When you start thinking about retiring, and desirable places to live, just look in your own back yard. But then again, don’t. Retirement in the Bay State is the best of times, and the worst of times (to loosely quote Charles Dickens.) Wait, what? How can that be? Massachusetts is one of the best…and worst places to retire?

There are many factors that go into deciding where to spend your “golden years.” Weather, healthcare, affordabilty all come into play. It’s a stage in life that is a little similar to graduating high school and deciding what’s next. There’s a major life decision to be made in where you want to go, and what part of the country you want to live.  If you are thinking about staying close, keep in mind, Massachusetts is one of the best…and worst places to retire.

WalletHub did the work. They compared all 50 states, using 47 standards of “retirement-friendliness.” They tested everything from affordability to health care, and overall quality of life. Below, you will see how all our New England states ranked overall, and in the 3 key factors. You can see all the states, where they rank and how they fared in the 3 different indicatorn in an interactive map, HERE.

When it comes to choosing a state to retire, you have to consider what’s most important to you. Is it healthcare? Is it affordability? Is it quality of life? Is it all of the above? In the case of the latter, you would look for an overall score.


  • Massachusetts

    Here we are, living in the best place to retire. Massachusetts was named by WalletHub as the best state to retire in 2023 based on quality of life. Our state ranked #1 in this category. And #2 in health care. But wait, there’s more to the equation.

    Massachusetts affordabilty score  was one of the lowest. There’s the caveat. We ranked #47 out of 50 for affordability.

    Overall rank: 17

    Total score: 51.88

    Affordability: 47

    Quality of life: 1

    Health care: 2

    Boston, Massachusetts

    Getty Images

  • New Hampshire

    The Granite State faired better than Massachusetts, overall, mostly because of it’s affordability score. New Hampshire ranked the highest of all our New England States.

    Overall rank: 6

    Total score: 55

    Affordability: 31

    Quality of life: 5

    Health care: 7

    New Hampshire State House

    New Hampshire State House, Concord, New Hampshire. Getty Images

  • Maine

    In the state of Maine, your housing money will go a little further than in Massachusetts, but health care does not compare, as you can see in the numbers, here. Quality of life has a high ranking because of all the outdoor space and low crime rate.

    Overall rank: 29

    Total score: 47.50

    Affordability: 43

    Quality of life:6

    Health care: 15

    Portland Head Light in Portland, Maine

    Portland Head Light in Portland, Maine
    (Getty Images)

  • Vermont

    A little surprised Vermont doesn’t rank higher? Me too. It’s the affordabilty fact that brought down the Green Mountain State’s overall rank and score. Health care had a healthy ranking, as did quality of life. All those mountains and fresh air helped elevate Vermont’s rank and health care accessability. Crime is very low and culture is high.

    Overall rank: 34

    Total score: 47.12

    Affordability: 48

    Quality of life: 7

    Health care: 6

    Welcome to Vermont sign

    (Getty Images)

  • Connecticut

    Connecticut, like Massachusetts is expensive. Housing, cost of living, taxes are all high. Health care, on the other hand is top notch, and ranks third. Could it be all those insurance agencies? The Nutmeg State faired well in crime rate and cutlture and diversity.

    Overall rank: 35

    Total score: 47.11

    Affordability: 44

    Quality of life: 26

    Health care: 3

    An Aerial view of Hartford, Connecticut and the State House

    Hartford, Connecticut
    (Getty Images)

  • Rhode Island

    Little Rhody scored big on healthcare, but not so much in overall quality of life. This factor includes data from the share of the popular over aged 65 to risk of isolation, independant living friendliness and cost of in-home care, among other information. Rhode Island is a beautiful little state, no doubt.

    Overall rank: 40

    Total score: 44.95

    Affordability: 39

    Quality of life: 39

    Health care: 14

    Providence, Rhode Island

    Providence, Rhode Island
    (Getty Images)

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