Retirement often aligns with the age at which we become eligible for Social Security or pension benefits, although this is not always the case. Nonetheless, in addition to determining when to retire, it is important to consider where to retire. 

WalletHub's recent study, "2023's Best States to Retire," has ranked Virginia as the best state to retire. The study evaluated all 50 U.S. states based on three major categories: affordability, quality of life, and access to healthcare. Virginia ranked 16th in affordability, 11th in quality of life and healthcare, and still earned the highest overall score.


The study's methodology involved analyzing each state across 47 key indicators of retirement-friendliness, with a focus on affordability, health-related factors, and overall quality of life. The indicators included cost of living, tax-friendliness, healthcare facilities, weather, and recreational opportunities. Each category factored in data from various agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Council for Community and Economic Research.

Virginia's high overall ranking can be attributed to its strong showing across all three categories. Virginia has been recognized as having a good balance of affordability, quality of life, and healthcare access. Additionally, the state has low crime rates, mild weather, and proximity to major cities — making it an attractive option for retirees. Florida, traditionally a popular retirement destination, came in second, while Colorado, Wyoming, and Delaware rounded out the top five, each offering unique benefits. 

Although affordability may be a priority for some retirees, others may favor proximity to family or other key factors. Additionally, the financial impact of high inflation and potential changes to the tax code should be considered when making retirement plans regarding where to live, along with access to healthcare and recreational opportunities. Experts recommend spending quality time in potential retirement locations to assess suitability. 

However, it is important to keep in mind that retirement planning goes beyond just choosing the right state. According to the study, only 40% of non-retired adults think their retirement savings are on track. In addition to selecting the appropriate state, consulting with a financial expert and developing a personalized retirement plan can help retirees improve their quality of life.

Overall, choosing the right state for retirement is an important decision that can impact a retiree's quality of life and financial security. WalletHub's study provides a valuable starting point for those considering their retirement options, but it is vital to do thorough research and consult with experts to make an informed decision.



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