retirement

The 11 Worst U.S. States for Retirement in 2021

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Choosing where to retire comes with a number of decisions, including if you want to be close to friends or family, what's best for your health and how much you want to spend. While some places may be great options for you, others won't be.

To determine the best and worst states for retirement in 2021, personal finance website Bankrate ranked each U.S. state across five key areas: affordability, wellness, culture, weather and crime. The two factors weighed most heavily were affordability (40%) and wellness (20%).

"It's a complicated formula to figure out what's going to attract people to your state and how to create the best climate for them," Jeff Ostrowski, Bankrate.com analyst, tells CNBC Make It. "It's a combination of factors, some in the control of the state and its leaders and some that are not."

While some states, like Maryland, offer booming job and economic opportunities, for example, Ostrowski says that complaints about the state's tax burdens may be keeping potential retirees away.

Below, check out the 11 worst states to retire in the U.S. this year, according to Bankrate. But keep in mind that this data is only meant to be used as a reference point for Americans looking to map out their retirement plans.

"We're not expecting that someone's going to make their life decision based on one index, it's just another data point to consider," Ostrowski says.

11. Washington

  • Affordability rank: 36
  • Wellness rank: 8
  • Culture rank: 27

9. TIE: Idaho

  • Affordability rank: 22
  • Wellness rank: 39
  • Culture rank: 30

9. TIE: Connecticut

  • Affordability rank: 49
  • Wellness rank: 7
  • Culture rank: 9
A senior couple in Birmingham, Alabama
Cavan Images | Cavan | Getty Images
A senior couple in Birmingham, Alabama

8. Alabama

  • Affordability rank: 8
  • Wellness rank: 44
  • Culture rank: 43

6. TIE: Arkansas

  • Affordability rank: 19
  • Wellness rank: 49
  • Culture rank: 42

6. TIE: Maine

  • Affordability rank: 40
  • Wellness rank: 29
  • Culture rank: 1

5. Alaska

  • Affordability rank: 25
  • Wellness rank: 23
  • Culture rank: 20
@melissadoar | Twenty/20

4. Montana

  • Affordability rank: 33
  • Wellness rank: 33
  • Culture rank: 3

3. Kansas

  • Affordability rank: 24
  • Wellness rank: 26
  • Culture rank: 38

2. Minnesota

  • Affordability rank: 39
  • Wellness rank: 15
  • Culture rank: 34

1. Maryland

  • Affordability rank: 47
  • Wellness rank: 4
  • Culture rank: 39

In order to rank each state, Bankrate gathered data from from a number of sources. Here are the sources it used for each metric, as well as how heavily each factor was weighed.

In some cases, slight adjustments were made to account for things like extreme weather conditions, Ostrowski says.

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