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WalletHub Study : New Jersey Is 2022’s Worst State to Retire

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Ridgewood NJ, a new WalletHub Study rates New Jersey the worst place to retire. With 27% of all nonretired adults having no retirement savings, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s Best States to Retire. 

To help retirees find a safe, enjoyable and wallet-friendly place to call home, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 47 key metrics. Our analysis examines affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life.

Retiring in New Jersey (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

42nd – Adjusted Cost of Living

33rd – Annual Cost of In-Home Services

41st – WalletHub ‘Taxpayer’ Ranking

38th – Elderly-Friendly Labor Market

28th – % of Population Aged 65 & Older

46th – Health-Care Facilities per Capita

For the full report, please visit:

What is the most common mistake that retirees make when choosing where to settle?

“People too often move somewhere based on their health status and preferences at the time that they retire. But it is worth remembering that at the beginning of retirement health is at its best, but it can decline. Retiring to a living situation that will be manageable should health decline – i.e., locations like grocery stores and pharmacies are nearby, master bedrooms are on the first floor, a relative or friend is nearby for assistance – is important. It is also a money saver – if you are somewhere you can live for the long-term, you do not need to go through a process of selling and buying a new home that might be rushed. The good thing is that all states have these sorts of locations within them.”
Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, Boston College

“​Retirees need to consider how close they are to the family. While retiring to a warm, sunny climate has a lot of appeals, being an eight-hour car ride or even plane flight from close family members can be difficult emotionally, financially, and socially for retirees. Retirees also need to consider the cost of living including tax codes. Property tax varies widely by locality. Cost of living includes local access to doctors who accept Medicare and are taking new patients.”
JoEllen Pederson – Associate Professor, Longwood University

What are some tips for living on a fixed income in retirement?

“Ideally, households would have set aside enough to maintain a similar standard of living during their retirement years as their working life. If not, working longer can be a good option for those who can. Working longer has two benefits – providing additional income and maybe even savings so you do not have to tap your nest egg so early and allow you to delay claiming Social Security which results in higher monthly benefits. If working longer is not an option, such as due to health reasons, and you have some savings set aside, using those savings to delay claiming Social Security can also help. Claiming Social Security at 70 instead of 62 increases your monthly benefits by 77 percent and claiming at 65 instead of 62 increases your monthly benefits by close to 24 percent.”
Anqi (Angie) Chen – Assistant Director of Savings Research, Boston College

“A retiree needs to have better control of retirement spending to address the longevity risk. Dr. David Blanchett coined the famous retirement spending smile curve. The retirement spending smile curve projected retirees tend to spend more when they first retire in the area of travel and leisure. As the retirees’ mobility declines, they tend to not spend as much on travel and leisure. But retirees’ spending will pick up toward medical expenses as their health declines. Therefore, how much retirees spend depends on what they can afford to do throughout their retirement. The retirees need to control their spending, especially vigilant about scammers and unnecessary financial support to families or friends.”
Chia-Li Chien PhD, CFP®, PMP® – Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University

The financial impact of the pandemic has many Americans reevaluating their retirement plans. What are some new points of concern for future retirees in considering where to retire?

“States and localities have handled the pandemic very differently and this creates an opportunity for retirees to see how localities may approach other emergency issues. The way localities are handling the pandemic can be an indicator of overall community health and government response to other emergencies. Therefore, while looking for the perfect place to retire, consider how the community and local government approached the pandemic. Does it fit with your personal ideologies?”
JoEllen Pederson – Associate Professor, Longwood University

“One clear thing from the Pandemic is that no one can predict what will happen in the future – having more than enough retirement resources help retirees to adapt to the changes greatly. The extra retirement resources (besides the retirement living expenses) can mitigate spending shock risks.”
Chia-Li Chien PhD, CFP®, PMP® – Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University

4 thoughts on “WalletHub Study : New Jersey Is 2022’s Worst State to Retire

  1. You have to be the biggest fool to retire in New Jersey. Why would you. Any financial advice would tell you can download a New Jersey it doesn’t matter how much money you have.

  2. The only thing that prevents NJ residents from moving to a lower cost of living location is the connections to friends and family (e.g. kids and grandkids). Logically, one should sell the house and move to a location where real estate and taxation (as well as things like climate) is better. It’s also common that one spouse wants to make the move but the other doesn’t, so they stay to keep the peace.

  3. I like it here, and I am a life long resident.
    I have the ability to spend money on goods and services due to hard work
    My discretionary income supports local business, and the state via sales taxes (and income taxes)
    Since we have no children in the school system, we subsidize those families with children.
    Heres a note to consider:
    If your neighbors who do not use the schools move to Florida a family with school age children will be replacing them, and creating a further burden on the schools.
    The inheritence taxes here DO apply to single people who do not bequeath their money to a spouse or child
    So becoming a resident of a tax friendly state is MANDATORY so the state does not get 10% of my estate.
    While in ‘exile’ for 181 days, I’ll be spending $$$ in another state.
    I’ll still pay my NJ real estate taxes… MAYBE…. until I realize there is no point, and I’ll sell… to a family
    Think about it.. chasing those with disposable income out of the state………..
    chasing those who subsidize your childrens via unfair real estate tax bills….
    when the tax man cometh…remember who’s your sugar daddy

  4. actually the state can grab up to 17 percent of your estate if its not a child or spouse.
    hey… they need the money for newark camden and paterson
    time to head south! let the liberals figure out how to replace my money

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