Retiring? Head to Florida.
Feel free to kick off your shoes, grab your beach towel, and enjoy the shade of the palm trees -- Florida is the best state in the nation to retire, according to a new study released Monday.
The WalletHub study looked at all 50 states and the District of Columbia and found Florida was the place to be for people wanting to enjoy life after retirement.
Florida has long been a hotspot for retirees. The Sunshine State has the highest population over the age of 65 out of any other state, with nearly 19 percent of Florida’s population fitting in that age bracket, which is over two times higher than Alaska, which has the lowest percentage of residents 65 and older at nine percent.
The survey based the rating on several factors to measure the most retirement-worthy states. WalletHub looked at three main factors -- affordability, quality of life and health care -- to get the rankings.
For affordability, the survey measured the adjusted cost of living, tax friendliness, tax friendliness on pensions and Social Security income, annual cost of in-home services and the annual cost of adult day health care.
Florida soared in the affordability category, ranking first out of all 50 states in this category.
The Sunshine State also ranked towards the top -- coming in at No. 11 -- in the quality of life category, which measured states based on the mildness of weather, the population aged 65 or older, air quality, drinking water quality and number of golf courses per capita.
Florida did not fare quite as well when it came to healthcare, ranking 24 out of all 50 states in this category. Quality of healthcare was measured by several factors, including the number of family and general physicians per capita, health-care facilities per capita, the percentage of people aged 65 or older with healthcare and life expectancy.
University of Florida Sociology Professor John Henretta said Florida is a special destination since it attracts both older and younger crowds.
“There is a stream of older in-migrants who move to retirement destinations and a stream of younger people who move to growing urban centers like Orlando and Tampa,” Henretta said. “The two streams are partly related.”
Henretta said many of his students who were born in other states but eventually end up coming to Florida since their grandparents live there.
To see the full breakdown and rankings, click here.