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NEW YORK--When it comes to being one of the best states to retire, Indiana is slightly above average. conducted a study that found Indiana to be the 22nd best state to retire. The study looked at 7 categories: cost of living, taxes, health care quality, weather, crime, cultural vitality, and well-being. 

Taylor Tepper, an analyst at, says Indiana finished 9th in both of cost of living and taxes. 

“Indiana did very well here and those are very important issues for seniors living on a fixed income who don’t have a whole lot of margin for error,” Tepper said. “We looked at hundreds of data points to see what people spend money on. That ranges from the principal you pay on your mortgage, the cost of gasoline, and doctors visits.” 

Indiana has struggled in health care quality (#38), cultural vitality (#42), and well-being (#42). Tepper gave some ideas about how the state can improve in those areas. 

“It’s important to maintain, enhance, and enrich the relationships in your life that are meaningful to you. Because when I retire and my identity as a worker, business owner, etc. recedes, those relationships and the hobbies that I have are going to be elevated in importance and it’s important to have those maintained throughout the course of your life,” Tepper said.   

Indiana was slightly below average in crime (#30) and weather (#25). 

“For crime, we just looked at state-level data. We looked at violent crime and property crime. Indiana was 31st for violent crime and 27th for property crime. We got those numbers from the FBI,” Tepper said. 

“We looked at the average temperature between 1901-2000 and that brought us to the 25th ranking. Weather is really important for some people and it’s not for others. We have this cultural bias in our heads that when you retire you should be like a bird and migrate down south where the beaches are and that’s not necessarily the case. You can visit the beaches. You don’t have to move there if your social network, your friends, and your hobbies are in the particular place where you live,” Tepper said. 

Tepper said it’s also a good idea to keep certain retirement principles in mind. 

“It’s important to have 11 times your earnings by the time you hit 65 is what you want saved in a retirement account. That depends on each person. Have enough money to replace 80{e0016bc526488076cccec5187651e4db422187ce89e640e1eb2a2519a6ce4707} of your spending. Saving 10-15{e0016bc526488076cccec5187651e4db422187ce89e640e1eb2a2519a6ce4707} in your 401k is a good practice. Consult with a retirement expert,” Tepper said. 

South Dakota was ranked the best state to retire and finished #1 in well-being. New York was ranked the worst state to retire. Tepper said people in Indiana can put certain practices into place to make Indiana a better place to live for both retirees and everyone else. 

“Your listeners should think about why South Dakota did well. The people there enjoy low taxes, but they also enjoy their sense of community, their friends, and their network,” Tepper said. 

Bankrate is a consumer financial services company based in New York City. 


(PHOTO: Brian A. Jackson/Getty iStock)