Study lists Nebraska, Iowa as best states to retire

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Affordability, relatively low crime — with a mix of culture and wellness — put Nebraska and Iowa at the top of a list of best states for retirement.

The Cornhusker State ranked at the top of the list, followed by Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, and Florida, respectively.

The survey looked at five aspects when calculating the rankings: affordability, crime, culture, weather, and wellness.

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Nebraska scored particularly well in the "wellness" category, coming in at No. 8 of the 50 states. But Iowa ranked above Nebraska in the key category of affordability; the states came in at No. 8 and 14, respectively.

"Nebraska lagged behind on weather compared with other states, but it fared well on the other measures in the ranking: affordability, crime, culture and wellness," according to Bankrate.com.

Retirees most valued proximity to family and friends, affordable cost of living, access to excellent health care and hospitals, good weather and a low crime rate, the report states.

"Maryland, on the other hand, comes in the last place in our ranking," the report states. "New York and Alaska also might be better for retirees to visit than reside, according to the study."

Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Montana, and Hawaii rounded out the Top 10, respectively; moving up from the worst states in the list, Illinois, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, California, New Jersey, and South Carolina filled out the rest of the bottom 10.

"Dialing in on health care specifically, Nebraska had 61 percent of the health measures that achieved the benchmark or better, according to the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. That’s a higher percentage than about two-thirds of the other states, the data show."

Category rankings for each state were determined using multiple sources, as listed in the "methodology" section of the Bankrate.com article.