June 23, 2024
Breathtaking view of rolling hills and mountains in West Virginia.

Escape to Affordable Bliss: West Virginia's Beauty Awaits Your Retirement.

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Introduction: Unveiling Unexpected Retirement Destinations from Bankrate Research

When considering retirement destinations, sunny beaches and tropical paradises often come to mind. However, recent bankrate research offers a new perspective on where retirees might find the best financial comfort. By assessing the financial landscape of US states and considering factors like cost of living, taxes, and overall well-being, this study unveils surprising results.

West Virginia’s Rising Appeal:  

West Virginia has emerged as the least expensive state for retirees in 2023, as indicated by Bankrate’s “Best and Worst States to Retire” list. The state’s modest tax burdens, combined with its low cost of living position it as an enticing prospect for retirees. Additionally, its commendable scores in well-being, weather, and crime push West Virginia to third place overall, not just for its affordability but for its overall living conditions.

Florida’s declining Favorability:  

Florida, traditionally celebrated as a retiree’s paradise, seems to have lost some of its allure in terms of affordability. Marking its second consecutive year out of the top ranks, Florida now stands at number 35 in the affordability chart, a significant decline from its 18th position the previous year. An influx of migrants to Florida in 2022, as documented by the National Association of Realtors, has inadvertently contributed to an escalation in housing costs.

Top 10 Most Affordable States for Retirement:  

Bankrate’s comprehensive list of affordable retirement states for 2023 comprises:

  • 1. West Virginia 
  • 2. Mississippi 
  • 3. Iowa
  • 4. Alabama
  • 5. Missouri 
  • 6. Oklahoma 
  • 7. Indiana 
  • 8. Kansas 
  • 9. Wyoming
  • 10. Arkansas

While cost-effectiveness is undoubtedly paramount in deciding one’s retirement haven, it is equally imperative to consider various factors.

Beyond Monetary Concerns:  

Deciding where to retire involves an intricate blend of financial planning and personal preferences. Proximity to family, accessibility to medical facilities, and the overall community atmosphere play integral roles in influencing the final decision. 

Shang Saavedra, a personal financial expert involved in the Bankrate Research, emphasized the importance of understanding one’s financial standing before retirement. Saavedra opined, “Determining how much you have available for retirement then leads to all the other decisions for your lifestyle.” It’s a crucial piece of advice, underscoring the importance of comprehensive financial planning.


The recent revelations from Bankrate not only reshape our understanding of ideal retirement destinations but also emphasize the evolving nature of financial landscapes across the U.S. As West Virginia emerges as a prime contender, it underscores the importance of looking beyond traditional hotspots and exploring lesser-known regions that offer both financial and lifestyle advantages. However, it’s essential to remember that while affordability is a major consideration, the essence of retirement is to find a place that resonates with one’s personal aspirations, health needs, and family connections. Additionally, as socio-economic factors shift and housing markets fluctuate, it becomes imperative for potential retirees to stay informed and adaptable. By embracing both financial wisdom and personal preferences, retirees can pave the way for a tranquil, contented, and economically sound twilight phase, irrespective of their chosen destination.


Bankrate Research recently conducted a comprehensive study to determine the most affordable U.S. states for retirees in 2023. To the surprise of many, West Virginia emerged at the top of the affordability chart. Its low cost of living, modest tax burdens, and high scores in well-being, weather, and crime contributed to its ranking. Conversely, Florida, traditionally a popular retiree haven, slipped to the 35th position due to increasing housing costs caused by a surge in migration. Bankrate’s top ten list of affordable retirement states also includes Mississippi, Iowa, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, Kansas, Wyoming, and Arkansas. While cost is a significant factor in choosing a retirement location, other considerations like proximity to family, access to healthcare, and overall lifestyle quality are vital. Personal financial expert Shang Saavedra emphasized the importance of understanding one’s savings before retirement to make well-informed lifestyle decisions.

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