I enjoy reading lists that rank things of interest to me. You can find many lists that rank locations based on different criteria, including the somewhat nebulous criteria of “retirement.”
One approach to selecting a retirement destination is to start by eliminating the worst candidates, at least at the state level. The Top Retirements site has taken that step for us by recently publishing its own list of the worst states for retirement.
In compiling their list, the editors used a variety of ranking criteria which were heavily weighted towards fiscal health, taxation, and climate. I agree with placing special importance on fiscal health and taxation. As a group, retirees are the most vulnerable to cost of living increases in areas that they cannot control. A contented retiree can quickly be taxed into a stressed retiree. A state that cannot properly manage its own budget is clearly a candidate for raising taxes on its citizens.
So which states should you avoid for your retirement? Here is the “worst ten” list:
3. New York
4. Rhode Island
5. New Jersey
I am not surprised by any of the states on this list and probably would have named 7 of the 10 immediately without looking at any data. All of the states except Nevada have high tax burdens, either income tax, property tax, or both. Some of the states are particularly dysfunctional in their budget politics, notably California, New York and Illinois.
Excluding California and Nevada, all of the states on the list have lousy climates for retirees. California’s weather cannot overcome its severe economic, immigration, and political leadership problems.
Nevada has entered the “worst state to retire” list because it has become a foreclosure nightmare. There is no telling when it might recover and whether that recovery can be achieved without a state income tax.
We are planning on living in Tennessee and Kentucky when we retire. A combination of good climate, low taxes, and friendly people is hard to beat.
Here is the link to the full article: Our Worst States to Retire List
What do you think about the list? Have you been investigating other states for retirement?