Weather not a major factor in retirement happiness, rankings suggest

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Weather not a major factor in retirement happiness, rankings suggest
Weather not a major factor in retirement happiness, rankings suggest

Financial security and a sense of community may be more important to satisfaction in retirement than factors such as weather, say the experts behind Bankrate rankings released Thursday.

Crunching data from several sources, Bankrate said that South Dakota is the best state to retire in, and New York is the worst.

The study examined and weighted seven categories: cost of living (20%), taxes (20%), healthcare quality (15%), weather (15%), crime (10%), cultural vitality (10%) and well-being (10%).

In addition to placing tops overall, South Dakota ranked first in well-being, second in taxes, 10th in cultural vitality and 12th in healthcare quality.

“These attributes may better determine what makes for a satisfying retirement than, say, warm weather,” Bankrate.com analyst Taylor Tepper said. South Dakota's only bottom-half ranking was the weather, in fact, for which it was ranked at No. 38.

Utah, Idaho, New Hampshire and Florida rounded out the top five spots on the list, even though the scores of Utah, Idaho and New Hampshire also were affected by weather. Florida scored well for its warm weather and low taxes but was hindered by scores related to crime rate and healthcare quality, Bankrate said.

New York was last on the overall list due to cost of living, taxes and healthcare quality.

Bankrate used data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Council for Community and Economic Research, the FBI, Gallup-Sharecare, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Tax Foundation, the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Western States Arts Federation to arrive at its findings.


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