The personal finance website Bankrate has compiled an interesting list of the top 10 best places to retire. Prepare for a few surprises: retirement hotspots Florida and Arizona didn’t even make the grade. That’s because weather wasn’t the only criterion that Bankrate used: Access to healthcare, cost of living, crime rate and tax burden were also taken into account:


  • If you’re looking to make your money go a long way, consider the cost of living in Nebraska, where milk costs 30 cents per gallon less than the national average. It scores well on crime, healthcare and sunshine as well.

  • North Dakota may not strike you as an obvious retirement destination—until you see how high its residents score on wellbeing: they are the happiest state in the nation.


  • Iowa received especially high marks for healthcare, while Idaho has the lowest crime rate in the country.


  • Sea air is well known for its health-giving properties; however, long walks on the beach may not be an essential component for a happy retirement. The only coastal state to appear in this list is Virginia.


Here’s a full countdown of the best retirement states:


10. Virginia

9. Iowa

8. Idaho

7. Montana

6. Nebraska

5. Wyoming

4. North Dakota

3. Utah

2. Colorado

1. South Dakota


Source: bankrate.com, "10 best states for retirement," 2014