The 10 Worst States to Retire in the US

Choosing where to retire is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Along with beautiful weather and plenty to do, retirees expect a lot from the community in which they spend their golden years.

First, is it affordable? The cost of living and taxes are major deciding factors. States with lower taxes and housing costs are frequently viewed more favorably. Second, healthcare and general quality of life have a substantial impact. Retirees are more likely to settle in a state with outstanding healthcare facilities, moderate healthcare expenses, and protections against elder abuse. Some states simply don’t make the cut.

Discover the ten worst states to retire in 2024, and why seniors avoid them!


Despite its low cost of living and southern friendliness, Kentucky is the worst state for retirement. The state ranks low in healthcare alternatives and moderate in taxation, while it does not tax social security earnings. Seniors may need to travel long distances for specialized medical treatment, and transportation alternatives are restricted. Kentucky also suffers extreme weather, including hot summers and freezing winters.

New Jersey

New Jersey maintains small-town charm while remaining close to booming New York City. It offers various advantages, including pension exclusions and property tax discounts. Most retirement income, including Social Security, is not subject to state income taxes. However, New Jersey has some of the highest property taxes in the country, typically well exceeding the national norm. Retirees will also find that they must pay a high price for homes in the state.


Mississippi is an excellent choice for retirees on a budget who like gorgeous scenery and outdoor activities. However, this southern state lacks some vital regions for persons in their older years. Retirees will most likely be frustrated due to a lack of healthcare facilities, specialists, and specialized services. While Mississippi is less expensive to live in, the state’s economy is in decline. In addition, its labor market is not as strong as in other locations, which may have an impact on part-time work.

The 10 Worst States to Retire in the US


Oklahoma is a tax-friendly state for seniors and affordable for those on a tight budget. However, the state’s retirement desirability has decreased due to a variety of issues. The state’s economic situation and healthcare system place it significantly lower on the ranking than other states. The state lacks providers, particularly in rural areas. It also has few public transit choices, which is inconvenient for seniors who rely on it for daily errands and medical appointments.

New York

Despite its enormous retirement population, New York is among the worst states for seniors. Retirees can take advantage of 0% taxes on social security benefits and deductions for retirement income, but they must also deal with an exceptionally high cost of living, crowding, and severe winters.


Louisiana features pleasant winters, a vibrant culture, and an affordable cost of living. However, it features hot and humid summers, a high danger of natural disasters, and other characteristics that impact a retiree’s quality of life. Those who spend their golden years in this state can expect a higher crime rate than the national average and fewer healthcare options.

The 10 Worst States to Retire in the US


Illinois is somewhat tax-friendly, as retirement income is excluded from state income taxes. The state also has a low cost of living and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities. However, Illinois has high property and sales taxes, which may reduce seniors’ income.


Washington, a lovely state in the Northwest, provides inhabitants with gorgeous vistas in all directions as well as a variety of activities. However, there are a few factors preventing retirees from coming to the state. The dreary weather can be discouraging for people seeking warmth and sunshine. Furthermore, the cost of living in this state is significantly higher than in others in the country.


This northeastern state has stunning scenery and a distinct culture. However, Maryland is not the most tax-friendly state for seniors, and the cost of living can be extremely high. The state also has cold winters and pricey healthcare.


Arkansas is another southern state recognized for its stunning beauty, pleasant weather, and inexpensive cost of living. However, there are a few significant disadvantages for elders, such as severe weather and restricted healthcare. Arkansas has a higher-than-average crime rate in most places.


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