Health & Medicine

Best and worst states to grow old in, according to a new ranking

A new rankings shows which are the best states to grow old in.
A new rankings shows which are the best states to grow old in. MCT

Utah residents who look forward to retiring in their state just got some good news in a report that names the state as the best state to grow old. Those who hope to age gracefully in Wyoming, North Dakota and New York could face more of a challenge.

Those states are ranked as the three worst. All 50 states were ranked by the elder care resource site on 13 categories, including quality, cost, and availability of health care for seniors.

The calculations also incorporated a state-by-state well-being ranking for older Americans. Utah, No. 17 in well-being, had respectable scores across all the categories and was the only state to make it into the top 15 for both quality of life and health care (No. 7), and cost (No. 14).

Kentucky ranked No. 42, — 12th in cost and 45th in quality of life.

The best states for growing old — Utah, Iowa, South Carolina, Washington and Nebraska — are listed here with the worst states, according to the report, followed by the median monthly cost of an assisted-living center.


2. Iowa/$3,518

3. South Carolina/$3,000

4. Washington/$4,500

5. Nebraska/$3,510

46. Wyoming/$3,995

47. North Dakota/$3,340

48. New York/$4,136

49. Indiana/$3,528

50. West Virginia/$3,263

The ranking, which drew on data from the U.S. Census, insurer Genworth, AARP , the Commonwealth Fund, and Gallup-Healthways, among others, factored in 150,000 consumer reviews from’s database of facilities and care providers for seniors. The availability, quality and cost of care for the elderly got greater attention in the report than some of the common measures used in retirement destination rankings.

“One reason we call this report the best states to grow old, versus best states to retire, is because it’s really important for people to plan out their 60s, 70s, and 80s with as much care as they plan their retirement in their 30s, 40s, and 50s,” said Tim Sullivan, vice president at “Your needs change as you age, and they are not always going to be driven by the sort of leisure or amenities or weather considerations that are what a lot of people think about retirement.”