Going for the Golden Years: 8 Best US States for Living Out Your Retirement

Are you inching toward retirement, unsure of your plans after leaving the workforce? Are you interested in relocating to an elder-friendly state to settle into your golden years? If so, it may be time to begin searching for the best places to retire in the US.

Leaving your home state or the state where you’ve lived and worked for decades can be a difficult decision, but many empty-nesters and retirees find that they can’t wait to start a new chapter in a fresh environment. That, and there’s more benefits to relocating in retirement than a simple change of scenery.

Moving as an older adult

Often, retirees who relocate can score lower tax rates and living costs to support their new, care-free lifestyle. While you mull over your next move, consider what services you’ll need to safely transport you and your belongings. By hiring professionals like these to haul your valuables and vehicles, you can skip the heavy lifting, meeting your belongings in your new space.

The challenge of moving as an older adult isn’t one to take lightly, when you enlist the help of friends, family, and professionals, the process becomes easier than you might think. You may be on the hook for packing up your knickknacks and other belongings on your own time, but if you don’t want to handle any of the heavy lifting yourself, you can hire professional movers and auto transporters and enjoy a short flight to your new forever home.

Once you’ve set your heart on moving, the next challenge is deciding where to go. Many retirees move to be closer to adult children, but some may find themselves with a wider range of options to choose form. If you’re not sure where to start looking for your new home state, this guide is for you.

Keep reading to learn more about how the following eight states rank across affordability, quality of life, and healthcare for senior citizens.


Florida has been a favorite retirement spot for years, and it’s easy to understand why. This sunny state sits in fourth place for most affordable living in the US, with an average home costing around $250,000. Most retirees flock to Florida because of its beautiful beach-front views and warm weather, making it a top-notch relaxation haven.


Virginia is an excellent option if you’re looking for affordable spots with quality healthcare and retiree hotspots. While this historically rich state is more expensive than Florida, many aging adults find Virginia the perfect place to remain active and settle down. Virginia is full of rich natural attractions like hiking trails and parks, but if you’re more of an indoor person, you can also enjoy historical attractions that harken back to our nation’s birth, such as the Monticello estate.


If healthcare is your top priority as a relocating senior citizen, Colorado may be the perfect solution, raking fourth in the US. Additionally, this state is home to stunning landscapes and wonderful wildlife, perfect for retirees looking to relax in nature. Depending on your activity level, you may or may not be interested in climbing the stunning mountains, but there’s something for everyone in this gorgeous state.


Are you looking to put down roots without breaking the bank? If so, Delaware may be an excellent solution. Not only is the cost of living inexpensive compared to other US states, but Delaware is one of the few places to eliminate sales tax, slashing prices even lower. Plus, Delaware has sunny, family-friendly beaches to sink your tired feet into.


If healthcare and quality of life are your biggest retirement goals and you don’t mind dishing out additional funds to prioritize them, consider retiring in Minnesota. This midwestern state ranks 36th in cost of living, but the average home cost is only $220,000. You can attribute its high cost of living to this state’s quality of life, where it ranks third, and healthcare, where it ranks first. Overall, Minnesota is a safe, comfortable place to settle down.

North Dakota

North Dakota takes sixteenth place for both quality of life and healthcare but ranks only 25th in cost of living. Fortunately, however, the housing prices are below average, making this an excellent place to invest in a forever home.

However, if cold weather isn’t your forte, you may want to pass on this winter wonderland. If you love peace, quiet, and snuggling up on a cold day with a cup of warm cocoa, it could be the home for you.


Though Montana ranks fourteenth for affordability and eighteenth for quality of life, they fall short in healthcare, coming in at 31st place. However, retirees looking for inexpensive housing and vast natural lands to explore can count on Montana to provide, with forest-lined trails and rolling alpine meadows around every corner.

If you’re afraid of vast, wide open spaces, however, this may not be the home for you. Montana’s broad wilderness is famous for its size, so you may want to take a pass if you prefer the cozy, close-together comforts of the city.


Last but not least, Arizona ranks fifteenth in affordability, 32nd in quality of life, and 24th in healthcare. This dry, sunny state is the perfect place for sunshine and clear-sky lovers, with minimal weather throughout the year. However, sweltering heat can threaten susceptible seniors, so note any heat sensitivities before moving to Arizona.

Final thoughts

Choosing where to retire is a complicated and personal decision, so weigh your options carefully and review your priorities before jumping ship to a new state. If you can, try visiting a few of the states on the list before you make your final decision.

Especially daring readers might enjoy the opportunity to kick off their retirement with a cross-country road trip on a quest to find their perfect golden year home. Even if you’re not the road tripping type, visiting a few states and talking to their locals is an excellent way to see past the statistics and determine whether a state is right for you.

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