Richard Stein – Realtor®, Douglas Elliman, GREEN, SFR, CBR, eCertified®

Local Agent, Worldwide Marketing – Douglas Elliman Real Estate formerly Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The Best States for Pre-Retirees

Some Americans may want to get a head start on retirement, at least when it comes to where they intend to call home. A new study by LPL Financial ranks the top most desirable states for pre-retirees, those aged 45 to 64 years old.

Regional Trends

Several distinct regional trends emerged from the study, including:

  • Financial: The Midwest was the clear champ in this category for 2017, the study notes. The metrics in many Midwestern states were in line with national averages except for the cost of living, which is well below the national average and just below the South.
  • Health care: The Northeast reigned in this category, with many Northeastern states demonstrating excellence in access to, cost of, and quality of health care. The Midwest trailed close behind.
  • Housing: The Midwest was again the leader, followed by the South, in offering the strongest housing affordability.
  • Community quality of life: Several southern states emerged on top within this category, while some Northeastern states fell to the bottom of the list due to higher crime and foreclosure rates.
  • Employment and education: The Northeast outshined the other regions in this category, followed by the West. The Northeast’s advantage was mostly attributed to its higher college degree attainment rates and higher employment rates.
  • Wellness: The Northeast and South were the strongest contenders within this category. The Midwest trailed due to higher levels of obesity and lower life expectancy for 65 year olds.

Source: “LPL Research Retirement Environment Index,” LPL Financial (2017)

The 2017 LPL Financial Research Retirement Environment Index ranked states on numerous factors deemed important for 45- to 64-year-olds, including housing affordability, community quality of life, employment, health care, and wellness.

Overall, the study found that Midwest locales had some of the highest averages in many of those categories, while the West had the largest range of scores  (see box for more regional differences).

The index is designed “to grade and rank states on their preparedness and desirability for the pre-retiree cohort,” the study notes. “For some individuals, where to reside is already decided, but the index can still help spark conversations.”

The top-ranked states for 2017 are:

  1. Nebraska (The state dethroned Virginia this year, which had held the top spot for two consecutive years prior. Nebraska improved its scores this year particularly in the financial and community quality of life categories.)
  2. Michigan
  3. Minnesota
  4. South Dakota
  5. Wyoming
  6. Tennessee
  7. Virginia
  8. Missouri
  9. Utah
  10. Iowa
  11. New Hampshire
  12. Delaware

Source: “LPL Research Retirement Environment Index,” LPL Financial (2017)


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