A report by Bankrate.com analyzed a number of key metrics to determine the best state to retire and South Dakota came in first. Source: CNBC

Retirement is meant to be a fun and relaxing period in your life. There are of course a lot of things you will need to consider as you choose the location where you will spend your golden years. Well, maybe you should consider going south, South Dakota that is. A report by Bankrate.com analyzed a number of key metrics to determine the best state to retire and South Dakota came in first.

The study looked at the cost of living, tax burden, crime rate, and health care quality in its analysis. South Dakota had the best overall score even though it was beaten by some states in some individual metrics. The landlocked state ranked first when it came to wellbeing and second in taxes. However, it ranked 12th on health care quality and 10th on cultural vitality.

An analyst at Bankrate.com who was involved in the study said that people in South Dakota are not only enjoying a low tax burden but they are also more satisfied and happier with their lives than any other state. The worst place to retire according to the study is New York. New York ranked poorly in all the metrics falling into the bottom ten in every measurement. The bottom three states were rounded off by New Mexico and Maryland.

Florida ranked 5th on the report. Source: WFAA

Florida which is considered one of the most popular retirement destinations in the US didn’t do badly either ranking 5th in the overall list. The high crime rates in the state and the poor health care quality were the two key metrics that pulled down its ranking. Nevada, another popular retirement destination, didn’t do well and ranked 42nd in the overall list. High crime rates and low health care quality were some of the factors that affected the ranking.

The top five states to spend your golden years were all surprising. At number one as we mentioned is South Dakota followed by Utah in the second place. Idaho came in third with the state of New Hampshire clocking fourth in the ranking. Florida then wrapped up the top-five list. Some states failed to make an impression despite having a somewhat high profile status when it comes to retirement. For instance, Connecticut, a state you’d think would be ideal for retirees came in at 35th on the list. Oregon too didn’t do that well ranking at 39th with Colorado failing to crack the top 15. The state was ranked 17th on the list.

California was ranked 45th on the report. Source: Travel South Dakota

The bottom of the list also had a few surprises. California, another state perceived to be a haven for retirement, was poorly ranked at 45th in the overall list just outside the last five. To recap the five bottom-ranked states, Arkansas came in at 46th while Louisiana was ranked 47th. At number 48th we saw Maryland with New Mexico and New York taking the second last and last place respectively. 

This ranking was based on very specific metrics and there could be other factors that may seem attractive for retirees other than the tax burden, quality health care, and low crime rates.