These 5 States Are the Most Expensive Places to Retire

Unhappy senior
Lopolo /

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 all five of the most expensive states in which to retire, according to WalletHub’s latest annual rankings of the best states for retirees.

The analysis found that the five least-affordable states for retirees in 2021 are:

  1. New Jersey
  2. New York
  3. Vermont
  4. Connecticut
  5. Maine

WalletHub’s affordability rankings are based on multiple measures, which include the 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 mostly in the South, with Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina taking the top three slots. Florida and Delaware 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.

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

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.