If you’ve reached your golden years, there’s a lot to look forward to. You’ve retired, and you’re free to do anything you want — you can travel, fill your day with relaxation or your favorite hobbies, or spend time with loved ones. But there are also new challenges that come with being an older adult. From increasing healthcare needs to restricted or limited income, being a senior citizen can make living in your current hometown difficult.
That’s often why seniors choose to move and enjoy their retirement in an entirely new state. While Florida and Arizona are popular choices for retirees, there are plenty of other options too. It’s a smart idea to choose a new hometown in a state that meets all of your needs: warm, pleasant weather, strong healthcare, and an affordable cost of living. And don’t forget about states that have plenty of senior-friendly things to do.
However, if you’re considering moving when you’ve retired, you need to know which states are great — and which ones aren’t. There are plenty of states that are terrible choices for seniors and any older adults looking to enjoy their golden years.
The following are the 20 worst states for retirees, and just a few of the reasons you won’t want to pick up and move to them. If you have one of these states on your list of retirement locations, you may want to think again.
West Virginia might seem like a great state with plenty of options for retirees. It’s a bit warmer than many northern states, with milder winters and warm summers. And with plenty of natural sights that create beautiful scenic places, there’s a lot to explore and fill your time with.
But West Virginia is tough on senior citizens. The state taxes Social Security income, retirees’ primary income, like regular income. This slashes seniors’ money significantly. While the cost of living is relatively low, the expenses you’ll face could leave you with far less money than you deserve.
And on top of that, West Virginia has limited opportunities and a struggling economy. With dying industries at the heart of the state’s financial standing, entire towns and pieces of public infrastructure are falling apart. This means seniors are putting themselves at risk in West Virginia, with financial instability and economic hardship strong possibilities.
Retiring in Oklahoma sounds like a dream for many seniors. It’s a state with wide-open spaces and landscapes, beautiful scenery, and plenty of places to take hikes, go camping, or relax in nature.
And Oklahoma is known for a low cost of living, no tax on Social Security, and tax-free retirement income benefits. However, despite all of these seeming perks for retirees, there’s one big drawback for older adults: healthcare.
Oklahoma is considered one of the worst states in America when it comes to healthcare for senior citizens. Dangerous health problems are prevalent in Oklahoma, like obesity, inactivity, and smoking. And seniors in need of good medical care will find it difficult to come by in this state. There aren’t many high-quality nursing homes, and doctors aren’t available in more rural cities or areas.
Lastly, there’s another thing to be concerned about in Oklahoma. The state is known for its dangerous tornadoes, which strike yearly. With the highest probability of tornadoes in the country, this is one state where you’ll be at risk of losing your home.