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NJ Is The Worst State to Retire, Study Says

by Sammie Carvalho
NJ Worst State to Retire

When one thinks about retiring, they often describe a familiar image:  sandy beaches, palm trees, 70 degrees and sunny. Fewer people, if not any, picture sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Route 3 in February sleet and ice. The gap between these two images is extreme, but they’re also not true every day of the year. Either way, people have been moving out of NJ to retire for decades and now, it seems, a colder climate isn’t the only concern.

What’s the Cost?

In 2021, the National Migration Study named NJ the most moved out state, so it isn’t a surprise to see that WalletHub also named it the worst state to retire in the country. People just don’t want to stay in NJ forever, but why?  For one, the cost of housing alone is over 50 percent above the national average. Not to mention, we have the highest property taxes in the nation by a long shot. With the purpose of retiring is not having to work anymore, it is virtually impossible to do in NJ when the cost of living is just so high.

It’s Not Just the Taxes

It is no secret that the Garden State has some of the harshest and highest taxes in the nation, but that isn’t the only issue. More and more people are finding it difficult to put down roots in NJ due to the cost of everything else, too. It is pricey to own anything in this state—whether that be a business, a home, or even an investment property. That being said, it’s possible people are finding that it isn’t worth the hardship with so many more affordable states in the nation.

NJ Worst State to Retire

Image by Bruce Emmerling

Jersey Culture

When people retire, they want to relax. Things, and life, tend to slow down. So, it could be that the hustle and bustle of New Jersey culture isn’t a retiree’s cup of tea. There are other states that are known for being much more mellow and are described as being a retiree’s dream.

Final Thoughts

So, does that mean that there are no retirees living it up in the Garden State? No way. It just isn’t most people’s first choice when they decide they’re ready to retire. Between the snowy winter season, incredibly high taxes, cost of living, and the Jersey culture, you don’t find many people moving here to live out their retirement dream. And the people who already live here tend to want something different—better even—after they’ve ended their careers.

What do you think? Is New Jersey the worst state to retire? Let us know in the comments

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2 comments

Mezza G February 15, 2022 - 1:43 pm

I would love to stay in NJ for retirement but financial aspects are likely to prevent this.
Shame that our elected officials that are doing next to nothing to help Seniors find an affordable way to stay in NJ and even stay in their own home.
I currently still work but have many colleagues with families up and leave too for an overall better way of life.
Many large tax paying corps have also left NJ, northern Bergen County is example with swaths of corp buildings left empty.
Shocking also is the amount of residential building taking place. Where are thousands of occupants coming from when there is a large exodus of citizens? Expecting a housing glut soon that will further impact NJ economy.

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TPTeeling February 20, 2022 - 11:52 pm

The author failed to mention one extremely important factor that ultimately affects all retirees: availability and quality of health care. I currently own homes in central NJ and Rehoboth Beach (Sussex Cty) DE. In NJ I live within 15 minutes of four large medical centers and multiple doctors and medical faciities, and within one hour of 3 NCI accredited cancer hospitals and have never experenced any problems with the availablity and quality of health care. In Sussex Cty De. which is a very popular retiree destination there are only two hospitals and a shortage of primary care doctors and specialists because the demand from the rapidly growing retiree population is greatly exceeding the existing supply of doctors and facilities. Many of my neighbors and friends have reported that it took many months to find Doctors who were accepting new patients and have been required to commute back to their old doctors in NJ, Baltimore,Wash DC or Philadelphia for routine health care. Patients with severe health problems must often must travel over two hours away to large regional hospitals in Baltimore, Wash DC or Philadelphia. Two of my retired friends suffered head injuries (brain bleeds) from minor falls and had to be airlifted to hospitals in Baltimore Md, or Christiana (northern DE) because the local hospital did was not able to treat them, they both died from their injuries. I strongly urge all retirees considering relocation outside of NJ to carefully investigate the quality and availabilty of health care before relocating out of NJ. Saving money on taxes is hardly worth it if one does not live long enough to enjoy their retirement.

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