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West Virginia is third-best state to retire

A national consulting resource service,, named West Virginia the third-best state in the nation to retire in in 2021, topping vacation-destination spots such as Nevada, 4th; South Carolina, 13th; and Hawaii, 27th.

The nationwide study by looked at affordability, quality of life, health care, and the retirement living ratio.

Topping the list were Florida and Texas at one and two. The rest of the top 10 included New Hampshire, 5th; Wyoming 6th; Idaho, 7th; Pennsylvania, 8th; Arizona, 9th; and Oklahoma, 10th.

In its study, said West Virginia homes and senior care communities are affordable with low property and sales taxes, the study said.

“You’re within 100 miles of city conveniences no matter where you live in West Virginia,” said.

A downside of living in West Virginia is the lack of activities during the winter months. Also, retirement income taxes for some residents can be high, but the state is phasing out tax on Social Security income, the web site said.

“I was not surprised to see that West Virginia came in with such a favorable rank,” said Jeff Smith, content manager for, based in Redding, Conn. “For the cost of living metric, West Virginia is an excellent state for retirement with low home prices, solid median incomes, and low costs for assisted living. For the quality of life metric West Virginia also does well with 20.5% of the population over 65. “

The average home price was $119,000 and the median income was $46,711.

The three states rated worst for retirement are Illinois, 48th; New Mexico, 49th; and Rhode Island at 50th. said Illinois earned its low ranking because of high taxes, hot summers and very cold winters.

New Mexico was rated the second-worst place to retire in 2021 because of fluctuating cost-of-living and crime rates. Nursing homes and memory care centers can be expensive, too, the web site said.

And Rhode Island came in last in the ratings because senior housing prices are high, plus a high real estate tax. In addition, seniors pay taxes on retirement income.