Worst Places to Retire in the U.S.

Whether it reflects the quality of life, quality of healthcare or affordability, Kentucky ranks last as a retirement destination on WalletHub's 2024 survey.
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Kentucky, New Jersey, and Mississippi top the list of the worst places to retire in the U.S. in 2024, according to a new survey from . The study compared the 50 states across 46 key indicators, from tax rates and the cost of living to access to quality medical care and fun activities. 

However, unlike the companion Best Places to Retire in the U.S., these ten worst states to retire in 2024 generally have higher taxes and crime rates, and inadequate healthcare facilities. 

When looking forward to retirement, choosing a location that offers a healthy and happy retreat from the day-to-day grind is an obvious consideration. Living comfortably, having access to quality healthcare, lower housing costs or moving closer to family may all be motivations to make a move or just stay put. 

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So, before handing in your resignation letter, consider carefully where you want to live (or don't want to live) before you get a move on. What are the worst states to retire in? We've highlighted the bottom 10.
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RankStateTotal Score*AffordabilityQuality of LifeHealthcare
41Illinois47471626
42Arkansas47134942
43Washington47451727
44New York47501012
45Louisiana46164647
46Oklahoma46174745
47Rhode Island45424223
48Mississippi44125048
49New Jersey44493520
50Kentucky43324144
*Rounded up or down. A rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.Of the ten worst states to retire in, Kentucky holds the unfortunate distinction of being No. 1, followed by New Jersey, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New York, Washington, Arkansas and Illinois. Although each of these states have their redeeming qualities, these next 15 states also represent less than ideal states for retirees in 2024. 
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Georgia
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Nevada
  • Connecticut
  • Indiana
  • Vermont
  • Oregon
  • Maryland
  • Tennesee
  • West Virginia
It's likely there is no one perfect place to retire that matches all of your needs. If that were the case, choosing an area of the country would be simple. To find the best place that makes sense for you, carefully consider various factors such as your health, ideal climate, finances and how you plan to spend your well-earned free time.

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Contributor
For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.