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This U.S. State Is the Best Place to Retire for Senior Safety, New Study Finds

Virginia has regulations in place that ensure the safety and security of its senior citizens.

<p>Grace Cary/Getty Images</p>

Grace Cary/Getty Images

Living your golden years with dignity and safety should be a right. However, every year, an estimated five million seniors are victims of physical, mental, and financial abuse in the U.S., according to data from the National Council on Aging. What's more, the Centers for Disease Control claims the problem is even more significant as many non-fatal injuries are not reported to the authorities. This is a serious issue that affects the health and well-being of older adults and can result in depression, malnutrition, and anxiety.

So, if senior safety is of utmost importance to you, consider retiring in Virginia. According to a recent WalletHub survey on the best places to retire, Virginia ranked third overall because of its laws and regulations targeting elder abuse.

"This makes seniors physically safer and less vulnerable to being taken advantage of financially. The state has high-quality geriatrics hospitals and a lot of doctors and dentists to choose from, too," WalletHub also pointed out.

The study ranked states on the protections they provide against financial, emotional, and physical abuse. The Old Dominion has legislation in place that protects retirees from economic exploitation, funds different elder abuse prevention causes, and provides legal services.

Virginia is home to 1.9 million adults aged 60 and over, which is 22 percent of the Commonwealth's population, according to a report by the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services.

"In a survey of older Virginians conducted in 2022, 79 percent of older Virginians rated their overall quality of life as excellent or good. Most respondents scored their communities positively, and about 50 percent indicated that their communities valued older residents," the report states.

Virginia also has many hospitals that score high on US News's Best Hospitals ranking.

WalletHub also added that the Commonwealth doesn't have estate or inheritance taxes, which is another reason to retire here. Virginia is also one of the 39 states nationwide that don't tax Social Security income and allows seniors to deduct $12,000 a year against withdrawals from other retirement accounts.

Aside from safety and tax-friendliness, Virginia has 375 golf courses, plenty of outdoor recreation, a stunning wine region, many lakes, and thousands of miles of shoreline, and excellent infrastructure.

On the flip side, though, this all comes at a cost. According to GoBankingRates.com's recent report, the annual cost of living in Virginia is $58,454. You would also need about $907,922 in savings to retire in the Old Dominion. Keep in mind, that this number may be higher in Northern Virginia, where housing costs continue to rise due to the lack of inventory.

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