The Worst Places to Retire

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When determining the best place to retire, consider several factors. Learn the cost of living, crime rates and even unemployment rates of a region before deciding if it's the best place to spend your golden years. Ease of access to family is another deciding factor in choosing where to retire, as are climate and life expectancy rates. When choosing the best option for you, it might not be a bad idea to determine the worst places to retire so you understand what to avoid.

The 5 Worst States

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A recent Money magazine report rated Nevada the worst state in which to retire. The report cites such factors as a high cost of living (105 percent of the national average) and high unemployment. These factors combine to drive high violent crime rates, high property crime rates and low life expectancy rates. Michigan, Alaska and South Carolina were reported as the second, third and fourth worst states in which to retire. Economic factors, crime rates and life expectancy were all cited. Climate was also a major determinant, with Michigan and Alaska cited as undesirable due to low temperatures. Maryland came in at No. 5 with high crime rates and high tax rates making it quite undesirable for retirees. Maryland's cost of living is 25 percent higher than the national average while life expectancy was the 35th lowest.

Washington, D.C.

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The nation's capital also made Quality Health's list of worst retirement cities with a reported 17.4 percent of the city's retirement-age residents living at or below the national poverty level in 2005. High homicide rates and air pollution levels make the standard of living even more untenable for retirees.

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

A couple sits on what's left of their beach front cottage, October 6, 2012. Nags Head, NC.
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North Carolina was listed by Money magazine as the eighth worst state in which to retire. And Quality Health rated Cape Hatteras as one of the worst retirement locations in the U.S. Cape Hatteras has a bad reputation for being a magnet for tropical storms and hurricanes. Many a boat has been lost to the sandbars and unstable waters off the coast of Cape Hatteras. This so-called "Graveyard of the Atlantic" is not exactly a dream location for those retirees who are interested in sailing through their golden years.

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