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A lot goes into your home and lifestyle in retirement—especially location.

For impending retirees, Nebraska ranks at the top, due to factors like safety and wellness, as well as affordability, according to Bankrate findings released this week.

To determine the nation’s prime retirement states, analysts at Bankrate considered cost of living (highly weighted), along with crime, culture, weather and wellness. Nebraska, at No. 1, had high marks in four of those five. (The exception? Weather.)

According to Bankrate, overall, the top 15 retirement states are:

  1. Nebraska
  2. Iowa
  3. Missouri
  4. South Dakota
  5. Florida
  6. Kentucky
  7. Kansas
  8. North Carolina
  9. Montana
  10. Hawaii
  11. Arkansas
  12. Wisconsin
  13. North Dakota
  14. Vermont
  15. New Hampshire

For affordability—a chief concern for retirees—the highest-ranked states are:

  1. Michigan (Tie)
  2. Missouri (Tie)
  3. Indiana
  4. Arkansas
  5. Ohio
  6. Mississippi
  7. Kansas
  8. Iowa
  9. Kentucky
  10. Alabama
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Tennessee
  13. North Carolina
  14. Nebraska
  15. Idaho

For the best living overall in retirement, the Midwest reigns supreme, with seven states in the top 15. If affordability is the deciding factor, however, both the Midwest and South score, with seven states each. While four states across the Northeast and West are represented in the top 15, when accounting for affordability, the Northeast vanishes, and Idaho is the sole state in the West.

“There are many factors to consider when deciding where to retire,” says Adrian Garcia, Bankrate.com data analyst. “Some people may choose to stay close to family, while others prefer to seek out warm weather or affordable living. It comes down to very personal preferences, so it’s important to weigh all factors and determine what is most important for your happiness.”

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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