When it is time for seniors to sit back, relax and enjoy this exciting time in their lives, where they decide to call home can make a big difference in the quality of life that they experience. This is why, using the SeniorScore™ tool, we have developed a list of the best and the worst states for seniors to live in. Taking in factors such as recreation opportunities, finances, health and safety and overall quality of life, we have ranked all 50 states based on how senior-friendly they are. These 20 states made the list of the best and the worst states for seniors in the entire country.
Whether seniors already live in one of these states, or are considering moving to one of these areas, knowing what to expect can only help seniors make the right decision about their future living plans.
Here are the top ten states for seniors in the U.S., starting with the best.
Virginia is our top-ranking state when it comes to overall senior friendliness, thanks to a few high-ranking features. Healthcare opportunities are abundant in the area, thanks to a number of hospitals, Medicare physicians and senior living facilities. Plus, low taxes and affordable assisted living options make Virginia a great place for seniors to call home.
Spending your senior years in Hawaii is about more than just fun in the sun, this tropical state has plenty of features that make it senior-friendly. In addition to having plenty of recreation and leisure activities, those living in Hawaii can enjoy low sales and property taxes. One of the biggest perks? The average life expectancy in Hawaii is around 81.3 years, compared to the national average of 78.6; just another great reason to call Hawaii home.
Approximately 32% of Nebraska's population is seniors, which is higher than the national average. This may be due to the outstanding hospitals and access to Medicare physicians or to the affordable senior living options. Costs for adult daycare, nursing homes and assisted living expenses are all significantly lower than the national average in Nebraska.
Oklahoma is a state with a high number of physicians, hospitals, senior living facilities and home healthcare providers that can handle any senior's healthcare needs. Plus, the state has low property taxes and affordable senior living solutions. The assisted living, nursing home, adult daycare and home healthcare costs in Oklahoma are all significantly lower than the national average.
The state of Kansas ranked higher than the nation as a whole when it comes to their SeniorScore™. This Midwestern gem scored highest for its general quality of life, access to hospitals and Medicare physicians and its senior living costs. Home healthcare, nursing home and assisted living costs all ranked much lower than the national average for those living in Kansas.
With big-names like Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland hospital all in Maryland, it should come as no surprise that this state ranks high when it comes to health and safety for its seniors. Maryland also has countless recreation and leisure options, low property taxes, and plenty of home healthcare providers in the state. Plus, those home healthcare costs are lower than the national average for the typical Maryland resident.
It should come as no surprise that Florida is among the best states in the country from seniors. Seniors living in this sunny state can enjoy a higher life expectancy, access to numerous hospitals and plenty of recreation and leisure options. Perhaps this is why 32% of the population of Florida is made up of seniors.
Seniors who want to enjoy warm weather, mild winters and plenty of opportunities for recreation and leisure can head south to Texas. The Lone Star state not only has great healthcare options, but affordable senior living options as well. When it comes to assisted living costs, nursing home care, adult daycare and home healthcare costs; all of these options are more affordable in Texas than they are in the rest of the country.
Arizona is another state that has become synonymous with seniors over the past few years. Warm weather and plenty of parks and golf courses can make Arizona a fun place to settle down in. This is probably why around 30% of the Arizona population is made up of seniors. Senior care options aren't only widely accessible in Arizona but affordable as well, with costs of assisted living, nursing homes and home healthcare all costing less than the country's national average.
10. West Virginia
West Virginia rounds out the top 10 best states to live in for seniors thanks to their numerous hospitals, low property taxes and affordable cost of living. Plus, with home healthcare and assisted living costs being more affordable than the national average, it is easy to see why this is such as senior-friendly US state.
Not all states can make the top of our list. While these states can still be a great place to call home, they ended up on the bottom of our list of senior-friendly states, beginning with the worst.
While some may think the cold weather is enough to keep them from retiring in Alaska, there are other reasons why this state has made our list of worst options for seniors. Limited healthcare options, few hospitals and a select number of Medicare physicians all have Alaska ranking low. Plus, there isn't much to do in terms in recreation or leisure. Senior care is also staggeringly high, with assisted living costs almost $30,000 more than the national average, nursing home costs more than $200,000 a year more than the national average and adult daycare costs nearly double the national average.
Factors like this may be why there is such as low percentage of seniors living in the state.
Montana made our list of worst states for seniors due mostly to their low number of Medicare physicians, hospitals, home healthcare providers and senior living facilities. Plus, the state also has high crime rates and a lower-than-average life expectancy. Adult daycare and home healthcare costs, along with the overall cost of living are also quite high in Montana, which can make life after retirement stressful for many seniors.
Wyoming has a surprisingly low number of senior living facilities and home healthcare options, which can make it difficult for seniors who need a little extra help as they enjoy their golden years. This mixed with a low number of hospitals, high violent and property crimes and limited recreation and leisure opportunities, can all make Wyoming a challenging place for seniors to call home.
Seniors living in Idaho who are interested in adult daycare can expect to pay a great deal for their annual costs. However, this isn't the only reason Idaho ranks low on our list. Limited recreation options, poor healthcare opportunities and high crime rates all make Idaho a less-than-desirable place for many seniors.
5. North Dakota
Assisted living costs in North Dakota can be expensive for seniors who choose to call this state home. Home healthcare costs, adult daycare and nursing home costs are all more than the national average. This paired with limited recreation options, a low number of hospitals and a high amount of crime all put North Dakota on our list of worst states.
With a low number of home healthcare providers, high crime rates and an average life expectancy that is almost four years lower than the national average, it is easy to see why Mississippi made our list of worst states for seniors. In addition to their limited recreation and leisure options, Mississippi residents have limited hospital access and high taxes added to their plates.
For seniors living in this northern state, access to hospitals and home healthcare providers is often limited. The state is also known for its high property crime rates and high property taxes. For seniors in need of assisted living, the average individual pays more than the national average for assisted living costs, nursing home care, adult daycare and home healthcare.
There is a high percentage of seniors living in Arkansas, but with limited recreation options, and a poor health and safety score on our SeniorScore™ list, these seniors may be limited in the type of experience they enjoy in Arkansas. There are high crimes in the states and the average person in Arkansas only has a life expectancy of 76, which is nearly three years lower than the life expectancy of the rest of the country.
In Oregon, seniors have to deal with high crime rates, in addition to the poor overall financial score for the state. In addition to facing high taxes and a high cost of living, the costs of senior care services are quite high in Oregon. Assisted living costs and nursing home care costs are both significantly higher than the national average, as are home healthcare costs and adult daycare costs in Oregon.
10. New York
New York state rounds out our list of worst states for seniors due mostly to the high taxes and the high cost of living in the state. Senior care can also be very expensive in New York, with the average annual cost for nursing home care, being more than $30,000 a year above the national average. Adult daycare and homecare costs are also more than the national average for seniors living in this state.