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Best and worst states for healthcare in retirement in 2021

Yahoo Finance’s Stephanie Asymkos breaks down the best U.S. locations for healthcare in retirement.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Time now for our Your Money segment, and we're going to look at health care for retirees. Stephanie Asymkos is here to break down the best and worst states for health care if you are in your retirement. So Stephanie, break this all down for us. What are the best and worst states?

STEPHANIE ASYMKOS: Sure. So Medicare access and quality largely depends on where you live. So some states provide a higher level of access. And then, you know, we're a forced ranking of 51-- 50 states plus DC so there are those on the bottom. And health care should be a key consideration for retirement, especially if your plans include a relocation. So there's definitely more to retirement and picking a location than committing to beautiful weather and low income taxes.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: So Stephanie, where did the states rank?

STEPHANIE ASYMKOS: So it turns out that four of the top 10 states ranked were in the Midwest. And Minnesota comes in at number one and takes the cake for best average monthly insurance premium and heart disease mortality. And then rounding out that top 10 were North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, all in the heartland, and then Massachusetts, California, Hawaii, Montana, Colorado, Connecticut. And then on the other hand were states like Oklahoma, which came in last, also Georgia, Washington DC, Mississippi, and Louisiana. They came at the bottom for expensive health care, relative to quality and access.

KRISTIN MYERS: Were any of the findings surprising to you, Stephanie, for those rankings?

STEPHANIE ASYMKOS: Sure. So my source wasn't at all surprised by how these states shook out, and that's because the writing has been on the wall for quite some time if you knew where to look. And for the states that have historically invested in programs like health care education, their health care networks were among the country's most robust. And then on the other hand, those at the bottom were more likely to display poor health care systems and education funding, plus nutrition-related issues. So there's definitely a cause-and-effect relationship here when we talk about the best outcomes for people.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: And finally, Stephanie, how do state taxes and spending habits play into this overall issue?

STEPHANIE ASYMKOS: So it just depends on how much of a-- what percentage of the state's taxes get allocated to things like health care education, nutrition, sort of those social services programs. The states that pay the highest percentage definitely had better programs, and the states that paid lower percentages definitely shook out more towards the middle and the bottom.

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, Stephanie Asymkos with that important information if you are in retirement or nearing retirement. Thanks so much, Stephanie.