Bankrate says think Tennessee for retirement, unthink Oregon

May 6, 2013 at 11:28 AM   |   Comments

PALM BEACH, Fla., May 6 (UPI) -- If money is a factor -- and isn't it always? -- the best place to retire in the United States is Tennessee, finance consulting firm Bankrate.com said Monday.

The state's cost-of-living is the second lowest in the country, just behind Oklahoma, information from the Council for Community and Economic Research indicates.

Good access to medical care and warmer-than-average weather also help, Bankrate said, but it warned that a drawback is the crime rate, which is "among the worst" in the United States.

Bankrate.com published a list of the 10 best and worst states for retirement and the list may be surprising because common vacation spots -- places where people might often want to go – are expensive places to live while out-of-the-way locations are generally cheaper.

After Tennessee, Bankrate.com said, the best state for retirement is Louisiana, followed, in order, by South Dakota, Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Nebraska and North Dakota.

"Yes, it's frigid," Bankrate said, citing an average temperature of 41 degrees in Fahrenheit North Dakota, "making it the coldest state in the continental United States."

But, consider this: North Dakota has a low crime rate, is a relatively inexpensive place to live and "there are five [hospital] beds for every 1,000 people in the state ... that's tied for second-best in the country," the Kaiser Family Foundation said.

What are the 10 worst states for retirement?

The worst is Oregon, Bankrate said.

A high crime rate, high taxes and cold weather contributed to Oregon's listing as "dead last."

Those negatives more than offset the natural beauty of Oregon, which has "perhaps unsuitable activities for all but the hardiest of retirees," the firm said.

After Oregon, the worst state for retirement on Bankrate's list is Alaska, followed by Washington, California, Wisconsin, Maine, Maryland and Vermont tied for seventh), Minnesota and Delaware.

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