A sign welcomes visitors to Florida. Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com
By Jason Schaumburg | The Center Square
    Florida’s top 10 rankings in affordability and quality of life helped it earn the top spot in WalletHub’s 2021 Best States to Retire study.

Florida’s score of 61.09 in WalletHub’s study, which was released Monday, placed it No. 1 over Colorado (60.94), Delaware (58.69), Virginia (58.61) and North Dakota (57.49).

To determine how retirement friendly each state is, WalletHub, a personal finance website, examined three categories in each state: affordability, quality of life and health care. The three categories were evaluated with 45 metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale. WalletHub calculated each state’s weighted average across all metrics to determine its overall score.

David Evans, a lecturer at Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, said retirees need a plan.

“Like any other decision with financial consequences, the long-term effects should be considered,” Evans said. “Where you will settle down in retirement should have been decided a long time ago.”

Florida finished fourth in affordability, sixth in quality of life and 28th in health care. It also was the state with the highest percentage of population age 65 or older.

Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina finished ahead of Florida in affordability. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah and Vermont were ahead of Florida in quality of life. Hawaii, Minnesota and Vermont were the top three states in the study’s health care ratings.

New Jersey, New York and Mississippi were ranked as the worst states to retire.

Florida also was No. 1 on last year’s list, when it ranked second in affordability, fifth in quality of life and 26th in health care.

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