A study released last week by the New York-based consumer financial services company Bankrate placed Illinois at 47th in the nation in terms of where to retire. Only Alaska, New York and Maryland ranked lower in the study.
Bankrate looked at affordability, weather, crime and other factors important to retirees. Illinois’ high local taxes and fees hit retirees, typically living on less income than working adults, harder.
“We all complain about taxes,” said Billie Meyer, 90, of Manito. “If they use the money in the right way, we wouldn’t mind paying taxes. We don’t get what (the state says) we’re going to get.”
Overall, Meyer did not seem to agree with the results of the study.
“Other than (the high taxes), Illinois is a nice place to live, as far as I’m concerned.”
Retired nurse’s aide Jane Miller, 75, of Pekin, however, concurred with the study’s placement of Illinois. She cited high taxes and government corruption as key reasons for retirees to avoid Illinois, if possible.
“Illinois is a good state to be away from,” she said. “We haven’t had anything decent for years. How many (of our governors) are in jail? How many have been in jail? And how about our taxes?
Bankrate listed neighboring states Iowa and Missouri as the second and third best states in the nation to retire. The study cited low cost of living, good health care access, and relatively low crime in those states.
According to the study, only South Carolina ranked lower than Illinois in “wellness,” which was measured by a well-being index and the number of disability care centers per capita.