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New Jersey and New York Ranked as the Worst U.S. States to Retire In

By Alicia Diaz

New Jersey is the worst U.S. state to retire in, according to a new ranking, with Mississippi and New York rounding out the bottom of the list.

The biggest factor in the ranking was that New Jersey and New York were the two least affordable U.S. states to live in, according to the survey released Monday by personal-finance website WalletHub. The two states scored higher on quality of life and healthcare.

A pedestrian walks past closed stores in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, issued a stay-at-home advisory from November 25 to December 4, shutting down all non essential businesses to curb the rising Covid-19 cases. Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg

The best state to retire was Florida, which ranked fourth for affordability and fifth for quality of life, although healthcare ranked 27th. Virginia, Colorado, Delaware and Minnesota rounded out the top five states to retire, boasting high affordability ratings. 

WalletHub compared the 50 states across affordability, quality of life and healthcare, using 47 metrics like tax-friendliness, risk of social isolation, elderly friendly labor market, life expectancy and health-care facilities per capita. The site then calculated each state’s weighted average to give the state a score out of 100. 

New York, which ranked 7th in the country for healthcare and 12th for quality of life, received a score of 42.5. New Jersey received a score of 40.3.  

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who won a second term in a narrow margin in November, has acknowledged the state’s high cost of living and property taxes, which are the highest in the nation. “We are not going to be the low-cost state to live or work in,” he told Bloomberg News in October, explaining that he’s more focused on quality of life and high-skilled workers. “If your business model includes high value-added, highly skilled workforce, we’re on your list.”

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