Maine Ranks Last in “Best and Worst States for Retirement 2011”


According to a new ranking by, “Best and Worst States for Retirement 2011,” Maine comes in dead last.  For New England as a whole, only New Hampshire has a decent showing at No. 23.  As for the rest of New England: Vermont (No. 36), Rhode Island (No. 44), Connecticut (No. 47) and Massachusetts (No. 48).

Here is their methdology: evaluated states based on four major categories:

  • Economics. This category included several factors. The state’s cost of living is a key consideration for retirees who often have their wealth in conservative investments and savings accounts. Tax rates were also part of this ranking–both general income and retirement income tax rates, since many retirees have both. Unemployment was also included as an important indicator of the overall economic health of an area. With more and more seniors continuing to work at least part-time, this factor is a relevant consideration even when choosing a retirement destination.
  • Climate. There are warm-weather people and there are cold-weather people, but most seem to like moderation. A state’s climate score was based on the deviation of monthly temperatures from 68 degrees. The lower the deviation, the higher the ranking for the state.
  • Life expectancy. While a number of factors, from genetics to lifelong habits, go into determining life expectancy, it is also an indicator of the health of an area’s environment and the quality of the medical care available.
  • Crime. Both violent and property crimes were measured and ranked, and then those rankings were combined to come up with an overall crime rating

Based on reader responses, economics determined 47 percent of a state’s final score, climate accounted for 33 percent, life expectancy determined 12 percent and crime accounted for 8 percent.

I guess it isn’t all about the “Quality of Life” after all with “economics” dominating the reader-based ranking system which–gasp–includes tax rates . . .