CHARLOTTE, NC — If your daydreams of retirement also include the assumption it will require packing up and moving away to find a prime location, well, we’ve got some good news for you. The Tar Heel State has been ranked the sixth best place to retire.
“The Mount Rushmore State is the best state to retire,” declared personal finance website Bankrate in announcing its top picks for retirees on Thursday.
That leaves only four other states after South Dakota that are better than North Carolina to spend one’s golden years. They are Utah, Idaho, New Hampshire and Florida. Montana tied with North Carolina for the No. 6 spot, the study found.
“When it comes to what makes for a happy retirement, conventional wisdom often bumps up against reality,” Bankrate explained.
The study focused on seven categories, which propelled South Dakota to the top of the list: cost of living, taxes, healthcare quality, weather, crime, cultural vitality and well-being.
“North Carolina did particularly well in taxes (#11), cost of living (#12) and weather (#12),” according to Bankrate’s Ted Rossman. “The main drawbacks were health care quality (#30) and cultural vitality (#40).”
The worst states to retire: New York, New Mexico and Maryland, according to Bankrate.If the findings make you want to work another 20 years, take heart: You’re happiness may be tied more to who you spend your latter years with than where.
“A married retiree who has a poor-quality spousal relationship is worse off than an unmarried retiree in terms of life satisfaction,” penned researchers Michael Finke of the American College, Nhat Ho of Eastern New Mexico University and Sandra Huston of Texas Tech University. “However, a married retiree with a high-quality spousal relationship is much better off than an unmarried retiree.”