When juggling retirement options, health care is often top of mind, and rightfully so⁠—apart from the practical considerations of accessibility to quality care, health care is usually second only to housing in terms of cost burdens. Even with a million dollars socked away, retirees are likely to see significant portions of their savings being spent on health care.

Unsurprisingly, retirees have their sights set on finding new homes in smaller towns with lower costs of living. A recent survey from United Van Lines showed "an unprecedented exodus of over 55's" from the northeastern United States to southern and southwestern states (with Maine and Delaware being the sole northeastern outliers). "There is a clear migration pattern away from expensive real estate, higher taxes and crowds," the study stated. "For retirees, maintaining their standard of living means moving to where that's possible."

Insurtech company HealthCare.com took a deeper dive into the United Van Lines data to find out how the top 10 most popular retirement locations ranked in terms of health care offerings. Examining cost, access, and quality, their study looked at various relevant factors including average life expectancy, share of doctors who opt out of Medicare, and average monthly insurance premiums.

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Richard Binder

Richard Binder, based in New York, is part of the social media team at ALM. He is also a 2014 recipient of the ASPBE Award for Excellence in the Humorous/Fun Department.