The best and worst states for seniors: Nebraska ranks third best in recent listing
By The Voice News - August 10, 2017
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AUSTIN, Texas – When it is time for seniors to sit back, relax and enjoy this exciting time in their lives, where they decide to call home during retirement can make a big difference in their quality of life.
Using our proprietary algorithm called SeniorScore™, we have developed a list of the best and the worst states for retired seniors. Analyzing hundreds of variables across four categories, including recreation and leisure opportunities, retirement finances, health and safety and overall quality of life, we have ranked all 50 states based on senior-friendliness.
Whether seniors already live in one of these states, or are looking for a new place to live during their retirement years, knowing what to expect can only help seniors make the right decision about their future living plans.
The best states in America
Here are the top 10 states for seniors in the U.S., starting with the best.
Virginia is our top-ranking state when it comes to overall senior friendliness and it gets high marks in almost every category we reviewed. Virginia is one of the top states in the country when it comes to providing quality healthcare to seniors, with many nationally-ranked hospitals and excellent access to Medicare-registered doctors. It also ranks near the top for access to senior living and home healthcare options. The Old Dominion State also boasts a strong economy and low taxes, so it’s a great place to stretch a retirement budget. And while the winters can be chilly, the weather is gorgeous for most of the year so it’s a fantastic place for seniors to get outside and stay active.
Spending your senior years in Hawaii is about more than just fun in the sun. This tropical state has plenty of features that make it senior-friendly. In addition to having plenty of recreation and leisure activities to enjoy in the near-perfect climate, retirees living on a budget can enjoy low property and sales taxes. While income taxes are amongst the highest in the country, Hawaii offers exemptions for social security income, which can really help offset the burden paid by seniors. Hawaii also offers excellent healthcare and senior living resources, which is part of the reason The Aloha State boasts the longest life expectancy in America.
The Cornhusker State ranks well on our list in large part due to the outstanding financial advantages for retirees who settle down here. The economy is stable overall and the cost of living is very low compared to other states on the list. In fact, costs for assisted living, nursing home care, and adult daycare all ranked significantly lower than national averages. And with seniors making up almost a third of the state’s population, there is never a shortage of recreation and leisure activities to enjoy in your Golden Years.
Oklahoma also scores highly in large part due to its economic advantages for seniors. Tax rates are relatively low here and the cost of living is near the bottom of the 50 states. Additionally, healthcare and senior housing rank as some of the most affordable in the country, with low overall costs of nursing care, assisted and independent living, adult daycare, and in-home care. Oklahoma also scored well due to the high access for quality healthcare, including some top-notch hospitals and abundant access to doctors who accept Medicare.
Another Midwestern gem for seniors, Kansas scored highest for its general quality of life, access to hospitals and Medicare physicians, and its affordable cost of living. In addition to low cost housing, food, and healthcare, prices for in-home care, nursing homes, and assisted living all ranked much lower than the national average for those living in the Sunflower State. But the advantages of living in Kansas are not all practical. With roughly a third of residents being over the age of 55, there are ample opportunities to enjoy a good social life for seniors, no matter what your interests.
The top 10 was rounded out next by Maryland, Florida, Texas, Arizona and West Virginia.
The worst states in America
Not all states can make the top of the list. While these states can still be a great place to call home, they ended up on the bottom of our list of senior-friendly states.
Mississippi ranks poorly due to low scores in the health and safety and also recreation and leisure categories. It may be called The Hospitality State, but it’s not particularly hospitable when it comes to healthcare and senior care services for older residents. The state also loses points due to very high crime rates and a life expectancy that ranks near the bottom of any U.S. state. This may partially explain why Mississippi also has a small overall senior population, which limits opportunities for social interaction among retirees.
49. North Dakota
North Dakota comes in near the bottom at 49, primarily because it’s one of the most rural states in the country. Seniors who need healthcare or other services like assisted living or in-home care typically cannot get it close to where they live. It also makes socializing difficult because there just isn’t much to do there for retirees. Finally, for those who do want to get outside and enjoy their Golden Years, they’d better bundle up because the arctic conditions can make it difficult to leave the house for much of the year.
Someone had to be last on the list and unfortunately it is Idaho. It’s a gorgeous state with many things going for it, but it’s just not very senior-friendly. Idaho loses points for being quite rural, which makes access to healthcare and senior living resources limited for many of The Gem State’s older residents. The tax structure for the state is also not advantageous for those living on a fixed retirement budget, with sales taxes and state income tax both amongst the highest in United States. Finally, Idaho has one of the coldest climates of any state so retirees looking to soak up some rays should think twice before settling down here.
The other seven states ranking just ahead of these three for the worst states for seniors to live included California, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Arkansas and Maine.
To find the full article, visit https://www.senioradvice.com/articles/the-best-and-worst-states-for-seniors.
– Article by Lori Thomas,
Associate Editor of SeniorAdvice, which is based in Austin, Texas.
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