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The quality of life you experience during your retirement years hinges a lot on where you live. The cost of living, for one, determines how far you can stretch your retirement budget. Other important factors to consider are the availability of health services and retirement communities. And since retirement means having lots of time to do what you love, it’s also important to look into the many activities, recreations, and open spaces waiting for you within the state.

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Kentucky

Aside from the several retirement towns of your choice, the great outdoors awaits you in Kentucky. The state has easy access to the scenic Appalachian Mountains, hundreds of golf courses, and the world-famous Kentucky Derby. Plus, Kentucky’s sub-tropical climate means you won’t have to brave harsh winter months.

Your retirement fund goes a long way in this state. The cost of living is lower than the national average. Kentucky tax isn’t burdensome for retirees since the state exempts Social Security income. And other forms of retirement income are also nontaxable up to $31,110 per person.

Three generation family with blond teenage daughter, mother and grandmother touching and admiring two thoroughbred horses behind a dark fence on a farm in Kentucky, Midwest, USA wanderluster / Getty Images
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Florida

The Sunshine State oozes with warmth — so much so that even its winters are agreeable. Renowned for its long stretches of beaches like Destin and Naples, freshwater lakes like Lakes Okeechobee and Kissimmee, fresh vegetables even in winter, and amusement parks, you’ll never run out of things to do in Florida.

And if that doesn’t make you want to pack your bags and settle here, consider its tax laws. Florida does not tax Social Security benefits and other retirement income. The state even exempts estate and inheritance from taxes. No wonder retirees make up around 26.3% of the population.

Senior man on golf course driving golf cart at sunrise nycshooter / Getty Images
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Arizona

Home to two of Mayo Clinic’s major campuses, Arizona offers top-notch healthcare facilities. This is on top of 300 days of sunshine and thriving retirement communities. If you like to fill your days with adventure, you will enjoy access to many national and state parks, including the Grand Canyon, Red Rock, and Lake Havasu State Park. Arizona offers generous tax breaks to seniors as well. The Grand Canyon State does not tax Social Security benefits, estate, or inheritance.

Senior couple with retro car itsskin / Getty Images
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West Virginia

If the cost of living is top on your list of considerations, West Virginia is one of the best states in which to retire. Healthcare and senior care costs are some of the lowest in the country, and the overall cost of living in West Virginia is 9.1% below the national average. Property and sales taxes here are some of the lowest in the country. However, retirement income and Social Security benefits are taxed, with rates ranging from 3% to 6.5%.

Woman admiring the Blackwater Falls located in the state park by the same name in West Virginia. OGphoto / Getty Images
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Alabama

With a cost of living that’s 13% lower than the national average, Alabama is easy on the budget for retirees. And cheap doesn’t mean you get the short end of the stick when it comes to perks. The Heart of Dixie has got a lot to offer — pleasant weather, plenty of golf courses, museums, and scenic parks like Gulf and Cheaha State Parks. Even better, Social Security benefit doesn’t get taxed, and Alabama has a meager income tax that ranges from 2% to 5%.

USA, Alabama, three generation family of cotton farmers Andy Sacks / Getty Images
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South Carolina

If you want to maintain an active lifestyle in your retirement years, South Carolina will be your ultimate playground. It’s got miles upon miles of state parks, world-famous beaches such as Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island, lakes, golf courses, and a rich history to boot. Around 20.6% of its population are retirees, so there are many retirement communities in this state.

Tax in the Palmetto State is also another reason many retirees settle here. It doesn't tax Social Security benefits, and it has one of the lowest property taxes in the United States. The state also provides deductions of up to $15,000 for retirement income, and the tax rate is at a marginal 4%.

Romantic, middle aged couple at the beach with bicycles, looking into the distance Daniel H. Bailey / Getty Images
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Delaware

Dreaming of spending your retirement years living near the beach? Delaware can make that dream possible without breaking the bank with relatively affordable homes in Rehoboth Beach. The Diamond State also offers a treasure trove of things to do. From frolicking all day long at the coast to hanging around the paddocks of thoroughbred horses— you can be as chill or as busy as you like.

Tax is also another attraction here. The state doesn’t impose taxes on Social Security benefits, estate, or inheritance. It’s also one of the four states in the country that doesn’t have sales tax.

Senior man steering a motor boat Robert Kirk / Getty Images
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Virginia

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or someone who’s into the arts, Virginia is a state you should seriously consider. The Old Dominion has a wealth of museums, many historic landmarks, miles upon miles of hiking trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a bustling arts scene. Healthcare costs are also affordable at 3.4% less than the national average.

Family welcoming woman with flowers Ariel Skelley / Getty Images
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New Hampshire

The Granite State offers various community options. You could live in a small, quaint town where you know everyone, or you could opt to live in a charming, touristy county where you’re bound to meet people from different parts of the world. New Hampshire is also one of the most tax-friendly states in the country. It doesn’t levy taxes on Social Security benefits, retirement income, or sales. That’s too good of an offer to pass up.

"Woman hiking in Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire." pchoui / Getty Images
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Wyoming

There’s a lot to love about the Cowboy State, especially if you’re someone who’d like to have a breather from the hustle and bustle. For starters, it’s home to many national parks, including Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Plus, for a state with the lowest population in the country, it boasts good and affordable healthcare and lots of senior-friendly communities.

Wyoming’s tax structure is perhaps what draws most people here and makes it one of the best states for retirees. The state generates most of its revenues from severance and mineral production taxes. Thus, it doesn’t collect state income tax, and senior residents here don’t pay taxes on their Social Security benefit and retirement income either.

A retired man fly fishing in the Yellowstone National Park is at peace with his world and enjoys the solitude and beauty of this leisure activity on a brisk fall morning Bob Balestri / Getty Images

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