The Best Place to Retire Is…South Dakota?

While it may lack the year-round warmth of Florida or Arizona, the beautiful state of South Dakota has nonetheless been ranked as the best place to retire in the whole United States.

New research from shows that some popular retirement spots have been surpassed in terms of cost of living, crime rate, health care quality, tax burden and “well-being” by seemingly unlikely ones – with South Dakota coming in at #1.

South Dakota benefits from a low tax burden, a low crime rate and a high wellness score, Bankrate said. (“Wellness” comes from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which quantifies how satisfied residents are with their surroundings.)

Coming in right behind South Dakota were Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming. All of these states boast high scores in areas deemed important for a healthy and stress-free retirement.

However, we can’t help but notice that all of these places –while awesomely beautiful — are quite “wintery” for much of the year. Don’t retirees crave the endless sunshine on offer in traditional retirement spots like Florida and Arizona? Yes, they do – and Bankrate’s study does indeed factor in weather as a contributing factor to retiree bliss.

However, for many of today’s retirees, having reduced crime and lower taxes actually come out ahead of having permanent summer weather as ingredients for a great quality of life.

Access to high quality health care has always been a prime consideration in where to retire – and these “cold” states just happen to be doing a better job of delivering it these days.

So, if you are getting to a stage in life where retirement decisions loom near, perhaps you should look into beautiful, scenic (and prosperous) South Dakota as an option.

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