Deciding where to live out your golden years is a huge factor in retirement planning.

How does Washington state rank when it comes to affordable housing, cost of living, taxes, health care access or climate?

The financial services website Bankrate, 24/7 Wall St. crunched the numbers and came up with the best and worst states to retire. Center Square reported that various factors were given different values; as an example an area's affordability scored 40% of a state's score while factors like well being, culture and diversity, weather and crime were weighted to a lesser degree.

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Washington doesn't rank highly for retirement value

According to the rankings, Center Square reports Washington rated as the 10th worst place to retire in the U.S.

The Evergreen State scored ninth best in well-being, its highest ranked category. Well-being measured factors like access to health care, food, and economic security.

Affordability is a major problem for potential retirees

Washington's worst score came in the ranking for affordability, considered 38th in the nation. Affordability accounted for overall cost of living, sales and property tax rates.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2020 American Community Survey, 15.4% of the 7,512,465 people who reside in Washington are 65 or older.  That is the 11th smallest share in the country.

All data in this story is from Bankrate and the U.S. Census Bureau.

A full methodological explanation is available here.

It may be getting worse for Washington

Bankrate's last 2023 rankings place Washington as the 47th worst state to retire in. Only California, New York, and Alaska are ranked worse. And as most moving retirees are renters, affordability concerns will remain a barrier to welcoming new retirees to the Evergreen state.

The latest ratings indicate that Washington is 47th in affordability, 34th in weather and crime, and 30th in well-being. However, Washington is ranked as #2 for its quality and cost of health care.

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