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Study finds Hawaii to be top retirement destination

June 7, 2013

Many seniors choose to relocate in retirement, but with so many viable options around the country and the world, figuring out the best place to go can be challenging. A recent report looked more closely into the benefits different states offer older adults. The United Health Foundation's inaugural America's Health Rankings Senior Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities study examined issues facing the growing senior population and explored possible strategies to accommodate the baby boomer generation as they enter retirement.

One aspect of senior living was how different states ranked in terms of senior health, and Hawaii was found to be one of the best places for seniors to live. The Aloha State came in sixth, making it a viable choice for seniors considering relocating to retirement communities in other states. Senior residents in Hawaii were less likely to be obese or overweight, and fewer older adults living in this tropical state experience arthritis pain that can impede a healthy lifestyle for seniors.

"United Health Foundation's American's Health Rankings Senior Report is a highly valuable tool to help gain a greater understanding of the health challenges faced by Hawaii's seniors," said Dr. Ron Fujimoto, the chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare's Community Plan for Hawaii. "Hawaii's growing senior population points to the urgency of identifying key opportunities for improving senior health and pursuing effective solutions at the national, state, community and family levels."

Another interesting finding was that Hawaii had a lower geriatrician shortfall than most other states, so the 55-plus crowd would not have to worry about finding proper medical care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that roughly 80 percent of seniors have at least one chronic health condition, and 50 percent are living with two or more issues that require regular medical treatment. For these individuals, settling in Hawaii might be the best choice.