Here are the best places to retire in each state

The index tallies up factors in counties with a growing 65-plus population

Retirement may be the time to move closer to family or put down new roots in a warm climate.

Helping make that decision a bit easier is an index of the best places to retire in each of the 50 states.

Suggesting locales from Alaska’s majestic Kenai Peninsula to Arizona’s desert Pima County, the index weighed health costs, taxes and housing expenses, all significant for retirees likely to be living on fixed and reduced incomes.

“Because of the medical, social, and financial consequences of entering old age, life can change dramatically in retirement,” said 24/7 Wall St., an online financial news site that created the index.

Among the best spots were Arkansas’ Baxter County in the Ozark Mountains; Chaffee County in the Colorado Rockies; and Park County, Wyoming, home to Yellowstone National Park.

Among the best spots were Arkansas’ Baxter County in the Ozark Mountains and Park County, Wyoming, home to Yellowstone National Park.

Lovers of sun and sand could find a haven on the beaches of Delaware’s Sussex County, Florida’s Sarasota County or Beaufort County, South Carolina, and fishing fans might opt for Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish on the Gulf of Mexico or the lakes and ponds of Cumberland County, Maine.

The index took into consideration health factors such as the number of medical professionals per capita and access to exercise opportunities. Economic factors included median home values, the monthly cost of living and state and local taxes.

It only considered counties where the 65-and-over population grew at least as fast as the rest of the nation and was larger than the national average.

Demand for retirement locales will only grow bigger. The U.S. Census Bureau says by 2035, the number of adults age 65 and over will hit 78 million and outnumber children under age 18.

State  Population 65 and over % Est. monthly expenses for family of 2 Median home value
Alabama: Baldwin County 203,360 19.0% (15th of 67 counties) $4,343.67 (2nd out of 67 counties) $182,000
Alaska: Kenai Peninsula Borough 57,961 14.8% (5th of 29 borough) $5,341.27 (14th out of 29 counties) $234,600
Arizona: Pima County 1,007,257 18.1% (7th of 15 counties) $3,876.65 (14th out of 15 counties) $166,300
Arkansas: Baxter County 41,093 30.5% (1st of 75 counties) $3,478.55 (39th out of 75 counties) $124,400
California: Plumas County 18,724 25.8% (4th of 58 counties) $4,201.70 (32nd out of 58 counties) $228,900
Colorado: Chaffee County 18,818 24.1% (10th of 64 counties) $4,197.89 (37th out of 64 counties) $313,200
Connecticut: Hartford County 897,417 16.2% (4th of 8 counties) $4,257.11 (8th out of 8 counties) $235,300
Delaware: Sussex County 215,551 25.2% (1st of 3 counties) $4,249.98 (3rd out of 3 counties) $242,900
Florida: Sarasota County 404,839 34.8% (4th of 67 counties) $4,156.50 (19th out of 67 counties) $215,300
Georgia: Towns County 11,173 33.6% (1st of 159 counties) $4,103.24 (49th out of 159 counties) $197,900
Hawaii: Hawaii County 196,325 18.5% (1st of 5 counties) $4,848.14 (5th out of 5 counties) $316,000
Idaho: Valley County 10,104 24.6% (6th of 44 counties) $3,917.45 (11th out of 44 counties) $258,000
Illinois: Sangamon County 198,134 16.1% (80th of 102 counties) $3,979.79 (66th out of 102 counties) $136,100
Indiana: Warrick County 61,581 16.1% (57th of 92 counties) $3,990.13 (6th out of 92 counties) $158,100
Iowa: Winneshiek County 20,575 18.7% (61st of 99 counties) $4,143.31 (8th out of 99 counties) $161,500
Kansas: Harvey County 34,683 18.4% (63rd of 105 counties) $3,864.68 (72nd out of 105 counties) $120,200
Kentucky: Daviess County 99,258 16.2% (73rd of 120 counties) $3,649.43 (57th out of 120 counties) $123,200
Louisiana: Jefferson Parish 437,038 15.6% (25th of 64 parishes) $4,036.27 (19th out of 64 counties) $176,000
Maine: Cumberland County 289,173 16.8% (15th of 16 counties) $4,721.10 (1st out of 16 counties) $259,400
Maryland: Worcester County 51,559 26.2% (2nd of 24 counties) $4,171.72 (16th out of 24 counties) $252,100
Massachusetts: Hampshire County 161,197 15.3% (10th of 14 counties) $4,639.86 (9th out of 14 counties) $272,700
Michigan: Emmet County 32,978 20.2% (33rd of 83 counties) $3,849.82 (29th out of 83 counties) $171,100
Minnesota: Cook County 5,270 26.1% (2nd of 87 counties) $4,284.08 (23rd out of 87 counties) $241,400
Mississippi: Lauderdale County 78,221 15.7% (45th of 82 counties) $3,620.78 (65th out of 82 counties) $88,500
Missouri: St. Louis County 999,539 16.9% (79th of 115 counties) $3,897.75 (74th out of 115 counties) $181,100
Montana: Lewis and Clark County 66,290 16.6% (44th of 56 counties) $4,290.89 (9th out of 56 counties) $220,600
Nebraska: Nuckolls County 4,318 26.7% (5th of 93 counties) $4,311.88 (41st out of 93 counties) $62,300
Nevada: Douglas County 47,632 25.4% (4th of 17 counties) $4,277.85 (9th out of 17 counties) $311,400
New Hampshire: Grafton County 89,280 18.8% (5th of 10 counties) $4,092.95 (6th out of 10 counties) $215,600
New Jersey: Hunterdon County 125,717 16.5% (4th of 21 counties) $5,346.02 (1st out of 21 counties) $393,800
New Mexico: Los Alamos County 18,031 17.2% (20th of 33 counties) $3,934.80 (4th out of 33 counties) $285,300
New York: Warren County 64,701 20.3% (5th of 62 counties) $4,330.03 (23rd out of 62 counties) $192,800
North Carolina: Buncombe County 252,268 18.4% (49th of 100 counties) $4,329.91 (37th out of 100 counties) $209,800
North Dakota: Ramsey County 11,574 18.8% (33rd of 53 counties) $3,703.54 (51st out of 53 counties) $130,400
Ohio: Cuyahoga County 1,257,401 17.0% (43rd of 88 counties) $3,458.20 (78th out of 88 counties) $123,900
Oklahoma: Garfield County 62,421 15.2% (60th of 77 counties) $3,882.56 (64th out of 77 counties) $104,000
Oregon: Lane County 363,471 17.7% (23rd of 36 counties) $4,034.99 (29th out of 36 counties) $232,800
Pennsylvania: Montour County 18,302 20.1% (20th of 67 counties) $4,378.06 (16th out of 67 counties) $173,800
Rhode Island: Bristol County 49,028 19.1% (2nd of 5 counties) $4,451.59 (2nd out of 5 counties) $341,300
South Carolina: Beaufort County 179,316 24.9% (3rd of 46 counties) $4,702.03 (1st out of 46 counties) $283,800
South Dakota: Hughes County 17,572 15.6% (50th of 66 counties) $3,814.69 (62nd out of 66 counties) $173,400
Tennessee: Washington County 126,437 17.1% (62nd of 95 counties) $3,609.55 (82nd out of 95 counties) $152,800
Texas: Gillespie County 25,939 28.7% (8th of 254 counties) $3,750.25 (125th out of 254 counties) $269,900
Utah: Washington County 155,577 19.9% (3rd of 29 counties) $4,040.76 (14th out of 29 counties) $240,300
Vermont: Bennington County 36,054 21.4% (2nd of 14 counties) $4,641.36 (10th out of 14 counties) $208,600
Virginia: Winchester City 27,516 15.2% (97th of 133 counties) $4,005.88 (73rd out of 133 counties) $226,200
Washington: Chelan County 75,138 17.6% (22nd of 39 counties) $3,839.28 (16th out of 39 counties) $256,400
West Virginia: Ohio County 42,906 20.2% (18th of 55 counties) $3,779.52 (54th out of 55 counties) $114,800
Wisconsin: Wood County 73,427 19.2% (28th of 72 counties) $3,754.34 (51st out of 72 counties) $127,700
Wyoming: Park County 29,276 20.4% (5th of 23 counties) $4,269.06 (11th out of 23 counties) $236,200

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