Maine received high marks for its cultural amenities and low crime rate, but was dinged heavily for affordability and weather in a recent report that stacked up how each state fared on retirement-friendly features.
Financial analysis site Bankrate recently released an analysis on the best and worst states for retirement. Maine, overall, ranked No. 31 among the 50 states.
Bankrate looked at a number of criteria as it sized up one state to the next on retirement-friendly features. Each state was ranked on five factors: affordability, crime, culture, weather and wellness.
Analysts with Bankrate reportedly combed through assorted rankings before issuing the rankings.
Sources such as the Council for Community and Economic Research, for instance, were mined for cost of living data used for the affordability ranking, while the FBI’s 2017 Crime in the United States report was the basis for the look at how safe each state is.
Maine’s results were a mixed bag. The state excelled in the culture category, taking the top spot across the nation, based on data of persons ages 65 and up from the U.S. Census Bureau, which was used in comparison to the number of arts, entertainment and recreation establishments per capita.
Jess Maurer, executive director of the organization Maine Council on Aging, said she was not surprised by the state’s strong showing in the category.
“Our smaller communities have a rich tradition of engagement and help, from church suppers to lobster boat races to art exhibits. There’s always something happening,” Maurer said. “Our vibrant cities offer residents access to some of the country’s best food, music, art and craft beer.”
Another category where Maine received high marks in Bankrate’s analysis was crime. Across the U.S, Bankrate’s analysts said the state was the third safest for seniors. Maine also was above average in the wellness category, with a No. 18 ranking.
But the state earned lower scores elsewhere for senior-friendliness, including a No. 35 ranking for affordability and a near-bottom No. 48 for the weather.
Bankrate’s methodology weighted each of the rankings differently. Affordability, for example, comprised 40 percent of the overall rank, followed by wellness (25 percent), culture and weather (each at 15 percent) and crime (5 percent).
In a statement, Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst with Bankrate, shared the rationale behind the weighted rankings.
“Where to live is probably one of the most personal decisions one can make because it’s not just about preferences, it’s also about the financial considerations that are associated with it,” Hamrick said in the statement.
Florida, loosely considered the haven for many retirees, was among the top retiree-friendly states in Bankrate’s analysis, though the Sunshine State did not earn the top spot. That honor went to Nebraska, followed by Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota and, at No. 5, Florida.
The five least senior-friendly states in Bankrate’s analysis were Washington, Illinois, Alaska, New York and, at No. 50, Maryland.