The Best and Worst States for a Healthy Retirement

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The number of retired baby boomers increased by 3.2 million in 2020 compared to 2019, according to Pew Research Center, the largest increase since 2011, when the oldest members of the generation first hit retirement age. Americans reaching retirement may seek a place where they can spend their golden years in good health. Nationwide, the health and well-being of older Americans varies considerably from state to state.

In order to determine the best states for a healthy retirement, 24/7 Tempo created an index using 17 health indicators for Americans 65 and older from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Aging Program.

In order to stay healthy in older age, it is important that people eat a healthy diet, avoid unhealthy habits like smoking, and get preventive medical care like vaccinations and disease screenings. Yet it can be difficult for some — especially those on a fixed income — to afford medical care. It is important that retirees have a good idea of what their cost of living will be so they can aim to save enough to avoid financial hardship. This is what it costs to retire in every state.

2020 introduced a new health concern for older Americans — the COVID-19 pandemic. The novel coronavirus is more likely to cause severe, even fatal disease, in older people. State and local leaders have therefore prioritized older residents to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. However, not every place has proven equally adept at getting their vaccine supply into the arms of those who need it. These are the states doing the best job rolling out the vaccine.

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