ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, recently published a report that ranked the best and worst states for retirement, and they named Maryland the worst state for retirement in 2021.

Bankrate found Maryland to be the worst state for retirement because of high costs and “mediocre scores on culture and weather,” Bankrate said in its report. Although Bankrate acknowledged that there is a lot of subjectivity in choosing a place to live in retirement, they still created a study that will help objectively answer the “where-to-retire” question.

Georgia, Florida and Tennessee were the top three ranked states for retirement.

For this study, Bankrate looked at five broad categories: affordability, wellness, culture, weather and crime. Bankrate looked at various public and private datasets related to the life of a retiree and weighed each factor.

Bankrate weighted affordability (40%) and wellness (20%) while they weighted culture and weather as 15%. Also, crime was weighed at 10%.

They used the 2020 Cost of Living Index from the Council for Community and Economic Research and property and sales tax rates from the Tax Foundation rankings for 2020-21. Bankrate used the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index released in May 2021 for wellness rankings. The index measured factors like access to health care, access to food, physical health and economic security.

Culture was determined using the number of arts, entertainment, recreation establishments, restaurants and adults 65 and older per capita from the U.S. Census Bureau. Weather scores depended on the average daily temperature data for the last three decades from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Last, Bankrate calculated crime using the rates of property crimes and violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants for each state from the FBI’s 2019 Crime in the United States report.

Another factor to consider is someone’s family and financial situation for retirement. Maryland does not have the best situation for either, according to the study.

“From a financial perspective, there are a lot of things to consider,” Clark Kendall, president of Kendall Capital Management, said. “Some states offer tax breaks on retirement income. Maryland not only has an income tax, but we are also one of seven states that has an estate tax.”

Various studies have consistently shown that Maryland is the worst state to retire in, and Governor Larry Hogan[R] has acknowledged it.

“I didn’t see the poll, but I’ve been saying for a long time that we need to cut retirement tax, and I can convince the legislature of that. It is one thing I have been talking about for four years and maybe this will get their attention,” Hogan said to Fox5 DC in 2019.

This past year, many protests popped up in Annapolis to encourage beneficial changes for retirees in Maryland. Since the state of emergency is ending, the legislature and Hogan can look more closely at making Maryland more comfortable for retirees.