Interior states top list of best states to retireNews added by Benefits Pro on May 6, 2014

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By Lisa Barron

The best states to retire are not at the southern or western most points in the country, but in the Midwest and the mountains, according to Bankrate's latest ranking.

South Dakota topped the list of best states to retire, thanks to its low taxes, lack of crime and easy access to quality health care.

That's right. South Dakota. The home of Mount Rushmore tops our list as the best state in the nation for retirees," said Chris Kahn, research and statistics editor at Bankrate.

Yes, of course, it can get frigid in South Dakota. But the state also received excellent scores for all of our other criteria."

Bankrate considered weather, access to health care, cost of living crime rate and tax burden, as well as the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a comprehensive survey gauging people's satisfaction with their surroundings, in creating its ranking.

In addition to South Dakota, the top five included Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming, all of which also tend to have excellent health care and low tax rates.

Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, Iowa and Virginia rounded out the top ten.

Sunny Florida, a perennial favorite among retirees, came in much lower, 39th, because of higher crime and living costs and lower quality health care. And California, another retiree hot spot, ranked 28th due to high state taxes and living costs.

"Yes, they're lovely places to visit, especially when it's cold everywhere else. But retirees must consider more than sunshine before making a move," said Kahn.

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