The Worst Places To Retire

by: Sue Thompson

The Pilot and I recently purchased the house where we plan to spend our retirement years. After reading a new list of the 10 worst places to retire in 2012 from, I couldn’t be happier that our new home is in Arizona.

Predictably, this year’s list consists of cold weather states in the Northeast and Midwest. Connecticut topped the list, while Wisconsin rounded out the bottom, and traditional warm weather retirement states like Arizona and Florida were nowhere to be found (yahoo!).

In addition to climate concerns, states were docked if they had poor fiscal health, high taxes and a high cost of living. Connecticut, for example, was named the worst state for retirement because of its high cost of living and high taxes (including taxes on most pension income). In fact, cited high income and property taxes as reasons why most of the 10 states made the list.

Now that we know which states to avoid, wouldn’t it be nice to know which ones are ideal for retirement? A similar analysis from lets retirees search for states that are “tax heavens” as well as “tax hells,” citing Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia as among the best states in which to retire, and Minnesota and New Jersey among the worst.

And if you’re considering retiring abroad, you may also want to check out this More magazine list of where to retire overseas on a tight budget. The criteria for this list: affordability, relative safety, interesting culture, good weather and a decent medical system.

Of course, as points out, there are other, more personal, factors people should take into account when deciding where to retire – for example, where their grandkids live, or whether they’d prefer to be a permanent snowbird or ski bunny (or neither).

In my case, I’m happy to have chosen the Grand Canyon State as the place to spend my golden years. Not only is it considered tax-friendly according to, but the view from my backyard is pretty hard to beat:

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