When we think of our retirements, we often think of spending time with loved ones, traveling, and doing activities that we enjoy. While good planning and good health can make those things possible, in reality, the need for affordable care and living assistance should be a primary consideration, when deciding where you can realistically have a comfortable retirement.
“While the factors that make a particular state an ideal environment to grow old are highly individual, there are certain elements that make some states a better bet than others. These include the availability of quality healthcare, affordability of senior care, support for seniors and family caregivers and overall quality of life for seniors,” study researchers say.
“The states that offer the best mix of quality healthcare, long-term care, affordability, and selection of senior care and overall quality of life aren’t always found in the typical retirement destinations like Florida or Arizona,” they add.
Researchers at Caring.com examined a variety of financial, healthcare, and quality of life categories and identified the best and worst places to grow old.
- West Virginia ranks as the worst state to grow old. While long-term senior care is relatively affordable, a year in an assisted living facility runs at $42,000 on average and a home health care aide costs about $36,600 per year, researchers say it’s “sorely lacking” in important quality of life and healthcare offerings for seniors.
- New York also ranks among the worst. Not only is it one of the most places in the country to live, but it’s among the most expensive in the U.S. for senior care. A year in an assisted living community costs about $49,000 on average and a home health care aide is around $52,600, while a semi-private room in a nursing home in New York runs at about $131,700 on average, according to the report.
- Indiana is relatively affordable when it comes to senior care, but the state’s ranking is pulled down by what researchers say is the fifth lowest rating for quality of life and healthcare.
Whether you’re close to retirement or it’s far off into the future, be sure to speak to a financial professional so that you can create a financial plan for care in your older years.
Come back for part two of this series, where we’ll share which states offer the highest quality of life and affordable care during this precious and beautiful time in life.