NEW YORK, June 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Senior citizens flocking to Arizona for retirement are on to something – the Grand Canyon state has three metro areas in the top 10 best cities to retire, according to new research from Bankrate.com. The Phoenix metro area ranked on top as the best place in the country for retirement. The worst place for retirement is New York City.
Bankrate.com ranked 172 cities according to several factors. They included local weather, cost of living, crime rate, health care quality, tax burden, walkability and senior well-being (a measurement from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that quantifies how satisfied residents 65 and older are with their surroundings).
The Phoenix metro area came out on top for its weather and high well-being score. Other places that round out the top 10 are:
1) Phoenix metro area (including Mesa and Scottsdale)
2) Arlington/Alexandria, Va.
3) Prescott, Ariz.
4) Tucson, Ariz.
5) Des Moines, Iowa
6) Denver (including Aurora)
7) Austin, Texas (including Round Rock)
8) Cape Coral, Fla. (including Ft. Myers)
9) Colorado Springs, Colo.
10) Franklin, Tenn.
“Deciding where to retire is a very personal choice,” said Bankrate.com research and statistics analyst Chris Kahn. “We ranked the cities on factors that matter most to seniors, but recognize that every city has its pros and cons that will be shaped by each individual’s personal experiences.”
While New York City ranked number one for walkability and has a wealth of cultural activities for retirees, its high cost of living and high tax burden can make it a difficult place to live for people on a fixed income. Other places that ranked at the bottom include:
172) New York
171) Little Rock, Ark. (including North Little Rock and Conway)
170) New Haven, Conn. (including Milford, Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford)
169) Buffalo, N.Y. (including Rochester, Niagara Falls and Cheektowaga)
168) Newark, N.J.
167) Albany, N.Y. (including Troy and Schenectady)
166) Hartford, Conn. (including East and West Hartford)
165) Oakland, Calif.
“Just because a city ranks at the bottom doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to spend your golden years,” said Kahn. “Soon-to-be retirees should focus on what factors are most important to them and then consult rankings like this to see what cities best fit their criteria.”
The full list can be seen in its entirety here:
This is Bankrate.com’s first ranking of the best and worst cities to retire. To create our list, we ranked America’s cities in terms of walkability, the cost of living, crime rate, health care quality, tax rates and weather. The ranking also incorporated a specialized wellness score for seniors from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Our list started with a database of thousands of cites, however only 196 had available data for all of the ranking categories. We pared down the list further to combine neighboring areas with nearly identical statistics, leaving us with 172 distinct areas.
Crime rates came from the FBI
Weather statistics (rates of sunshine, humidity and temperature) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Health care quality statistics came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research
Calculations of state tax rates from the Tax Foundation
Cost of living stats came from the Council for Community and Economic Research
Well-being scores came from Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, an extensive year-round survey that helps measure residents’ general happiness with their surroundings. The survey asks a variety of questions such as whether people think their community is “getting better or getting worse,” and “did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?”
Walkability scores came from Walkscore.com that measured how easy it is to get around without a car. Cities with high Walkscores tend to be tightly knit, with good public transportation and more services nearby.
About Bankrate, Inc.
Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, CreditCards.com, InsuranceQuotes.com and Caring.com, our flagship websites, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, Insweb.com, CreditCards.ca, and NetQuote.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of over 600 local markets, Bankrate generates rate tables in all 50 U.S. states. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 100 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, AOL, CNBC, and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.
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Senior Publicist, Bankrate, Inc.
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SOURCE Bankrate, Inc.