For some people, retirement presents an exciting opportunity to move somewhere new. Whether you’re in search of warmer weather, a lower cost of living or just looking to move closer to friends and family, deciding to retire in another state can be a big decision.

But which are the best or worst states to retire? Of course, there’s no definitive answer, but two studies from and offer some food for thought.

MoneyRates’ study took into account states’ economics (cost of living, unemployment and average state and local tax burden), climate, crime rate and life expectancy. According to their research, here are the best states to retire:

  1. New Hampshire – Cost of living is 89% of the national average and cost of living and tax burden among the lowest in the U.S. Low crime as well.
  2. Hawaii – One of the best climates and highest life expectancy. However, a very high cost of living.
  3. South Dakota – Cost of living is 91% of the national average. Very low crime.
  4. North Dakota – Life expectancy is among the highest in the U.S. Very low crime.
  5. Iowa – Good combination of a low cost of living and a healthy economy, plus high life expectancy.

On the other hand,’s study looked only at states’ tax rates and fiscal health. Here’s what they found:

  1. West Virginia – Low property tax.
  2. Wyoming – No state income tax.
  3. Pennsylvania – Low state income taxes for retirees.
  4. Texas – No income taxes for retirees.

Both websites also researched which states were the worst places to retire. Using the same criteria as its previous study, here’s what found:

  1. Nevada – Cost of living is 105% of the national average. The average state and local tax burden is 6.6 percent.
  2. Michigan – High unemployment, chilly climate and high crime.
  3. Alaska – Cost of living is 128% of the national average. Harsh climate.
  4. South Carolina – Pleasant climate, but high crime rate and poor life expectancy.
  5. Maryland – Cost of living is 126% of the national average. High crime.

And for its list of worst states to retire, looked at states’ fiscal health, tax burden and climate. Here are the results:

  1. Illinois – Very poor fiscal health.
  2. California – High cost of living and fiscally troubled.
  3. New York – Very high taxes, including property taxes.
  4. Rhode Island – High taxes and fiscally troubled.
  5. New Jersey – Highest property taxes in the U.S.

Even though the studies came up with different results, both offer interesting views on what makes a state a good place to retire, particularly from a financial perspective. Of course, economics are just one piece of the puzzle. Over at WalletPop, writer Tom Barlow points out that there are a lot of other factors to consider when making a retirement move. Those factors can include states’ health care programs, recreational opportunities, transportation and cultural resources.

If you’re considering a retirement move, it might be helpful to make a list of the factors that matter most to you. And no matter how far along you are in the retirement process, it’s always a good idea to review your retirement plan. Here at the Ally Straight Talk Blog, we talk a lot about saving for retirement, so click here to read more information about preparing for your golden years.

Are you planning to relocate when you retire? What factors are most important to you when deciding where to retire?