Friday, May 10, 2013

Retire In South Dakota; Die In Texas

The New York Times reports that South Dakota long with our neighbors to the north and south are places for retirees:
The top 10 states, in descending order, are Tennessee, Louisiana, South Dakota, Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Nebraska and North Dakota.
The financial Web site crunched a variety of data on the cost of living, taxes, health care, crime and climate to come up with the ranking. Access to health care, for instance, was measured by the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people, using data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Bakerate.com, the site that developed the rankings that the Times reports, extols South Dakota's crime rate and low tax burden:
And the third-best state for retirement is ... South Dakota? That's right. The Mount Rushmore State may not be on many retirement wish lists, but it should be. What it lacks in warmth, it makes up for in a variety of ways.
South Dakota has the lowest crime rate in the nation. The Tax Foundation also says South Dakota residents have an estimated state and local tax burden of 7.6 percent, which is lower than every other state except Alaska. Its temperatures are on the chilly side, with a 30-year average of 46 degrees -- about the same as New York and Colorado.
Of course, if one does not want to retire in the cold, one can go to Texas and die in a workplace accident.
But Texas has also had the nation’s highest number of workplace fatalities — more than 400 annually — for much of the past decade. Fires and explosions at Texas’ more than 1,300 chemical and industrial plants have cost as much in property damage as those in all the other states combined for the five years ending in May 2012. Compared with Illinois, which has the nation’s second-largest number of high-risk sites, more than 950, but tighter fire and safety rules, Texas had more than three times the number of accidents, four times the number of injuries and deaths, and 300 times the property damage costs. 
(I know--I power tagged the headline and I should comment on both situations a bit more, but I only have a 24 minute lunch breack. To be continued . . .)

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