LPL Financial released its 2016 LPL Financial Research Retirement Environment Index which ranks U.S. states on their attractiveness for pre-retirees as they save and prepare for the challenges ahead in retirement.
- The index is comprised of six broad categories that affect retiree desirability. Within each category, four to six diverse subcategories provide depth and balance.
- Financial: A state’s fiscal health and the financial health of a state’s pre-retirees are likely to directly impact individuals’ ability to enjoy a fulfilling retirement. Financial factors rank high across all surveys of pre-retiree preparedness.
- Health care: Access to, and cost of, health care are key determinants of retirement satisfaction. Along with financial factors, health care comprises a top concern.
- Housing: The availability of affordable housing, and the presence of nursing care facilities, are both of vital importance and can be a major expense to consider during retirement.
- Community Quality of Life: Social factors, which take into account crime rates, traffic patterns, and weather conditions, are key determinants of retiree happiness and satisfaction.
- Employment and Education: The 20 years before retirement can generate the highest rate of savings if fully employed. Employment may offer benefits beyond income, such as 401(k)s, pensions, and health insurance.
- Wellness: Personal habits and tendencies impact health during the last years of employment and into retirement. Poor habits are associated with premature death, poor quality of life, and increased health care costs, in addition to strains on state-provided resources.
The index looks specifically at the 45- to 64-year-old cohort (pre-retirees) and collectively assesses strengths and weaknesses of pre-retiree desirability on a state level, rather than city or regional level.
States that scored an “A” included: Virginia, South Dakota, Wyoming, Michigan and Iowa. States that scored an “F” included: New Jersey, Oregon, New York, Alaska and California.
More information is here.