COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- Florida and Arizona may be home to some of the country’s most popular retirement spots, but South Dakota is actually the best state for retirees, according to new research from Bankrate.com.
Researchers looked at several factors to determine which states offer the best quality of life for seniors. They included weather, cost of living, crime rate, health care quality, tax burden and well-being which is a measurement from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that quantifies how satisfied people are with their surroundings.
Ohio ranked 38th on the list.
"This really wasn't a popularity contest, we really wanted to take a personal finance angle to this ranking," said Chris Kahn, Bankrate.com research and statistics analyst.
The Buckeye State did score well when it came to cost-of-living, a big factor for retirees who are generally on a fixed income. But Ohio's well-being score was low.
"Ohio ranks 46 out of 50 on that," Kahn said.
The sun shines 51 percent of the time in Ohio, according to the study, and humidity averages 70.9 percent - two big factors in the weather score.
Ohio did rank just above retirement hot-spot Florida, which finished 39th.
South Dakota came out on top due to its low tax burden, low crime rate and high wellness score. Other states that round out the top five best states to retire are Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming.
“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,” said Kahn.
The five states that ranked the lowest for retirement are New York, West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas and Hawaii.
Among neighboring states, Pennsylvania finished highest at 23rd, followed by Michigan which was 30th, and Indiana at 35th. Kentucky was lower than Ohio at 41st and West Virginia was 49th.
“For some, the best place to retire is simply anywhere there’s year-round warmth and sunshine. For others, it's where family and friends live," said Kahn.