Arkansas ranks near the bottom of retiree offerings

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 197 views 

Arkansas ranked No. 42 in a WalletHub list of the best states to retire in, largely because of its low quality of life rating and its healthcare access rating.

WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and Washington, D.C., on 31 metrics in the categories of affordability, health resources and statistics and overall quality of life.

Despite the fact that it was listed as having the second-lowest adjusted cost of living – below Mississippi – Arkansas fell below all the states except for Kentucky, Vermont, New Mexico, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Alaska and Rhode Island, in terms of its retiree offerings.

The top five states for retirement were Florida, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa and Colorado. Florida and Wyoming won big points for affordability, while South Dakota, Iowa and Colorado ranked well in access to healthcare. Iowa and Florida each also received high marks for overall quality of life.

Affordability was given greater weight in the rating process, according to WalletHub, and it took into account adjusted cost of living, tax rates and the cost for in-home services.

The top-five for lowest adjusted cost of living were rounded out by Tennessee, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Massachusetts, California, Alaska, Hawaii and Washington, D.C., were shown to have the highest adjusted cost of living, according to WalletHub.

Quality of life looked at the population age and elderly poverty rate, whether there are volunteer opportunities, and it is an elderly friendly labor market, public transportation access, weather, air and drinking water quality and the crime rate, in addition to the number of museums, theaters and golf courses per capita.

The states with the highest percentages of their workforce aged 65 and older were Alaska, Washington, D.C., Nebraska, South Dakota and Vermont.

Most museums per capita went to New York, California, Kansas, Maine and Massachusetts. Most theaters per capita went to California, New York, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Healthcare looked at the number of physicians, dentists and nurses per capita, the health status of the elderly population, emotional health and life expectancy, in addition to the number of healthcare facilities and quality of public hospitals.

The top five states with the highest life expectancy were listed as Hawaii, Minnesota, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. The states with the lowest life expectancy were Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, West Virginia and Mississippi.