had a relatively high 60-month average temperature with a value of 61.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

The state, where 18.3% of the population was aged 65 or older as of 2021, is also home to the "most luxurious active retirement community" per a SmartAsset post: Rio Verde Community and Country Club.

18. Illinois

Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois

Bob Krist/Getty Images

Illinois ranked highly for its average annual growth in Medicaid per enrollee from 1991 to 2020 with a value of 4.0%. It can be expensive to live there, however. Prices in Illinois were 1.4% higher than in the country as a whole. The state had a relatively high employment of nursing care facilities in June compared to most other states, with 5 per 1,000 residents.

The state is also home to what one post on Investopedia names as a top active retirement community: Sun City Huntley. That community has different sporting activities, like golf and tennis, as well as different clubs to join. Retirees may also be interested in independent living or retirement communities located in Chicago.

Illinois' relatively low share of the population aged 65 and older and its slow growth in this older population from 2019 to 2021 brought down its spot on our ranking based on our methodology.

17. Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas

Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

17.4% of Arkansas' population was 65 and older as of 2021. Prices were 10.6% lower than in the country as a whole. Arkansas had a higher employment of nursing care facilities per 1,000 residents in June compared to most other states, with 6 per 1,000 residents.

It had the lowest increase in its 65 and older population from 2019 to 2021 among states, at 0.2%, bringing down its overall average rank of metrics used to create the ranking.

One place to maybe retire to in the state is Bella Vista, which ranked No. 1 on Niche as the best place to retire to in the state.

16. Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

In the New England region, Massachusetts has seen its 65 and older population soar by 3.8%. As of 2021, 17.4% of its population was 65 and older. The state also ranked highly for its home health care services employment in June 2022 with a value of about 6 per 1,000 residents. The state may be good for retirees looking for a cooler temperature, given the state had an average temperature from December 2017 to November 2022 of 49.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

The state also has one of the fastest-growing retirement places according to a list from Realtor.com: Springfield. Realtor.com notes one pro of Springfield is its affordability.

Prices are high in the state though. Prices were 6.6% higher than in the country as a whole.

15. Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Wayne Bonnett Photography/Getty Images

Prices in Kentucky were 10.9% lower than in the country as a whole. The state also had one of the higher average annual growth rates in Medicaid per enrollee from 1991 to 2020 with a value of 3.7%.

Its percent change in its older population of those 65 and older from 2019 to 2021 and its employment per 1,000 residents of home health care services brought down its position in the rank. Kentucky saw its 65 and older population increase by 1.8% from 2019 to 2021, lower than many other states. And its home health care services employment in June 2022 was about 2 per 1,000 residents.

13 (tie). Texas

Austin, Texas

benedek/Getty Images

Texas, the second most populous state and the fourth fastest-growing state, also ranked high on our list. Retirees may be interested in Texas for its food, its longstanding State Fair, or to join the many other people who have decided to move to Texas.

The state has one of the lowest shares of its population aged 65 or older, with a share of 13.2% as of 2021, but still has seen an increase from 2019 by 4.1%. It had a pretty high average temperature of 66.2 degrees Fahrenheit from December 2017 to November 2022. Among states and DC, it ranked No. 2 for its employment per 1,000 residents in home health care services in June, with a value of 9 per 1,000 residents.

13 (tie). Maine

Portland, Maine

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

Maine had the highest share of its population being 65 and over as of 2021, at 21.7% or 297,101 of its 1.4 million people. The state has seen its 65 and older population grow by just shy of 4.0%.

The state also ranked higher than many other states in the analysis for its nursing care facilities employment residents in June 2022, with a value of 5 per 1,000 residents.

Retirees may also be interested in Portland, which Realtor.com named as one of the fast-growing retirement places. The post on Realtor.com notes that being able to get to "high-quality health care centers" is one reason this place in Maine is attractive to retirees.

11 (tie). New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Diana Lee Angstadt/Getty Images

In New Mexico, 18.5% of the population was at least 65 years old as of 2021. Prices are relatively low; prices were 10.1% lower than in the country as a whole. Additionally, the state ranked highly for its home health care services employment in June 2022 with a value of about 7 per 1,000 residents.

According to SmartAsset, the state may be considered "moderately tax friendly." SmartAsset noted these states include ones that "offer smaller deductions on some or all forms of retirement income" and were places where "sales, property, estate, inheritance and income tax rates in this category range in friendliness based on the degree of retirement deductions available."

11 (tie). Mississippi

Mississippi sign

Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

Mississippi may be attractive for people looking for a lower cost of living. Prices were 13.4% lower than the country as a whole, much lower than other states.

It also ranked third for its average annual growth in Medicaid per enrollee from 1991 to 2020 with a 4.4% growth rate. The state also had a higher average temperature compared to most other states.

People looking to retire there may want to note that the median home sale price has climbed year-over-year in December, according to Redfin. However, there were also more homes for sale with a 43.9% year-over-year increase.

10. West Virginia

Huntington, West Virginia

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

About 21% of West Virginia's population was at least 65 years old as of 2021. The state hasn't seen much change in its older population, with an increase below 1% from 2019.

The state may be of interest for retirees looking for a cheaper state to live in. Prices were 9.2% lower than the country as a whole, lower than most other states.

Retirees looking to move there may enjoy going to Blackwater Falls State Park and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park or seeing if they should move to Summersville, which ranked as Niche's best place to retire in the state.

9. Vermont

Vermont

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

From ski resorts to visit to hiking at State Parks, Vermont may be attractive to some retirees. Vermont had one of the higher shares of its population being at least 65 and over as of 2021, with a share of 20.6%. There were 133,173 people 65 or over in the state, an increase of 6.4% from 2019 and much higher than most other states.

It also ranked highly for its average annual growth in Medicaid per enrollee from 1991 to 2020 with a value of 3.7%.

8. Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri

Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images

While Missouri hasn't seen its older population climb as much from 2019 to 2021 as other states, with a growth of 2.5%, it may still be a great destination for retirees to think about living in. It came just short of the highest average annual growth in Medicaid per enrollee from 1991 to 2020 with a value of 4.5%.

The state also ranked relatively high for its nursing care facilities employment in June 2022 with a value of about 6 per 1,000 residents.

7. Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

John Coletti/Getty Images

While more people may be moving out of this state to elsewhere in the US according to net domestic migration data from the Census Bureau, the metrics we used show that Louisiana is among the states that may be good for retirees.

Almost 17% of the state's population was 65 and older as of 2021. It had one of the higher 60-month average temperatures in our analysis, with an average of 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The state also ranked relatively high for its home health care services employment in June 2022 with a value of 4 per 1,000 residents.

For those looking to move to the state to retire soon, they may want to note that home prices have dropped. According to Redfin, the median sale price of $240,200 for Louisiana homes is down from a year ago by 2.0% with more homes for sale than a year ago. Homes are spending more time on the market, suggesting further that the housing market is moving in favor of buyers.

It's also one of the states that doesn't tax Social Security. Retirees may be interested in living in or traveling to New Orleans, including the well-known French Quarter, or Baton Rouge.

5 (tie). Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Westend61/Getty Images

Pennsylvania ranked highly for its average annual growth in Medicaid per enrollee from 1991 to 2020 with a value of 3.7%. The state, where 19.0% of its population was aged 65 and over, may also be good for retirees looking for a lower average temperature. The 60-month average from December 2017 to November 2022 was 50.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

The state also ranked highly for its home health care services employment in June 2022 with a value of 5 per 1,000 residents.

U.S. News ranked two Pennsylvania places at the top of its list of the top places to retire in 2022 to 2023. Lancaster ranked No. 1 followed by Harrisburg. York, Pennsylvania, also ranked highly at No. 5.

5 (tie). Alabama

Photo of Alabama

John Coletti/Getty Images

In the southern region of the US, Alabama ranked toward the top of our list. Almost 18% of Alabama's population, or 885,809 of the 5.0 million population, were at least 65 years old as of 2021.

One attractive factor that may appeal to retirees prices were 11.9% lower than the country as a whole. It also had a warmer average temperature between December 2017 and November 2022 of 64.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Niche ranked Orange Beach, followed by Fairhope and Gulf Shores, as the best spots for retirees to live in the state.

3 (tie). Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Iren Funderburg / EyeEm/Getty Images

Retirees may be attracted to "Music City" or Nashville, staying in Memphis, checking out if Niche's top two places in the state for retirees Farragut or Germantown is right for them to live in, and hiking at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The state is also one of a few states that doesn't have personal income tax. And according to Redfin, there were more homes for sale as of December 2022 than in December 2021. However, the median home sale price as of December in the state was $368,600, which means prices have climbed year-over-year by 6.7%.

Prices were 9.1% lower than the country as a whole. The state also tied for 10th for its average annual growth in Medicaid per enrollee from 1991 to 2020 with a 3.4% growth rate. The state has also seen its older population of those 65 and older climb during the pandemic in 2021 from before the pandemic in 2019.

3 (tie). Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Yuanshuai Si/Getty Images

In Ohio, 17.8% of its population was 65 and older. Prices were 7.5 lower than in the country as a whole.

Ohio had a higher employment of nursing care facilities per 1,000 residents in June compared to most other states, with the fifth-largest figure. Similarly, it ranked eighth in our analysis for the number of employees in home health care services per 1,000 residents.

2. Delaware

Photo of Wilmington, Delaware

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

The East Coast state of Delaware with various beaches and close proximity to Pennsylvania and Maryland for those who want to travel may appeal to some retirees.

With about 20% of its population being 65 and over as of 2021, it's among the states with the largest share of its population that is of this age group. Additionally, it's seen a 6.3% increase in its 65 and older population from 2019. That growth is higher than most other states. Among states and DC, it ranked 11th for its employment per 1,000 residents in home health care services in June.

The state may also appeal to retirees because of its tax friendliness. One ranking from Kiplinger ranked Delaware at the very top in its list of the "Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees" with the site noting "no sales tax, low property taxes," and "no estate or inheritance taxes."

1. Rhode Island

Photo of Rhode Island

halbergman/Getty Images

With a relatively high share of its population being 65 and over and places like Newport for beaches, Rhode Island may be an attractive state for retirees. It may also be a nice place for people who want a cooler temperature with the 60-month average from December 2017 to November 2022 of 51.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Almost 20% of its population, 200,201 people, were 65 or older. And there are more older people than there were a few years ago in the Ocean State. The state had one of the highest percent changes in its population 65 and older, with an increase of 7.0% from 2019 to 2021. It also had a high employment of nursing care facilities with 7 per 1,000 residents.

However, the state is expensive to live in. Prices were 2.1% higher than in the country as a whole.

Here's how we created our ranking

To create our ranking, we looked at seven different metrics. We used data for each state and Washington, DC to figure out the top states for retirees.

These seven metrics were:

  • The share of the population who is 65 and over. We used data from the Census Bureau 2021 one-year American Community Survey.
  • The percent change in the population 65 and over from 2019 to 2021. We used 2019 and 2021 one-year data from the American Community Survey.
  • Employment in home health care services per 1,000 residents. Employment data is from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages where the most recent month available was June 2022. Since we wanted to look at per capita figures, we used Census Bureau population estimates of the population as of July 1, 2022 with these employment figures.
  • Employment in nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) per 1,000 residents. Like employment in home health care, we used June 2022 data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages and population estimates as of July 1, 2022 from the Census Bureau.
  • The average temperature from December 2017 to November 2022. This data was from NOAA National Centers for Environmental information. For DC, we used the average temperature for Reagan National. For Hawaii, we used the average temperature for Honolulu International Airport.
  • The average annual growth in Medicaid per enrollee from 1991 to 2020. This data was available by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  • Regional price parities (RPP) for all items to get a sense of a states' cost of living. We used 2021 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

We then ranked each state and DC for each metric. Afterward, we took the average of each rank and used that average to determine the best states to retire to.

Are you a retiree who moved to or lives in one of the top states part of our analysis? Email this reporter at mhoff@insider.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.

Living

Taylor Swift Has a Lucky Number. And She's Not the Only High Performer Who Leans Into Superstitions to Boost Confidence.

Even megastars like Swift need a little extra something to get them in the right mindset when it is game time.

Career

These 3 Big Tech Companies Offer 6-Figure Salaries and Easy Interviews — Especially If You Follow This Expert's Advice

There are far more candidates than positions, so being strategic on the job hunt is key.

Marketing

SEO Trends You Need to Be Aware of Right Now, According to a Seasoned Pro

Navigate the future of search engine optimization to elevate your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.

Health & Wellness

4 Habits I Cultivated to Become a Healthier, More Effective Entrepreneur

By the time I hit mid-life, some of my bad habits were becoming a risk to my long-term business goals — and my health. Here's how I was able to change them.