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The 7 Worst States to Retire—and None of Them Are New York

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It turns out the "Last Frontier" state may be the last place you'd want to retire: Alaska was rated the worst state for retirement, according to a new Bankrate ranking.

To determine the best and worst states for retirement, Bankrate weighed five categories: Affordability (40%), wellness (20%), culture (15%), weather (15%) and crime (10%). The combined overall score was used to determine each state's ranking.

Alaska was dragged to the bottom of the list by low scores in affordability and weather. However, there are still positives to retiring in the most northern state: Alaska's residents bear the nation's lowest tax burden, according to the report.

Here are the seven worst states to retire in 2022, according to Bankrate.

  1. Alaska
  2. Maine
  3. California
  4. New Mexico
  5. Montana
  6. Vermont
  7. Maryland

Despite its notoriously high cost of living, New York didn't fall near the bottom of the list. The state's ranking got a boost from high scores in the wellness and culture categories, placing it somewhat in the middle.

Bankrate acknowledges that there's plenty of subjectivity in choosing a place to retire. The categories in this ranking may not reflect everyone's priorities. For example, proximity to family plays a major role in deciding where to settle down for many retirees.

"When I see people retire and move to different parts of the country, 70 to 80 percent of the time, it's to be close to family," Clark Kendall, president of Kendall Capital Management and author of "Middle-Class Millionaire" told Bankrate.

Soon-to-be retirees may want to consider visiting different locations to get a feel for what it might be like to live there long-term.

"Go to a variety of different places that you seem to be attracted to — places that have a lower cost of living and lower property taxes — and test them out for a while," Laura Kovacs, former director of education at the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors in Arizona and a recent retiree, tells Bankrate.

"When you're still working, take some time to go preview different types of communities and different types of lifestyles," she says. "And when you've retired, maybe try renting for a while before you commit to buying."

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