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9 states where quality of life for seniors improves

9 states where quality of life for seniors improves

Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock.com Here's a bright spot among the recent mischief and gloom in the news: Seniors are living longer, fuller lives. "Mor

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Happy senior stretching outside on a yoga mat
Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock.com

Here’s a bright spot among the recent mischief and gloom in the news: Seniors are living longer, fuller lives.

“Mortality rates from diseases such as COPD, cancer and heart disease, which are all leading causes of death for the elderly, have dropped,” according to a recent analysis by Seniorly, a website that helps people find senior living communities for themselves or loved ones. “The average social security check has risen (even after inflation has been taken into account), and fewer older people are experiencing problems exacerbating social isolation, including living alone and a lack of internet access.”

Senior studies federal data to determine where quality of life has improved the most for seniors across four broad categories: finances, physical health, mental health, and social factors. Here are the states (including the District of Columbia) with the biggest improvements over the past decade.

10. New Jersey

Newark, New Jersey
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 193.1 out of 306 possible points

New Jersey had the second largest decline in the percentage of seniors living alone between 2011 and 2020. It also has the most popular retirement town in the country, as we noted in “9 states where retirees enjoy long lives.”

9. Maine

Portland Maine Lighthouse
EJJohnson Photography / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 200.0 out of 306 possible points

Maine was the only state to see improvements in both factors considered senior for mental health.

Of course, there is much more to retirement than that – look at “How all 50 states tax your retirement income” and see how life in the Pine Tree State can affect your finances.

8. Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 204.3 out of 306 possible points

There’s a debate about whether Maryland is a great place to retire or not, as we emphasize in “10 states where seniors have the highest incomes.” It is not at the top or bottom when it comes to the percentage of seniors living in poverty, according to Seniorly, but is number 4 on the average social security benefits.

7. South Dakota

Rapid City, South Dakota
Sopotnicki / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 205.2 out of 306 possible points

South Dakota has made the greatest progress in reducing the percentage of seniors living in poverty, with a 19% reduction for the decade ending in 2020. A few years ago, it was considered the best place to retire.

Washington, DC

Washington DC
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 211.2 out of 306 possible points

Senior found that Washington, DC, has had the largest decline in the top five causes of senior deaths, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, COPD, diabetes, and heart disease – which may suggest recent improvements in health care here. The District of Columbia has also seen the largest average increase in social security benefits for the decade.

5. Vermont

Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vermont
NEKVT / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 213.6 out of 306 possible points

Vermont has had the third largest increase in seniors as a percentage of the total population in the past decade, which Seniorly considered an important social factor. It also had the country’s largest decline in suicide rates among seniors.

4. New Hampshire

Nashua, New Hampshire
Jon Bilou / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 228.2 out of 306 possible points

New Hampshire retirees have enjoyed the second-largest improvement in average social security benefits over the past decade, according to Seniorly. However, seniors do not have to rely solely on government for income. The state is also known for having the second highest average retirement savings.

3. Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 228.8 out of 306 possible points

Massachusetts was fourth best for its improvement among rates for seniors’ main causes of death. It is also one of the states with the highest life expectancy after age 65.

2. North Dakota

University of North Dakota at Grand Forks
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 246.8 out of 306 possible points

North Dakota, like its southern neighbor, has significantly reduced its percentage of seniors living in poverty over the past decade, taking the No. 2 spot for that category. It is also home to one of “10 places where social security offers the best standard of living.”

1. Washington

Lake Union in Seattle, Washington
oksana perkins / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 248.8 out of 306 possible points

“Washington’s winning performance was driven by its strength across three of the four categories, second in physical health and social factors and fifth in finance,” says Seniorly.

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