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10 Best-Rated States for Retirement

Low cost of living (check), modest taxes (check) and nice weather (check)

En español | Many highly personal factors come into play when it's time to pick the perfect place to retire. Everything from availability of tee times to proximity to grandkids can have an impact on the decision. There's no one-size-fits-all formula. After all, one retiree's paradise can be another's hellish nightmare.

Sign up for the AARP Money Newsletter seeks to add some objectivity to what's otherwise a very individualized life choice. The finance website looked at a number of factors to come up with its 2012 list of the 10 best states for retirement. 

The criteria include climate, crime rate, life expectancy and economic conditions such as cost of living, job opportunities and taxes.

It probably won't take much convincing of anyone to believe that Hawaii tops the list as the best place to retire. (Yes, it's pricey, but the weather is great and the life expectancy age is high.)

Idaho and Utah came in second and third, respectively, despite their weather, thanks to low crime rates and favorable economic factors.

Had your heart set on a traditional Florida and Arizona retirement? Don't worry, both hot spots make the list.

[AARP Editor's Note: Individual cities in many of's "best" states have earned spots on AARP's Best Places to Retire lists. Check them out!]

Next: See the 10 best states for retirement. >>

Here are the 10 best states for retirement, and some of the reasons why each is on the list. With this ranking the No. 1 spot is the best of the best.

10. Texas (tie) — warm weather and solid economy

10. California (tie) — good weather and high life expectancy

9. South Dakota — low crime rate and high life expectancy

7. New Mexico (tie) — good weather

7. Florida (tie) — good weather

6. Colorado — high life expectancy

5. Virginia — good economy

4. Arizona — good weather and high life expectancy

3. Utah  — good economy

2. Idaho — low crime rate and good economy

1. Hawaii — great weather and high life expectancy

Read about's list of worst-rated states for retirement.

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