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ND ranked 10th-best retirement state

GRAND FORKS -- Forget Florida and Arizona, retirees, how about North Dakota?

The Peace Garden State left the Sunshine State and the Grand Canyon State far behind in a recent ranking of best states in which to retire.

Retirement should not be just sunshine and beaches, according to Chris Kahn of the financial information website

North Dakota was No. 10 in Bankrate's ranking, which considered medical care access, crime rates, cost of living -- and yes, climate.

Despite North Dakota being the coldest state in the contiguous United States, Kahn's report said the state received a high ranking because of its low crime rate, and light state and local tax burden. The report also said North Dakota has five hospital beds for every 1,000 people, tied for second best in the country.

According to Grand Forks Senior Center Executive Director Colette Iseminger, the state's budget surplus helps makes North Dakota a good destination to retire. She said the state's surplus allows continued funding of senior programs that other states may have needed to cut.

Much of the top 10 were outside the Sun Belt, long considered a retirement hotspot. Tennessee, Louisiana and South Dakota were Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Another Midwestern state, Nebraska, was No. 9.

Florida was No. 19, Arizona No. 33 and California No. 48.

Minnesota, next door to two top 10 states, was No. 43.