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Retire Early: The Best (and Worst) Places in America to Make It Happen

people examine giant $100 bill, hoping for some retirement income

people examine giant $100 bill, hoping for some retirement income If you’re planning to retire early, where you live is key. Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Most of us plan to retire by age 65 — maybe 62 if we’re lucky. But say you’ve stuck to an aggressive savings plan for the past 30 years, and you aim to retire in your mid-50s. Where would you go?

Contrary to popular belief, Florida is not the only option. Yes, it has warm weather year-round and an endless amount of golf courses. But the Sunshine State might not be the most financially responsible choice. The Midwest and South have the lowest cost of living. And the Northeast has a higher quality of life. As for the West Coast? Let’s not even go there.

MagnifyMoney set out to find the best and worst places to retire early in America. The study considered three main criteria: cost of living, quality of life, and employability. Factors, such as unemployment rate, income tax rates, daily commute to work, housing prices, weather, and access to entertainment, were also taken into account. But the cost of living outweighed all other categories because anyone looking to retire early must be extremely money-conscious.

All things considered, you don’t have to look much further than this list to start visualizing a life after conference calls and email chains. Let’s see how your city fares, shall we? We’ll start off with the 10 best places in America to retire, followed by the 10 worst. Good news first.

10. McAllen, Texas

McAllen, Texas

McAllen, Texas Downtown McAllen, Texas | ExploreMcAllen.com

McAllen, Texas, scored a perfect 100 for the lowest cost of living in America, according to MagnifyMoney. However, its quality-of-life score is what cost McAllen the crown for the best place in America to retire early. Its southern Rio Grande location has its share of pluses and minus. Retirees enjoy an average temperature of 75.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but they face limited access to arts and entertainment.

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