10 best states to retire

  • It's a study that will warm Joe Namath's heart. The erstwhile football star has been pitching a Tennessee real estate development, emphasizing the state's affordability for retirees. Now a financial planning website called BankRate.com has released a ranking that puts Tennessee at the top of their list of best states for retirees.

    BankRate's analysis aimed to look at all the economic questions that the site's readers would be most interested in, from the cost of living to taxes, says Chris Kahn, the site's statistics and research analyst. But it also evaluated crime rates and health care access. The results are surprising -- far from the Sunbelt states that lure millions of retirees a year.

    The thing to remember, he adds, is that there are a lot of non-economic factors -- like where your friends and family live -- that will also have a big impact on where you'll be happiest in retirement. "Go where your heart desires, but prepare," he says. "A lot of the popular places to retire like California, Florida and New York are going to require a lot more financial preparation than the places on this list."

    Here are the 10 best states to retire, according to BankRate.