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The worst places to retire in the US

The coronavirus pandemic sparked a boom in retirements, prompting many people who had the means to hang up their boots for good.

A Pew Research poll found that by September 2020, 3.2 million more baby boomers were retired than in 2019. For the four prior years, the number of retirees did not pass the 2 million mark, suggesting a nearly 50 per cent increase over the average number of people retiring in a given year.

While the pandemic likely made the decision to retire a little easier, one of the many questions retirees have to answer before clocking out for the last time is where they'll settle down and ride out their golden years.

Bankrate, a personal finance website, has put together a ranking of the best and worst places for someone to retire in 2021. The factors that weighed the most on their rankings are the affordability of a location and “wellness.”

“It’s a complicated formula to figure out what’s going to attract people to your state and how to create the best climate for them,” Bankrate.com analyst Jeff Ostrowski told CNBC Make It. “It’s a combination of factors, some in the control of the state and its leaders and some that are not.”

Here’s the list of the 11 worst places to retire, with Bankrate naming Maryland the worst of the bunch.

Washington

Idaho

Connecticut

Alabama

Arkansas

Maine

Alaska

Montana

Kansas

Minnesota

Maryland

Mr Ostrowski noted that no one should make their decision based solely on an index ranking, but hopes that the data would assist retirees in their research.

The rankings measure of “affordability” takes into account the cost of living for a particular area, including tax rates, while “wellness” encompasses a variety of metrics, including social and community opportunities, economic security, and healthcare, food, housing and resource access.

Idaho and Connecticut tied, with affordability ranks of 22 and 49, respectively, and wellness rankings of 39 and seven, respectively.

Alabama was the next highest, with an affordability rank of only 8 and a wellness rank of 44.

Arkansas took the number six spot, with an affordability rank of 19 and a wellness rank of 49. It tied with Maine, which had an affordability rank of 40 and a wellness rank of 29.

Alaska also made the list, with an affordability rank of 25 and a wellness rank of 23.

Montana and Kansas were included next, with affordability ranks of 33 and 24, respectively, and wellness ranks of 33 and 26, also respectively.

Minnesota took the second spot, with an affordability rank of 39 and wellness rank of 15, and Maryland was ranked the worst state to retire to, with an affordability rank of 47, and a wellness rank of four.

Some of the ranks were adjusted for exceptional considerations, like extreme weather conditions.

The index pulled from several sets of data to compile the rankings, including the Council for Community and Economic Research, the Tax Foundation, FBI crime stats, Census data, NOAA weather data and the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index.

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