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The 5 Happiest States in America Revealed

Source: thephotographymuse , via Flickr.

The happiest states in America all share two distinct characteristics: They have healthy -- though usually not "booming" -- economies, and they all have cultures that are usually centered around living in smaller, more tight-knit communities. Apparently, those two are key ingredients for living in a healthy and happy state.

At least, that's the conclusion I draw from WalletHub's recent release of the happiest states in America. The company used data from its own proprietary information, surveys conducted with residents in every state, and government data to evaluate each state on 25 different metrics.

When all was said and done, the states covered in the slideshow below came out ahead of the rest. Check to see if your state made the list, and to find out the other key traits these states possessed to get such high rankings.

Happiness and retirement: the $15,978 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook

If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. Residents in these five states actually have a leg up on everyone else: They have social supports and healthy economies to help ease the transition into retirement.

If you're worried about your retirement-readiness, a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. In fact, one MarketWatch reporter argues that if more Americans knew about this, the government would have to shell out an extra $10 billion annually. For example: One easy, 17-minute trick could pay you as much as $15,978 more... each year! Once you learn how to take advantage of all these loopholes, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how you can take advantage of these strategies.

The 5 Happiest States in America from

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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