Retirement planning is important. That's not news to anyone. Some states are more expensive to retire in than others. That's also not news. But if you live in the Tri-States, you might be surprised to see how much more affordable it is to retire in one particular state than it is others.

According to a recent study conducted by Bankrate, called "The Best and Worst States for Retirement," the Hawkeye State came out on top as the best state in which to retire! Eight of the states in the top 25 are located in the Midwest, with three coming in the top 10 overall:

Photo Credit: Bankrate
Photo Credit: Bankrate
  1. Iowa
  2. Delaware
  3. West Virginia
  4. Missouri
  5. Mississippi
  6. Wyoming
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Florida
  9. Hawaii
  10. Nebraska

Why Iowa Came Out on Top:

While Iowa's weather ranked in the bottom half of the study, its affordability was almost unmatched, coming in at #3 overall. With a low crime rank too, multiple factors played into Iowa ranking so high, as explained by Bankrate:

Iowa’s affordability is a big draw for retirees. Iowa is the sixth cheapest place to live in the U.S., according to the Council for Community and Economic Research, which is a huge advantage for retirees on a fixed income. Lower housing costs also helped prop the Hawkeye state up to the No. 3 spot for affordability. Iowa’s median home price is $239,400, per Redfin data — well below the nationwide median home price of $388,800. Homeowners insurance in Iowa is also below the national average.


Iowa lands near the middle of the pack tax-wise. The state ranks No. 23 for property taxes and No. 22 for state and local sales tax. Iowa also doesn’t tax Social Security benefits, and Iowans age 55 and older are exempt from paying state taxes on retirement income for tax year 2023. The state also topped our ranking for its high-quality healthcare services and low healthcare costs.

Even Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds chimed in with a tweet regarding Iowa's top placement on Bankrate's retirement study.

Saving on Housing Costs is Only a Part of It:

Bankrate also included analysis from Rodney HarrellVice President of Family, Home and Community at AARP’s Public Policy Institute, who added that housing costs shouldn't be the only factor in considering where you and your family want to retire:

Making a decision about your housing can impact your bottom line, but it’s also important to think about how your home works for you. None out of 10 of those 65 and older say that they want to stay in their home or community as they age, but the home can cause challenges for that. Think about your needs now and into the future, and know that your needs might change. How does your home work for yourself today and your future self?

Earlier this year, NetCredit also cited Iowa as one of the cheapest states in which to retire, with a dollar figure of just over $511,000 necessary in order to achieve a comfortable standard of living into your glory years.

Photo Credit: Cedar Rapids, Thinkstock
Photo Credit: Cedar Rapids, Thinkstock

View the full results of Bankrate's study on the best and worst places to retire here.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Iowa

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Iowa using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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