Retirement may be the time to move closer to family or put down new roots in a warm climate. Helping make that decision a bit easier is an index of the best places to retire in each of the 50 states.

Suggesting locales from Alaska’s majestic Kenai Peninsula to Arizona’s desert Pima County, the index weighed health costs, taxes and housing expenses, all significant for retirees likely to be living on fixed and reduced incomes.

“Because of the medical, social, and financial consequences of entering old age, life can change dramatically in retirement,” said 24/7 Wall St., an online financial news site that created the index.

Among the best spots were Arkansas’ Baxter County in the Ozark Mountains; Chaffee County in the Colorado Rockies; and Park County, Wyoming, home to Yellowstone National Park.

Among the best spots were Arkansas’ Baxter County in the Ozark Mountains and Park County, Wyoming, home to Yellowstone National Park.

Lovers of sun and sand could find a haven on the beaches of Delaware’s Sussex County, Florida’s Sarasota County or Beaufort County, South Carolina, and fishing fans might opt for Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish on the Gulf of Mexico or the lakes and ponds of Cumberland County, Maine.

The index took into consideration health factors such as the number of medical professionals per capita and access to exercise opportunities. Economic factors included median home values, the monthly cost of living and state and local taxes.

It only considered counties where the 65-and-over population grew at least as fast as the rest of the nation and was larger than the national average.

Demand for retirement locales will only grow bigger. The U.S. Census Bureau says by 2035, the number of adults age 65 and over will hit 78 million and outnumber children under age 18.

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