This is why the Midwest will be the hottest retirement destination

Lower cost of living means your retirement dollars to go further.

  • By William Davis,
  • MarketWatch
  • Living in Retirement
  • Living in Retirement
  • Living in Retirement
  • Living in Retirement
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See ya, Florida.

Nebraska is the most attractive state for retirees, according to a recent report from LPL Financial, which looked at each U.S. state as a retirement destination. The Retirement Environment Index uses a combination of public data related to health, finance, housing, employment, education, community and quality of life indicators to evaluate and rank states based on their attractiveness to the pre-retiree cohort.

The index is weighted to prioritize finances over other indicators. Financial stability and improved quality of life indicators helped push the cornhusker state to the top spot.

LPL Financial also provides a grade for each state based on their index score. Only 10% of states received an 'A' grade and 40% of states were given a 'C'. Michigan saw the biggest improvement since 2015, "within the financial category, median income improved greater than the national average, cost of living declined, and the tax burden fell compared to an average increase in the tax burden across all states."

The Midwest in general is seen as one of the most desirable places for retirement. With financial indicators in line with national averages and below average housing costs, states in the region averaged around the 15th ranking.

Classic retirement destinations like Florida (29), the Carolinas (North Carolina 21, South Carolina 38) and Arizona (40) didn't fare as well.

Washington, D.C. and Kentucky declined the most. Poor lifestyle choices related to overall wellness and health contributed to Kentucky dropping 16 positions between 2015 and 2017. D.C.'s drop was driven primarily by an increase in cost of living and low scores in community and quality of life indicators.

New York has consistently ranked the least attractive destination because of high costs. It briefly rose above the 51st ranking in last year's report, but due to a drop in its overall health care score, it fell back to last place.

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