By Betsy Cribb
January 25, 2016

Want to retire? Head to the beach! According to the personal finance website WalletHub, Florida is the #1 state in the US to retire to, with South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and California rounding out the rest of the best coastal states* for starting your next chapter.


To name the best states to retire, WalletHub considered three major factors: affordability, quality of life (read: number of golf courses per capita, among many other metrics), and healthcare. (For the entire methodology, go here.)

WalletHub's own "mild weather" ranking also played into the calculations, so it's no surprise that a number of states brimming with beach towns made the top 15. As for the "quality of life" metric, it's a fact that everyone is happier at the beach - right?

Let's review which coastal states took away top honors.

#1 Coastal/Overall: FLORIDA

The Sunshine State topped the list, ranking number 2 in affordability and number 3 in quality of life. That's a win, place, and show. Superb! And speaking of Florida...

Did you know that Stuart, Florida, is one of our 2016 Happiest Seaside Towns? And while you're in a Florida mood, discover all the reasons we love Jacksonville, Florida.


#2 Coastal/#4 Overall: SOUTH CAROLINA 

Coming in behind Wyoming and South Dakota (we demand a recount!), this gorgeous Southeastern state with great beaches and cultured cities had one of the lowest property crime rates in the ranking. Ready to head to Charleston, South Carolina? Check out how to travel like an insider in Charleston, here.


#3 Coastal/#7 Overall: TEXAS

Squeaking in behind #5 Colorado and #6 Idaho (again, recount!), the Lone Start state with the incredible Gulf coastline was in the Top 10, nationally, for affordability. See that waterline beauty yourself with this weekend getaway to South Padre Island, here.


#4 Coastal/#10 Overall: VIRGINIA

After historic Virginia, Pennsylvania (Great Lakes coastline counts, people!) was the #5 Coastal/#12 Overall finisher. Surprises, surprises!


Perennial favorite California placed #6 for the coastal states, but ranked #1 for quality of life—and we can't argue with that!

Two California cities - Capitola and Hermosa Beach - are in the running to be our 2016 Happiest Seaside Town. (Check back in April to see if either of these Pacific Coast gems takes the crown!)

To recap, here's the countdown nationally from 1-10: Florida, Wyoming, South Dakota, South Carolina, Colorado, Idaho, Texas, Montana, Nevada, Virginia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Missouri, and California. For the full ranking of the country's best states to retire, head to WalletHub.

*Don't forget... we count Great Lakes as coastal!


Ready to move? Check out the listings we're loving in retirement-friendly states: