WASHINGTON — When it comes to the best places to retire, Virginia’s not bad and Maryland ranks as one of the worst. But if you’re looking for the spot to settle down in your golden years, go west, old man (or woman).

The top three best places to retire, according to to new rankings from, are all located in the American West. South Dakota takes the top spot for its moderate cost of living and crime levels, low taxes and high scores in what Bankrate “well-being” and “cultural vitality.”

Utah, Idaho, New Hampshire and retirement-mecca Florida rounded out the top 5.

Virginia ranked No 13; Maryland was second from the bottom.

Bankrate evaluted states’ retiree-friendly qualities across seven different areas: cost of living, taxes, health care quality, weather, crime, cultural vitality and well-being. Maryland ranked in the bottom in part because of the cost of living and taxes.

The data come from sources including the FBI, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Tax Foundation and the Council for Community and Economic Research.

“You need a sophisticated understanding of what will make you happy in retirement,” said analyst Taylor Tepper in a news release. “Yes, South Dakotans enjoy a low tax burden, but they are also more satisfied with their lives than anyone else. They savor their day-to-day lives, feel financially secure and have a strong sense of community. Residents in the other top states feel similarly. These attributes may better determine what makes for a satisfying retirement than, say, warm weather.”

Even though they’re next-door neighbors, Maryland and Virginia differed in several key areas.

Virginia was ranked in the top 5 states when it comes to low crime rates; Maryland ranked in the bottom third, according to the survey. Virginia was ranked 30th in terms of the cost of living compared to Maryland’s 47th-place showing.

D.C. was not included in the rankings.

See the full rankings for Virginia and Maryland below (Each numerical score denotes the state’s rank out of 50):

Overall rank: 13
Cost of living: 30
Crime: 4
Culture: 17
Health care quality: 24 (tied)
Taxes: 31
Weather: 16
Well-being: 18

Overall: 48
Cost of living: 47
Crime: 33
Culture: 21
Health care quality: 24 (tied)
Taxes: 43
Weather: 20
Well-being: 30

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