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A lot of factors go into the decision of where to retire. Cost of living is crucial, of course, since you want to stay within your retirement budget. Climate can make a difference in your day-to-day activities, and access to good health care makes an increasing difference as you grow older. While the pros and cons of each state are ultimately subjective, the consensus about the best states to retire in can help you make an educated decision that will leave you eager to begin this new chapter!

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South Dakota

Affordability makes South Dakota a welcoming destination for many retirees. Living expenses and health care costs are low here, and the state itself is fiscally sound, making it a long-term safe bet. While weather can be challenging, South Dakotans have ranked no. 1 in the country in terms of well-being, and low taxes help make it retirement-friendly as well.

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Utah

While Utah isn't particularly tax-friendly toward retirees, it's a healthy place for active older folks to live, with plenty of outdoor recreation to provide fun during summer and winter. Seniors here enjoy the third-lowest rate of poverty in the country for those over 65, and Utah holds the no. 2 spot for 65+ health.

Retiring in Utah

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Idaho

If you love winter sports, Idaho is another retirement-friendly state to consider. It's ultra affordable, so your retirement savings and income go further than they would elsewhere. Crime rates are low, and health care quality is high. Social Security benefits aren't taxed here, and there's no inheritance or estate tax — making it a good option for your dependents and heirs as well.

Retiring in Idaho

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New Hampshire

If you're concerned about your tax burden, take a look at New Hampshire as a retirement destination. There's no sales tax here, saving you a little on every purchase, and no retirement income (including Social Security benefits) is taxed. Health care quality is high, crime is low, and the state ranks at no. 5 in the country in senior health.

Retiring in New Hampshire

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Florida

The nearly perfect weather in Florida is reason alone to retire there, as millions of seniors have discovered over the decades. It's also one of the most tax-friendly states in the country, with no state income tax, inheritance tax, or estate tax. With sunshine year-round and beaches within driving distance almost anywhere you choose to put down roots, it's hard to go wrong retiring in Florida.

Retiring in Florida

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Montana

While Montana taxes your retirement benefits, many retirees think it's worth it to get to live in Big Sky Country. Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks are easily accessible for older people who love outdoor adventure, but there's plenty of indoor entertainment as well, and the state ranking no. 7 in the country for culture.

Retiring in Montana

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North Carolina

The mild, comfortable weather is a big draw in North Carolina, and the cost of living is below the national average, even in the larger metro areas. North Carolina doesn't tax your Social Security benefits, which helps stretch your retirement income even further. Enjoy the beaches of the coastline and the entertainment options of the larger cities.

Retiring in North Carolina

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Wyoming

The state of Wyoming enjoys the benefits of the oil and mining industries, resulting in a financially healthy state that doesn't call for a lot of taxes from its residents. That's good news for retirees, especially those active people who love all the outdoor recreation Wyoming offers.

Retiring in Wyoming

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Alabama

Golf courses? Of course. Great beaches? You got it. How about warm weather? If you want all these, you don't need to head to Florida with all those other retirees. Alabama offers all these amazing attractions but at a much lower cost. Health care costs are also significantly lower here than in most of the country, and taxes are low, with your Social Security benefits exempt.

Retiring in Alabama

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Hawaii

It's no surprise Hawaii attracts retirees, given its stunning natural beauty and terrific weather. True, the cost of living here is high — the highest in the country, in fact. But if you can afford it, this state is a wonderful place to retire. Healthcare costs are very affordable — almost 12 percent lower than the national rates — in part due to the state's well-managed healthcare system. As a result, seniors in Hawaii are healthier than in 47 other states — and all the nearby beaches and mountains encourage you to stay physically active as well.

Retiring in Hawaii

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