The 10 Most Expensive States for Retirees in 2024

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Stressed senior man paying bills sitting in his home office
astarot /

Rising costs are on the minds of many these days but perhaps most urgently among those nearing retirement.

Between having less time to save or wait for investments to rebound and stubbornly high inflation raising costs, one of the best ways to control expenses is to live somewhere affordable. That could mean downsizing, relocating or both.

With that in mind, the affordability category in WalletHub’s 2024 rankings of the best states for retirees provides a good starting place toward figuring out where to live — or not to live — in retirement. It takes into consideration the cost of living, tax friendliness, the cost of in-home services, the cost of adult day health care and the share of the senior population unable to afford a doctor’s visit.

By those metrics, the following are the most expensive states to retire in.

10. Oregon

Bridge over Willamette River, Oregon
JPL Designs /

As far as states on the West Coast go, you could do worse. But overall, Oregon is an expensive place to live, notable for having some of the highest costs in the nation for in-home services, according to WalletHub.

It might be worth it, though: The state’s residents have a life expectancy of about 19 years beyond the typical retirement age of 65, on average, according to federal data. That is one of the longest average lifespans in the country.

9. Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Jon Bilous /

Rhode Island has some of the most expensive electricity in the country. It’s also one of the riskiest states for financial crimes that often target older people, as we explain in “9 States Where People Face the Highest Risk of Identity Theft and Fraud.”

8. Maryland

Baltimore homes

Maryland is home to one of the best hospitals in the country, Johns Hopkins Hospital, according to U.S. News & World Report. But overall, WalletHub found that the state’ scores on health care metrics rank it just slightly above average. And it’s not an especially affordable place to retire either.

7. Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts
Sean Pavone /

Massachusetts has one of the highest quality of life rankings and an impressive health care system, according to WalletHub. But by now, you know the catch — it also has nearly the highest adjusted cost of living.

6. Washington

Spokane, Washington
Real Window Creative /

Washington state has the second-most expensive in-home services in the country and overall the state is a pretty pricey place to live. But if you’re keen about living there, there are good options, as we explain in “7 Great Places to Retire in the Pacific Northwest.”

5. Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Wendell Guy /

Connecticut has the fourth-best health care in the U.S., but some of the highest taxes in the country.

4. Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Page Light Studios /

The Land of Lincoln has the distinction of being the worst state for taxes, according to WalletHub. Chicago, in particular, is one of the most heavily taxed cities in the country.

3. Vermont

Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vermont

Vermont ranks well on WalletHub’s health care metrics, but there are only a few states ranked below it for affordability. It’s no wonder it has the largest senior workforce in the country — gotta pay the bills somehow.

However, it has a fast-growing population of seniors and just about the most beautiful autumn scenery you can imagine.

2. New Jersey

Jersey City, New Jersey
f11photo /

Any way you slice it, New Jersey is an expensive place to live. More than half of “11 Places Where Property Tax Bills Run $10,000 or More” are in New Jersey.

1. New York

Pittsford, New York
Trong Nguyen /

New York has the fifth-highest adjusted cost of living (after Hawaii, Massachusetts, California and Alaska) and overall ranks as the most expensive state for retirees to live in. Part of the reason why is that it’s the third-worst state for taxes, according to WalletHub.

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