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Where should clients retire?

Americans aren’t ready to retire.

Half of future retirees are at risk of not being able to cover essential expenses into retirement, with only 18% able to cover essential spending, according to a 2018 Fidelity Investments survey. Just 32% of the 3,100 respondents surveyed were on target to cover all spending, including travel and entertainment.

While those numbers may seem ominous, there’s also an opportunity for advisors to provide value to clients looking to cut costs when they retire.

A new study from Bankrate.com ranked all 50 states by cost of living to help determine which geographies are most appropriate for clients. Expenses aside, the study also factored in quality of life categories — like the weather and overall well-being — to provide a more holistic approach to where clients may want to retire.

Not surprisingly, some of the pricier parts of the country like California (45th) and New York (50th) ended up on the bottom of the list, alongside some lower-costs states like Louisiana and Arkansas. Utah, Idaho and New Hampshire were among the frontrunners.

While the coastal states generally trailed the pack because of higher taxes and costs of living, they fared much better in other categories like health care quality, weather and overall well-being — statistics that are often discounted, if not overlooked, when planning for life after leaving the workplace.

The study analyzed seven relevant retirement categories and used government and expert sources to rank the states. The categories were then weighted: cost of living (20%), taxes (20%), health care quality (15%), weather (15%), crime (10%), cultural vitality (10%) and well-being (10%).

Some of the government and expert sources used to rank the states, include: The Council for Community and Economic Research, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gallup-Sharecare and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Here are 20 of the top states ranked by essential retirement criteria:

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South Dakota
Cost of living: 19th
Crime: 21st
Culture: 10th
Health care: 12th
Taxes: 2nd
Weather: 38th
Well-being: 1st
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Idaho
Cost of living: 12th
Crime: 4th
Culture: 31th
Health care: 8th
Taxes: 20th
Weather: 41st
Well-being: 8th
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Utah
Cost of living: 25th
Crime: 22nd
Culture: 15th
Health care: 10th
Taxes: 8th
Weather: 32nd
Well-being: 9th
New Hampshire-081718
New Hampshire
Cost of living: 43rd
Crime: 1st
Culture: 9th
Health care: 5th
Taxes: 7th
Weather: 43rd
Well-being: 7th
Florida-080818
Florida
Cost of living: 27th
Crime: 33rd
Culture: 26th
Health care: 36th
Taxes: 4th
Weather: 2nd
Well-being: 12th
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Montana
Cost of living: 23rd
Crime: 26th
Culture: 7th
Health care: 36th
Taxes: 4th
Weather: 2nd
Well-being: 12th
North Carolina-080818
North Carolina
Cost of living: 12th
Crime: 29th
Culture: 40th
Health care: 30th
Taxes: 11th
Weather: 12th
Well-being: 19th
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Wyoming
Cost of living: 28th
Crime: 9th
Culture: 16th
Health care: 22nd
Taxes: 11th
Weather: 12th
Well-being: 19th
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Nebraska
Cost of living: 17th
Crime: 18th
Culture: 25th
Health care: 12th
Taxes: 25th
Weather: 29th
Well-being: 17th
Mississippi State Capitol
Mississippi
Cost of living: 1st
Crime: 23rd
Culture: 48th
Health care: 26th
Taxes: 24th
Weather: 5th
Well-being: 47th
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Hawaii
Cost of living: 48th
Crime: 35th
Culture: 3rd
Health care: 17th
Taxes: 27th
Weather: 1st
Well-being: 3rd
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Massachusetts
Cost of living: 46th
Crime: 14th
Culture: 2nd
Health care: 3rd
Taxes: 22nd
Weather: 34th
Well-being: 11th
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Virginia
Cost of living: 13th
Crime: 4th
Culture: 17th
Health care: 24th
Taxes: 31st
Weather: 16th
Well-being: 18th
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Michigan
Cost of living: 4th
Crime: 23rd
Culture: 27th
Health care: 32nd
Taxes: 12th
Weather: 40th
Well-being: 32nd
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Missouri
Cost of living: 3rd
Crime: 41st
Culture: 28th
Health care: 35th
Taxes: 16th
Weather: 17th
Well-being: 39th
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Iowa
Cost of living: 11th
Crime: 16th
Culture: 18th
Health care: 12th
Taxes: 40th
Weather: 33rd
Well-being: 21st
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Colorado
Cost of living: 35th
Crime: 28th
Culture: 12th
Health care: 15th
Taxes: 18th
Weather: 37th
Well-being: 6th
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Texas
Cost of living: 20th
Crime: 36th
Culture: 43rd
Health care: 44th
Taxes: 13th
Weather: 4th
Well-being: 13th
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Delaware
Cost of living: 32nd
Crime: 40th
Culture: 24th
Health care: 6th
Taxes: 15th
Weather: 18th
Well-being: 40th
North Dakota sky truck IAG
North Dakota
Cost of living: 29th
Crime: 17th
Culture: 14th
Health care: 8th
Taxes: 30th
Weather: 49th
Well-being: 5th