While there are many factors to consider when choosing the place where you will retire, the ones that will impact your wallet may be the most important. Why? Because having a low crime rate and beautiful weather will be irrelevant if high costs deplete your retirement nest egg faster than anticipated.
Recently Investopedia.com compared cost-of-living and tax-rate data from Bankrate.com’s list of “Best and Worst States to Retire” and Kiplinger’s list of “10 Worst States for Retirement” to come up with their list of “The Most Expensive States to Retire In.” We’ve added Genworth’s “2015 Cost of Care Survey” to the mix to come up with our five most expensive states for retirees when comparing cost of living, tax rate, and long-term care expenses (as listed in alphabetical order):
o Connecticut ranks #3 in tax rate and cost of living and #2 in long-term care expenses. Along with a state estate tax, Connecticut is also one of only two states that collect a state gift tax (New York is the other).
o New Jersey ranks #2 in tax rate, #6 in cost of living, and #4 in long-term care expenses. Along with a state estate tax, New Jersey is also one of six states that collect a state inheritance tax.
o New York ranks #1 in tax rate, #4 in cost of living, and #5 in long-term care expenses. Along with a state estate tax, New York is also one of two states that collect a state gift tax (Connecticut is the other).
o Rhode Island ranks #8 in tax rate, #9 in cost of living, and #10 in long-term care expenses. Rhode Island also collects a state estate tax.
o Vermont ranks #9 in tax rate, #10 in cost of living, and barely fell out of the top 10 by coming in at #11 in long-term care expenses. Vermont also collects a state estate tax.
Final Thoughts on Where to Retire
Each year the statistics on tax rates, cost of living, crime rates, health care expenses, and weather are sliced and diced to come up with various lists for those approaching retirement to consider. But in the end the choice of where to retire is personal. While the financial data may point you away from or to a particular location, staying close to your support system of kids, grandkids, other family members, and friends may be priceless.
No matter where you end up deciding to retire, you should obtain qualified estate planning counsel to make sure your plan will work when it’s needed. If you plan on relocating upon retirement, living part-time in another state, or traveling extensively, we encourage you to contact us, so that we can assist you with your estate planning needs.