Tennessee was ranked No. 1, followed by Louisiana, South Dakota, Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Nebraska and North Dakota. Some rural states, though, were rated poorly, with Oregon coming in last, and Alaska 49th, but overall, rural states were in the top half of the list.
Chris Kahn, an analyst at Bankrate, said of Tennessee, "Not only does it have a Florida-like climate, but Tennessee also boasts the second lowest cost of living in the country," reports Melanie Hicken for CNN. Combined with a low tax burden and great access to medical care, Tennessee is ideal for retirees living on fixed incomes. The only downside: the state has one of the country's highest crime rates." (Read more)