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Slideshow Where should clients retire?

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Americans aren’t ready to retire.

Half of future retirees are at risk of not being able to cover essential expenses into retirement, with only 18% able to cover essential spending, according to a 2018 Fidelity Investments survey. Just 32% of the 3,100 respondents surveyed were on target to cover all spending, including travel and entertainment.

While those numbers may seem ominous, there’s also an opportunity for advisors to provide value to clients looking to cut costs when they retire.

A new study from Bankrate.com ranked all 50 states by cost of living to help determine which geographies are most appropriate for clients. Expenses aside, the study also factored in quality of life categories — like the weather and overall well-being — to provide a more holistic approach to where clients may want to retire.

Not surprisingly, some of the pricier parts of the country like California (45th) and New York (50th) ended up on the bottom of the list, alongside some lower-costs states like Louisiana and Arkansas. Utah, Idaho and New Hampshire were among the frontrunners.

While the coastal states generally trailed the pack because of higher taxes and costs of living, they fared much better in other categories like health care quality, weather and overall well-being — statistics that are often discounted, if not overlooked, when planning for life after leaving the workplace.

The study analyzed seven relevant retirement categories and used government and expert sources to rank the states. The categories were then weighted: cost of living (20%), taxes (20%), health care quality (15%), weather (15%), crime (10%), cultural vitality (10%) and well-being (10%).

Some of the government and expert sources used to rank the states, include: The Council for Community and Economic Research, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gallup-Sharecare and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Here are 20 of the top states ranked by essential retirement criteria:

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