by Jennie McKeon

Florida is always nice to visit, but when you don’t want the vacation to end you could retire to the Sunshine State.

And according to a recent study from the website WalletHub, you’d be making a good choice since Florida ranked No. 1 as best state to retire.

The study looked at all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 31 metrics in three categories including affordability, quality of life and healthcare, which were graded on a 100-point scale. The overall score was calculated from the average of the three categories.

The study stated Florida’s high ranking was due to its affordability. The state also ranked above average among certain metrics including life expectancy, number of population aged 65 and older, theaters and museums per capita and annual cost of in-home services.

Local economist David Goetsch said he’s not surprised by the study. In fact, he said, the state makes an effort to be attractive to retirees.

“No personal income tax is a big calling card,” he said. “The legislature always shoots down (personal income tax). They know if they do that, they’ll lose retirees … and the weather helps.”

When it comes to housing, Florida is less expensive compared to other states. And in most cases, communities work to make their retired residents feel welcome.

“Businesses will cater to them,” Goetsch said. “And there are so many amenities. Let’s face it, there are even some communities specifically designed for retirees.”

While Florida ranks above average in life expectancy, the growing population of retired folks can also be credited to happy seniors spreading the word.

“They are our best advertisement,” Goetsch said. “Thank goodness they come here.”