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Best states to retire: Pa. near the middle of the pack

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While Pennsylvania's crime rate is relatively low compared to other states, its tax burden is one of the highest in the country.

The latter, which ranked in the top 10, pulled the commonwealth down on the latest retirement report from Pennsylvania ranked No. 23 for best states for retirees.

The personal finance site looked at several factors to determine which states offer the best quality of life for seniors. That included local weather, cost of living, crime rate, health care quality, tax burden and overall well-being — a measurement from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that quantifies how satisfied residents are with their surroundings.

South Dakota topped the list because of its low tax burden and crime rate, as well as its high wellness score. Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming rounded out the top five.

The bottom five were New York, West Virgina, Alaska, Arkansas and Hawaii, according to

Surprisingly, typical warm weather havens for retirees — Florida and Arizona — came in at No. 39 and No. 16, respectively.

Last year, Pennsylvania was tied for No. 16, according to The criteria was slightly different last year.

“The factors we took into account were improved for this year, so that’s why there are some major changes in the rankings for some states,” said Caroline Farhat, a spokeswoman for Bankrate Inc. “For example, in last year’s weather category, only states with hot weather were rewarded. We changed that this year to factor in humidity levels and heating and cooling days. We also included a wellness score that shows how satisfied people are with their surroundings. Some states, such as the Dakotas, had very high wellness scores, as well as low costs of living and decent health care quality which pushed them up to the top.”

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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