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South Dakota is best overall for retirement? New Bankrate.com survey thinks so

Which state ranks best overall for retirees?

There's a lot to consider when selecting the best place to spend your golden years. But have you considered going South?

South Dakota, that is.

A new report from Bankrate.com analyzed factors like cost of living, tax burden, weather, crime and health care quality that people must weigh when determining a place to retire.

South Dakota came out on top with the best overall score. The landlocked state that's home to Mount Rushmore placed first in well-being, second in taxes, 10th in cultural vitality and 12th in health care quality. Weather was the only category it didn't fare well in (38th).

“Yes, South Dakotans enjoy a low tax burden, but they are also more satisfied with their lives than anyone else," said Taylor Tepper, an analyst at Bankrate.com. 

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Faring the worst was New York, landing in the bottom 10 in three categories: cost of living, taxes and health care quality. New Mexico and Maryland rounded out the bottom three states.

Traditionally popular retirement destination Florida managed fifth place. It was dinged in scoring for its relatively high crime rate and poor health care rating. Arizona (29th) and Nevada (42nd) did not score as well. The main culprits in Arizona’s case were low ratings for cultural vitality and crime. Nevada was dragged down by health care quality, well-being and crime.

Want to know where your retirement destination state ranked? Read on:

Best states to retire

1. South Dakota

2. Utah

3. Idaho

4. New Hampshire

Credit: An Lee, Shutterstock.com
Florida: Biscayne National Park - You’ll find so much more at Biscayne National Park than on the miles of sandy beaches that Miami is famous for. Grab your snorkel and discover underwater shipwrecks along the Maritime Heritage Trail, or keep your feet dry to walk in the footsteps of early pineapple farmers. Visit during summer to witness loggerhead sea turtles nesting in the sand, or head to this national park in the winter for the perfect vacation destination to escape the cold.

5. Florida

6. Montana

6.North Carolina

8. Wyoming

9. Nebraska

10. Mississippi

11. Hawaii

12. Massachusetts

13. Virginia

14. Michigan

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25. Missouri     • Founding date: August 10, 1821 (24th state to join)     • First capital city: St. Charles     • First governor: Alexander McNair     In the early 19th century, settlers began to push out farther west, and Congress wanted to ensure that there was still a balance to tamp down the tension between slave states and free states. Missouri, a slave-owning territory, pushed for statehood and received it with the Missouri Compromise, meaning that it got statehood, but only because Maine split off from Massachusetts as a free state.

15. Missouri

16. Iowa

17. Colorado

18. Texas

19. Delaware

20. North Dakota

21. Tennessee 

22. Maine

23. Indiana

24. Alabama

25. Kansas

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No. 6. Burlington, Vermont; 49.1. Situated on stunning Lake Champlain, Burlington combines the small town feel of Vermont with the culture of a larger city and the near endless events of the University of Vermont.

26. Vermont

27. Wisconsin

28. Minnesota

29. Arizona

30. Kentucky

31. Pennsylvania

32. New Jersey

33. West Virginia

34. Rhode Island

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35. Connecticut

36. Alaska

37. Georgia

38. Ohio

39. Oregon

40. Oklahoma

41. South Carolina

42. Nevada

43. Washington

44. Illinois

45. California

Credit: Thinkstock

46. Arkansas

47. Louisiana

48. Maryland

49. New Mexico

50. New York