The 5 Most Expensive U.S. States for Retirees

Photo by Irina Kozorog / Shutterstock.com

Expect to retire on a modest income? You may want to avoid spending your golden years in the Eastern U.S.

The region is home to four of the five most expensive states in which to retire, according to WalletHub’s latest annual ranking of the best states for retirees.

The analysis found that the five least-affordable states for retirees in 2020 are:

  1. New York
  2. Vermont
  3. New Jersey
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Minnesota

WalletHub’s affordability rankings are based on multiple measures, which include cost of living, tax friendliness and the cost of in-home services and adult day health care. The affordability rankings even reflect the share of the population age 65 and older who can’t afford a doctor visit.

At the other end of the spectrum, the most affordable states for retirement are all in the South, with Alabama, Florida and Texas taking the top three slots. South Carolina and Mississippi round out the top five for affordability.

Finding your perfect place to retire

Although state, city and country rankings can offer important insights about the cost of retiring in specific areas, remember that choosing where to retire is a highly individual decision. A cookie-cutter approach will not serve you well.

For example, Courtney Edwards, clinical associate professor of accounting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tells WalletHub that simply focusing on something like tax rates can be a mistake:

“There are many compelling non-tax considerations that should be weighted as well, such as access to quality health care, proximity to a support network of friends and family, climate, etc. If the most tax-friendly state for a retiree turns out to be Alaska, but the individual hates the cold, this would clearly be a terrible option.”

In fact, in many cases, the best place to retire is the place where you live right now, as we detail in “7 Reasons You Should Not Move for Retirement.”

For more help deciding where to spend your golden years, check out “Don’t Retire Till You Answer These 4 Questions.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
3 Big Medicare Costs Just Got Bigger
3 Big Medicare Costs Just Got Bigger

Some Medicare premiums and deductibles for 2020 will take a bigger bite out of Social Security payments.

10 Bad Money Habits That Are Robbing You Blind
10 Bad Money Habits That Are Robbing You Blind

Here’s how to change those bad behaviors.

13 Affordable Products for a Better Night’s Rest
13 Affordable Products for a Better Night’s Rest

These Amazon products can help you finally catch 40 winks — or more.

3 Bank Accounts With Perks for Customers Age 55 and Older
3 Bank Accounts With Perks for Customers Age 55 and Older

These checking accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5
15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5

These products offer big value at a small price.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.