|Apparently good weather goes hand-in-hand with high life expectancy. So says the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the popular over 50 retirement organization and interest group that circulated a new list of best places in which to retire. The list promoted by MoneyRates.com, a finance website that won a 2012 WebAward for Financial Services Standards of Excellence, allegedly sought to add some objectivity to what otherwise would be a very individualized life choice. [Lists also popularize one's website.]
What factored into the rankings were senior population growth based on census data, cost of living and taxes that greatly affect seniors, the crime rate and vulnerability of seniors, fewer climate extremes or temperatures deviating from a norm of 68-degrees Fahrenheit and actuarial charts of life expectancy providing possible clues on availability of good health care and purity of the environment.
Included in the top 10 in descending order are: Texas (tie) - warm weather and solid economy, California (tie) - good weather and high life expectancy, South Dakota - low crime rate and high life expectancy, New Mexico (tie) - good weather, Florida (tie) good weather, Colorado - high life expectancy [may be even greater with all that relaxing pot], Virginia - good economy, Idaho - low crime rate and good economy and number one: Hawaii - great weather and high life expectancy [and all that great fresh fish].
Are you asking, what are the worst places?
Michigan holds the number one spot with its harsh weather and tough economic climate for the worst place in which to retire, based upon a ranking by MoneyRates.com. The other states in descending order are: Rhode Island - high property taxes and the only state to see its senior population shrink comparing the 2000 and 2010 census surveys, Maryland - high property taxes and other costs, Maine - low life expectancy and harsh climate, New York (tie) high property taxes and other costs even with an astonishing comparable lower-than-average overall crime rate, Ohio (tie) low life expectancy [age 65 and you may be a goner], Massachusetts - high property taxes and other costs, Illinois - high property taxes and high unemployment, and the number two spot in a tie: Alaska - high cost-of-living and harsh climate although admittedly the senior population has been growing at what the list-maker has called "an impressive rate" and Michigan - harsh weather and a tough economic climate.
An AARP editor issued a caveat that many cities in MoneyRate.com's "worst" states have earned spots on AARP's Best Places to Retire lists. For instance, Portland, Maine and Anchorage, Alaska were picks for Great Cities for Outdoor Lovers; Providence, Rhode Island made the list for Great Quirky Places to Retire and Boston and New York were designated Great Places to Retire for City Life. So, apparently, after all this, a list is still a list. Take any with a grain of salt.
By the way, Missouri came in 33rd; Kansas, 28th; Arkansas, 24th and Oklahoma, 22nd...out of 50, of course.