10 Worst States to Retire

The pretty, tourist-attracting states are the hardest on retirees, according to the latest ranking of best states to retire. Here are the worst states based on factors like access to medical care, cost of living and state taxes.

The pretty, tourist-attracting states are the hardest on retirees, according to the latest list of best states to retire.

Every “best of” retirement list analyzes different factors and each retiree has something different he or she is looking for during the Golden Years. When Bankrate ranked the 50 states (plus Washington D.C.) is analyzed data on state taxes, local crime rates, access to medical care and cost of living. If you are being practical about retirement, then this list is for you.

Although tourist hotspot California made the list, so did a lot of cold weather states — five of the worst states to retire are also in the top 10 coldest. Here are the worst states in Bankrate’s rankings.

(Hospital bed numbers are from The Kaiser Family Foundation; state and local tax burdens from The Tax Foundation; average temperature is averaged from 1981 to 2010 and the cost of living is from the CCER data.)

10. Delaware

Downtown Wilmington across the Christina River. Copyright Tim Kiser | Wikipedia.org.

Overall score: 150

Hospital beds per 1,000: 2.40

State and local tax burden: 9.2%

Average temperature: 55.74

Cost of living rank: 38

Delaware has the highest crime rate of the top 10 worst states to retire. Although it made the top 10 worst states to retire, Delaware was named the sixth best state to be young in by MoneyRates because the state has low tuition rates and a high amount of top-rated bars and youth-oriented stores.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

9. Minnesota

Downtown Minneapolis across the Mississippi River.

Overall score: 154

Hospital beds per 1,000: 2.90

State and local tax burden: 10.8%

Average temperature: 41.78

Cost of living rank: 36

The fourth coldest state in the country, Minnesota also has one of the worst business state tax climates and is one of the most expensive states to raise a child mostly because its child care is the most expensive in the nation.

Shovel Point on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

7. (tie) Vermont

Burlington. Copyright Jared and Corin | Wikipedia.org

Overall score: 155

Hospital beds per 1,000: 2.10

State and local tax burden: 10.1%

Average temperature: 43.08

Cost of living rank: 41

Although it’s one of the top 10 coldest states, Vermont has one of the lowest crime rates and the highest rate of doctors per 100,000 people but one of the lowest rates of hospital beds per 1,000 people. It’s good to be young in Vermont, though, with low rental costs and the most fitness clubs per capita. Plus, Burlington, Vt., had one of the best unemployment rates.

Fall foliage seen from Hogback Mountain. Copyright chensiyuan | Wikipedia.org

7. (tie) Maryland

Baltimore

Overall score: 155

Hospital beds per 1,000: 2

State and local tax burden: 10.2%

Average temperature: 54.65

Cost of living rank: 41

It’s high state and local tax burden (ranked eleventh worst) Maryland is also one of the worst states for businesses. Although state has the third best rate of doctors per 100,000 people, it has one of the worst rates for hospital beds per 1,000 people.

Sunset over the marsh at Cardinal Cove.

6. Maine

Old Port, Portland.

Overall score: 157

Hospital beds per 1,000: 2.70

State and local tax burden: 10.3%

Average temperature: 41.35

Cost of living rank: 39

Portland, Maine, has one of the worst tax burdens in the nation even though it has a low sales tax. However, since the state is among the states that spend the most on health care, its rates of hospital beds and doctors are fairly decent.

Beach near Acadia National Park | Wikipedia.org

5. Wisconsin

Milwaukee

Overall score: 161

Hospital beds per 1,000: 2.40

State and local tax burden: 11.1%

Average temperature: 43.72

Cost of living rank: 28

Of the ten states on this list, Wisconsin has the best cost of living, but it has one of the worst state and local tax burdens and its average temperature is of one of the nation’s 10 coldest. However, Trulia named Kenosha County, Wis., one of the best places to live if you’re trying to be healthy.

Lake Monona, Madison. Copyright Dori | Wikipedia.org

4. California

Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

Overall score: 162

Hospital beds per 1,000: 1.90

State and local tax burden: 11.2%

Average temperature: 59.84

Cost of living rank: 43

There’s no question as to why California makes the list—it’s incredibly expensive. California cities regularly make the list of most expensive ZIP codes, it’s one of the most expensive states to raise a child and it has the fifth highest state and local tax burden. But if money is no worry, then California is always a favored retirement spot, thanks to the wonderful weather. It is also one of the healthiest states and expected to see huge housing growth this year.

Big Sur

3. Washington

Seattle

Overall score: 172

Hospital beds per 1,000: 1.70

State and local tax burden: 9.3%

Average temperature: 48.68

Cost of living rank: 35

If you’re a retiree, Washington doesn’t look so great, especially since it ties for the worst rate of hospital beds per 1,000 people. But for workers, Washington is the best state to make a living. Washington has the best tax rate for the rich, one of the best suburbs to live in, one of the best small cities to live and the sixth best business tax climate.

Mt. Rainier and Reflection Lake. Copyright Kelvin Kay, Kkmd.

2. Alaska

Anchorage. Copyright Frank K. | Wikipedia.org

Overall score: 176

Hospital beds per 1,000: 2.20

State and local tax burden: 7%

Average temperature: 35.90

Cost of living rank: 50

Only Hawaii has a higher cost of living than Alaska, although the state has the lowest state and local tax burden. Plus, Alaska has the coldest weather, by far, in the U.S. Last month, MoneyRates had named Alaska one of the worst states to make a living. However, like fellow list entry, Delaware, Alaska is a good place to be young with a high population between the ages of 20 and 24 and low tuition costs.

Mt. McKinley of Denali National Park. Copyright Nic McPhee | Wikipedia.org

1. Oregon

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland. Copyright Cacophony | Wikipedia.org.

Overall score: 178

Hospital beds per 1,000: 1.70

State and local tax burden: 10%

Average temperature: 48.77

Cost of living rank: 37

Oregon does slightly worse than the national average in just about all of the categories that BankRate considers and ties for the worst rate of hospital beds per 1,000 people. However, Zillow named Portland, Ore., as one of the top 10 housing markets for strong expected growth in 2013.

Trillium Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Copyright Kelvin Kay, Kkmd @ ENWP

See the full list.