Each year, countless workers rack their brains trying to determine whether the time is right to bring their careers to a close. But while deciding what age to retire is certainly important, it's just as crucial to figure out where to retire. After all, once you stop working, you'll move over to a fixed income, at which point you'll need to put more thought into how much you're spending each month. Furthermore, since you'll have a lot of time on your hands in the absence of a full-time job, you'll probably want to live someplace that offers a decent array of local amenities and entertainment.

With all of that in mind, WalletHub recently compiled a list of the best and worst states for retirees this year. The data you're about to see is the result of various factors, including cost of living, amenities and attractions, and senior health services -- and it might actually help you land on the best state for your golden years.

Map of United States

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Where should you retire?

There are numerous points to take into account when determining where to retire. As a starting point, however, here's how WalletHub's rankings shake out for the current year:

Overall Rank

State

Overall Rank

State

1

Florida

26

Oregon

2

Colorado

27

South Carolina

3

South Dakota

28

North Carolina

3

Iowa

29

Michigan

5

Virginia

30

Alaska

6

Wyoming

31

Illinois

7

New Hampshire

32

Indiana

8

Idaho

33

Nebraska

9

Utah

34

Connecticut

10

Arizona

35

Tennessee

11

Minnesota

36

Oklahoma

12

Wisconsin

37

Georgia

13

Montana

38

Maryland

14

Pennsylvania

39

Vermont

15

California

40

New York

16

Nevada

41

Alabama

17

Kansas

42

Hawaii

18

Missouri

43

New Mexico

19

Massachusetts

44

Louisiana

20

Ohio

45

West Virginia

21

Washington

46

Arkansas

22

Texas

47

Mississippi

23

Maine

48

Rhode Island

24

North Dakota

49

New Jersey

25

Delaware

50

Kentucky

DATA SOURCE: WALLETHUB.

Of course, that table speaks to the 50 states' overall rank, but as a near-retiree, you may be inclined to base your decision heavily on cost of living. The following table ranks all 50 states in terms of senior affordability alone:

Affordability Rank

State

Affordability Rank

State

1

Florida

26

Iowa

2

South Dakota

27

Kansas

3

Alabama

28

Pennsylvania

4

Wyoming

29

New Hampshire

5

Tennessee

30

Alaska

6

South Carolina

31

Oregon

7

Oklahoma

32

Wisconsin

8

Nevada

33

Michigan

9

Texas

34

Washington

10

Mississippi

35

North Dakota

11

Idaho

36

Maine

12

Missouri

37

California

13

Ohio

38

Kentucky

14

Montana

39

New Mexico

15

Delaware

40

Illinois

16

West Virginia

41

Nebraska

17

Louisiana

42

Minnesota

18

Virginia

43

Massachusetts

19

Indiana

44

Maryland

20

Arkansas

45

Connecticut

21

Arizona

46

New York

22

Utah

47

Vermont

23

Colorado

48

Rhode Island

24

Georgia

49

Hawaii

25

North Carolina

50

New Jersey

DATA SOURCE: WALLETHUB.

Notice that while some states, like Florida and South Dakota, align pretty well in terms of overall rank and affordability, other states sport a pretty notable gap. For example, New Hampshire ranks seventh overall yet falls into the bottom half of all states as far as cost of living goes.

Now if money is a huge sticking point (and frankly, it should be), then you'll need to pay close attention to affordability when making your decision. Remember, as a general rule, you can typically withdraw around 4% of your savings per year without running the risk of depleting your nest egg prematurely. If you're planning to retire soon, take a look at your balance and see what that 4%, plus Social Security and other sources of income you'll have access to, will provide. From there, you can research your options countrywide and see what sort of lifestyle your income will buy you.

That said, if you've saved nicely and have some breathing room, you should feel free to focus on other factors that will make for a more pleasant retirement on a whole. Take climate, for instance. You might think you're used to cold winters or scorching summers, but as you age, your tolerance for temperature extremes might start to wane. Similarly, think about how you're planning to get around town, keeping in mind that as you get older, the idea of driving may not hold much appeal. If you move someplace with solid public transportation and infrastructure, you might fare better than if you were to relocate to a more remote corner of the country.

Finally, keep in mind that you don't necessarily need to land on a single state. The beauty of being retired is the flexibility to spend your winters in one place and your summers in another, so if your savings allow for that leeway, you might really end up getting the best of multiple worlds.

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