The U.S. states where your retirement dollars stretch further

The U.S. states where your retirement dollars stretch further

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Americans are free to enjoy their golden years in any state they please, but a new study found that the ideal places to live on a retirement budget are in the South or the Midwest. 

Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri are the top five best states to retire when factoring in a range of criteria, according to Bankrate. The most affordable states to retire are Michigan, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Bankrate based its ranking on several factors, including a state’s cost of living, tax rate, cultural life, percentage of retiree population, average temperature, crime rate and the likelihood of natural disasters. 

“Every retiree has different priorities, but Michigan’s combination of an affordable cost of living and low taxes make it a compelling choice for value-minded retirees,” Bankrate analyst Jeff Ostrowski said in a statement. 

And the worst?

Alaska, Maine, California, New Mexico and Montana are the five worst states to retire, according to Bankrate, which said they have either a high cost of living, higher relative crime rates or unfavorable weather for older Americans.

Americans need more than $1 million in savings to live comfortably in retirement in 28 of the nation’s largest metro areas, according to MagnifyMoney. For those who can’t put that much away, retirees can live comfortably for less than half a million dollars in McAllen, Texas; Jackson, Tennessee; Danville, Illinois; and Brownsville, Texas, MagnifyMoney found.

Meanwhile, some Americans who are eligible for retirement are holding off in order to continue working, a Gallup poll said. 

About 2.4 million Americans retired early during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis analysis. A majority of those were baby boomers who had turned 62 and were able to pull down Social Security benefits.

Khristopher J. Brooks

Khristopher J. Brooks is a reporter for CBS MoneyWatch covering business, consumer and financial stories that range from economic inequality and housing issues to bankruptcies and the business of sports.

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