Report Ranks Arkansas Among Worst States For Retirement

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CBS News – Retirement remains a major issue for Americans of all ages, especially as the baby-boom generation leaves the workforce in large numbers and changes the country’s economic landscape.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 26 percent of the total U.S. population were baby boomers as of 2011. And about 10,000 members of that group are reaching age 65 every day, between now and 2030.

Along with ongoing concerns about not having enough money once they reach retirement age, a growing number of boomers are also looking for places where they can get the most value for their money once they do retire.

At the same time, a recent national survey of boomers reports 57 percent expect to move out of their current homes, while 70 percent expect the house they retire in “will be the best home in which they have ever lived.”

And while many people think of Florida and Arizona as among the best places to spend their golden years, new research from Bankrate.com (RATE) suggests some alternatives, when looking at states with the best quality of life for seniors.

Bankrate.com compiled a variety of statistics and scored all 50 states on factors such as crime rates, weather, healthcare, tax rates and overall cost of living. The top state for retirees? South Dakota, according to the personal finance site. It was followed by Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming. The five states at the bottom of the list as places to retire: New York, West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas and Hawaii.

“While the states that ranked highly may not be thought of as typical retiree havens, seniors should consider more than sunshine when choosing a place for their golden years,” Bankrate analyst Chris Kahn said in a statement. “The Dakotas both ranked in our top 10 for the second year in a row due to their low cost of living, low crime rates, good health care quality, low taxes and excellent satisfaction scores from residents.”

Kahn acknowledges that choosing an ideal retirement spot is a very personal decision, and that the Dakotas might not spring to everyone’s minds when first thinking of the best places to settle down as a senior.

“For some, the best place to retire is simply anywhere there’s year-round warmth and sunshine,” he continued. “For others, it’s where family and friends live. Retirees are best off deciding what factors matter most to them and checking the relevant statistics before making a final decision.”

12 comments

  • Judy Knapp

    Why did you even share this awfully written story? Since you headlined AR, follow through! There is nothing that says why AR is in the bottom. What makes it a bad place in which to retire??? Poor journalism.

  • Kathie Bentley Fisher

    Obviously Arkansas has some work to do because places that are good for retirees are also usually good for families. Reducung taxes (especially sales taxes), reducing healthcare & insurance costs (they increased with Obamacare), and having quality affordable housing that is not just apartments, would all be a huge step in the right direction.

  • Sarah 1

    Bankrate states in their report:

    Arkansas is certainly easy on the wallet. It’s the seventh-cheapest place to live for retirees, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research.

    But Arkansas struggled in every other category. It had the third-highest crime rate, the sixth-lowest rating for wellness and the eighth-lowest health quality scores. It also had above-average state and local taxes, with a combined rate of 10.3 percent, according to the Tax Foundation.

    It’s also one of the most humid states in the country, which can make Arkansas an uncomfortable place to live during the summer.

    Hopefully with the new health care insurance we can elevate Arkansas to the top ten states.

    • Arnold Fudpucker

      The new health care law will NOT help Arkansas in any category. You have been drinking too much of the liberal koolaide. AR has has been run by the demoncrats for decades. Only recently has the Republican party started to take some control . My bet is that AR will start to improve over the next few years as a result. It’s not that i think the Repubs are that great, it’s just that the Demoncrats are that bad!

      • Sarah 1

        You sir have asserted complete ignorance for the subject matter. How could health care NOT help the citizens of Arkansas? Do you even know what health care is? People can see a doctor for preventative care, see a doctor for pre-existing conditions, and prescriptions, if needed are filled. If a fifty year old man is ailing he can see a doctor and get well.

        Read todays newspaper in Missouri. A young mother with three toddler children passed away because she did not have her Type One Diabetes Insulin. Where is the outrage? Her husband is lost and miserable. These are everyday scenarios.

        West Virginia was the worst state with Oklahoma right along as well. People are miserable with no medical care and dental care. WITH medical care people can take stress off their shoulders.

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