If you’ve reached your golden years–or are just planning ahead–then there is a lot to look forward to about retirement. Freedom to travel, filling your day with your favorite hobbies, senior discounts, and spending more time with loved ones. But there are also new challenges that come with being retired. From increasing healthcare needs to restricted or limited income to out-of-control senior living costs, 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 among 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: desirable year-round climate, senior-focused living and events, strong healthcare and pro-retiree local government, and above all: an affordable cost of living.
We rank the worst states to retire in, based on data collected over the past 12 months. Let’s get started.
#34: West Virginia
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.