While retirement may be the last thing on your mind at this stage in your career, others are planning right now for a major life change as this new and highly-anticipated phase of life is just around the corner. No matter where you are in the process, thinking about and planning for retirement is a smart move, as it is something that ought to be well-prepared for… and the earlier, the better.

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Money, safety, and overall happiness are all top of mind when it comes to being able to retire meaningfully and comfortably, and that is why the personal finance website, WalletHub has recently released an in-depth study covering 2018's Best & Worst States to Retire.

All 50 states were compared in terms of "retirement-friendliness" by WalletHub's team of experts. Affordability, health care, and quality of life were evaluated and broken down further into 41 relevant metrics including topics such as cost of living, cost of in-home services, taxpayer ranking, percentage of workforce aged 65+, number of museums per capita, number of theaters per capita, percentage of population aged 65+, life expectancy, property crime rate, weather, quality of public hospitals, and so on and so forth.

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Before you make retirement plans, check out the 10 best states to retire:

1.Florida
2.Colorado
3.South Dakota
4.Iowa
5.Virginia
6.Wyoming
7.New Hampshire
8.Idaho
9.Utah
10.Arizona

And which states are not as rad for retirees? Here are the 10 worst:

1.Kentucky
2.New Jersey
3.Rhode Island
4.Mississippi
5.Arkansas
6.West Virginia
7.Louisiana
8.New Mexico
9.Hawaii
10.Alabama

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Head down south to the "Sunshine State" to spend your golden years among other satisfied retirees enjoying the good life. As per WalletHub, "Florida has the highest share of the population aged 65 and older, 19.1 percent, which is two times higher than in Alaska, where it is lowest at 9.4 percent." Great weather and a well-deserved relaxing and fulfilling quality of life brings folks to Florida to live out their retirement years among peers who have put in many years of hard work and now wish to bask in the rays of the warm Florida sun.

Is retirement something you would rather get moving on sooner than later? Perhaps you have the option and ability to retire early but you are not sure it is the right move at this stage in your life. Here are three perks of retiring early to consider before you hand in that resignation slip and call it quits.

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For further in-depth information about this retirement-based WalletHub study and deeper insight into their unique methodology as well as the full 50-state ranking, see the entire 2018 report.

Happy retirement, when-and wherever it may be!

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