Top Ten Retirement States? Well, eleven actually… plus my personal favorite, Oregon!

Retire USA keeps on growing, mostly thanks to some great posts by our many retirement bloggers and guests at the website.  Our goal is to become one of the top online sources of retirement information for the USA.

We now have excellent city profiles on about 225 US cities with a focus on the information you’ll need to plan a retirement in those states/cities.  There are over a dozen great bloggers writing articles for the Retire USA Retirement Blog, and over four thousand  individual retirement records, sorted by cities and into four key retirement categories:  Health Care, Financial Services, Retirement Communities, and Real Estate.

Thanks to the magic of Google’s custom search we have a Retire USA  “retirement search” (see top of page) that will allow you to search our site and the greater online universe for more retirement related information.   |

At the very least you should be following RetireUSA on Twitter for Retirement information so you’ll be alerted to the new blog posts as they appear online:   Twitter Retirement Information

So, what are the TOP TEN RETIREMENT STATES?     This is a *personal view* by yours truly Joe Duck based on limited research, but I think this is probably close in terms of the states to which most people retire among those who are *changing their home state*.   Obviously most people stay put for retirement, so simply asking “where do most people retire” is the same as asking “where do most people live”?      If you are searching for a new home our site is a great place to start, and here are the states I think you are most likely to be searching for.

If you think this is  NOT a good list, please let me know in the comments why!    Some day when I’m not as lazy as right now I’ll research this topic, though it’s often hard to find good data since most states are all trying to promote their virtues – I’m guessing there will be many “self serving” studies by economic development or travel groups to “show” that their state is THE place to retire.    I think the best test is probably to find the states that get the most people to *change their residence*, as this is a very good sign that you are doing something right … retirement wise.

California Retirement | Colorado Retirement  | Florida Retirement | New York Retirement | Nevada Retirement | North Carolina Retirement | Oregon Retirement | South Carolina Retirement | Texas Retirement | Utah Retirement |  Virginia Retirement  | Arkansas Retirement

American Idol 2012 is Jessica Sanchez or Phillip Phillips ?

Like much of the West Coast I’m waiting for tonight’s results on American Idol, but most of America ALREADY KNOWS the winner!    I’m not sure who will win – the incredible Jessica Sanchez with unbelievable vocal talent or the cute and clever Phillip Phillips who seems to be getting by more on his looks than his musicality, though you would not know this from some of the odd comments last night after he performed a song written by others for the finale – unfortunately a “better song” than the one Jessica Sanchez sang.

I’m a little frustrated because I’d like to see musical brilliancy triumph here, and Sanchez is one of the best singers to ever come out of this show.   Philip, on the other hand, is more of a hearthrob for the shows legions of young female fans.    He’s good, but hes not THAT good!

What is YOUR life worth? In Dollars that is. $600,000 to $13.5 Million depending on …

I’m bumping up this old post about the value of life in dollars because it’s a VERY interesting topic, and I’ll try to update this with more information eventually since there must be new studies.   WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?

Most importantly I want to stress how important it is that we DO in fact value lives in this fashion.   Many people foolishly cringe at the notion of placing value on lives, suggesting that “life is priceless” and therefore we can’t do this.  

The problem with that naive view is that WE DO THIS ALL THE TIME!   We just do it indirectly.   In fact in wars we spend a LOT of money to kill a LOT of people in an effort to make the world a safer place (or protect our own national interests).   In that case we are actually placing a negative value on certain lives.   e.g.  the US spent billions to kill Bin Laden, which meant the value on his life was actually a negative number!    The argument in that case is that killing Bin Laden, costly as it was in blood and treasure, would save many thousands of lives in the future.    Reasonable people can disagree on the merits in that type of case, but clearly we should be using some sort of standard metrics rather than whim and politics as we decide how to allocate resources to lives and to deaths both in war and in life affirming endeavors.

Whenever you take risks or subject your family or others to risk you effectively create a value relationship.   Drive over the speed limit to work in the morning?     By doing that you have both broken the law AND you have subjected yourself and others to the increased risk of faster driving speeds.    Yes, YOU DID!    No big deal because we do this type of thing all the time, but it’s important for people to start recognizing the risk / reward / convenience / money relationships  we create every day as we go about our daily lives.    The bureaucracy is absolutely right to work out equations that look at the costs and benefits of life saving measures, because without these we apply funding willy – nilly (as is often the case), leading to very inefficient spending patterns that are created from political spending.

The BEST example of this cost effectiveness  approach writ very large and brilliantly is the Copenhagen Consensus, an effort by statisticians, scientists and economists (including several nobel prize winners) to allocate limited resources in a more intelligent fashion.    It’s incredibly to me ho unwilling most people are to apply this type of approach, but I think the root of the challenge is that folks don’t realize how poorly we currently allocate resources.    Military spending, for example, is much larger than most Americans understand and the things purchased often have pathetic returns on the investments.  Yet both democrats and republicans favor the ongoing massive spending for political reasons.    As Ron Paul very cleverly noted in a presidential debate we need a strong defense, not an expensive one.  Of course there are even more examples of waste on the entitlement side of Government spending and literally millions of wasteful efforts on the private side of spending, but that’s fodder for other posts.

——— from my 2006 post ———–

This cost allocation study Notes that the EPA is willing to spend almost twice what the Dept of Transportation is willing to spend to keep YOU alive. The numbers seem old so there may be some adjustments, but interesting is this:

In policy and regulatory analyses, EPA uses a value of $4.8 million to represent the cost of a premature death. This value is the mean of estimates from 26 studies dating back to the mid 1970s that have attempted to place a value on the cost of premature deaths. Estimates from those studies range from $0.6 million to $13.5 million, reflecting the large uncertainties in trying to estimate the public’s willingness to pay to avoid premature death.

The Department of Transportation has adopted a value of $2.7 million per premature death, based on a comprehensive 1991 study by the Urban Institute

People are reluctant to accept this type of “dollar valuation” analysis even though it’s commonplace in legal settlements and is a VERY APPROPRIATE way to allocate public funds. Note that the 4.8 million dollars the EPA spends to save a life would save thousands of lives if spent in alternative ways. One can argue that the complexity of this type of analysis undermines the rationale behind using this “lives for dollars” game, but it’s a weak argument. Yet even with this appropriate method of trying to allocate dollars to lives and then allocate them most effectively, we tend to apply funding in odd ways and squander billions due to political budgeting.

2010 Census Data for Oregon

I’m in the process of working with the 2010 Census Data, trying to find ways to bring that amazing content into our Online Highways Travel site at

Below is the state profile which should appear in an iframe but can’t because WordPress is removing it.  That can be fixed via a plugin but I probably won’t hassle with that here since the embeds will be at websites.

I’m a little disappointed that they haven’t made it super easy to incorporate city by city data into websites (or maybe I just have not found that), but ultimately that might be good for our travel site since fewer sites will be willing to reprocess the billions of bytes we’ll be downloading from the Census.

Ideally I want to incorporate OLD census information as well, allowing folks to do some geographical geneaology via our US History, Travel, US Retirement, and Oregon Coast Travel websites.