America's Best States to Retire In

These states offer retirees good mixes of scenery, affordability and fun!

Man standing on top of the mountain taking photos ,looking at beautiful autumn mountains landscape. Moab, Utah, Arches National Park. Margaret.W / Shutterstock

After your many years of hard work, you deserve the absolute best out of life -- so why not retire to a place that has spectacular scenery, a great quality of life, excellent health care, affordable costs and plenty of things to do?

These states can offer all of that, and then some. We've combed through the latest research and rankings to compile this overall list of the best states for your retirement, counting down to No. 1.

Whether you’re looking for peace and relaxation or thrills and adventure, one of these states is bound to be just the ticket.

20. Nevada

Senior watching Hoover Dam
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Nevada offers seniors more than Las Vegas -- including Hoover Dam.

Nevada has been popular with retirees for decades, thanks to its reasonable home prices, lack of a state income tax and warm climate in the south. But Kiplinger says the cost of living is higher than average.

The state struggled on its way out of the 2008 recession but has seen good tourism numbers recently, which translate to a better economy.

Las Vegas is more than a party town: It also has great weather, parks, golfing, arts and a fast-growing community of retirees. Plus, "Sin City" offers Nevada's best health care, and the median price for a home there is $260,000.

For more sun, water activities and a smaller community feel, check out river-bound Laughlin, where the median home price is $148,000.

19. Wisconsin

A woman on the beach with her dog
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Wisconsin has shoreline along not one but two Great Lakes.

Wisconsin is home to more than 500 golf courses, 15,000 inland lakes, 33,000 miles of rivers, two Great Lakes and 5 million acres of public hunting grounds for outdoorsy seniors to enjoy.

Retirees also benefit from a low cost of living and lower taxes, including no taxes on Social Security benefits or government pensions. Bankrate ranks the state high for health care quality.

Madison is among the best cities in the country for culture, entertainment and amenities at a fraction of big-city prices. The median home price there is $250,000, but apartments can be found for less.

Milwaukee offers modern city living, and the median home value is just $113,900, says Zillow. Or, for $160,000 and up, you can settle in quiet, lakeside of Eau Claire, or in popular Lake Geneva.

18. Nebraska

senior male walking on old railroad trestle acroos Niobrara River , now a multi-use recreational Cowboy Trail in northern Nebraska
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Nebraska is crisscrossed with hiking trails.

Forget beaches and mountains: Nebraska’s got miles upon miles of walking and biking trails, 6,500 acres of parks and 1,475 acres of wild nature to keep retirees active.

Although Nebraska isn't particularly tax-friendly for seniors, Kiplinger points out that the state has a below-average cost of living, great health care and plenty of shopping and entertainment in its cities.

Lincoln offers shopping, dining and the arts in its Haymarket District. Meanwhile, Omaha is home to a fantastic local beer and football culture, a great music scene, and some of the best steak you’ll ever taste.

Your money goes far in Nebraska, with median home prices sitting at $175,500 in Lincoln and $167,500 in Omaha, according to Zillow.

17. Massachusetts

Fall Foliage Plymouth Massachusetts
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Plymouth, Massachusetts, offers spectacular fall foliage.

It may have snowy winters and high living costs and taxes. But Massachusetts has plenty to offer retirees, including nationally ranked hospitals and a whole lot of history and culture. WalletHub says it's near the top for quality of life.

For those who want to reap the state's many benefits, there are still some reasonably affordable towns in Massachusetts.

In Leominster, a smaller community about an hour outside of Boston, the median home value is $250,000. Home prices in Methuen start at around $200,000, says Trulia, and that town also boasts great shopping and a world-class music hall.

And for those seeking the Cape Cod experience on a budget, condos in historic Plymouth start around $160,000, and single family homes can be had for $300,000.