Sun Editorial: New Jersey isn’t even close to the best place to retire

The financial services website WalletHub recently released its “Best States to Retire” list, and New Jersey came in near the bottom.

By Alan Bauer
The Sun

The kids have been out of the house for a while now. You’ve put in decades of hard work. Now, finally, you’re ready to enjoy your golden years. You’re ready to retire and take it easy. You’ve earned it.

Just one thing: You might want to think about where all of this is going to take place. According to a recent study, New Jersey isn’t the best place to retire. It’s not even close.

The financial services website WalletHub recently released its “Best States to Retire” list, and New Jersey came in near the bottom.

The group looked at 46 indicators it believes paint an accurate picture of what retirement life is like in the 50 states, awarded points for each, added them up and made its list. Everything from adjusted cost of living to taxes, percentage of older adults in the workforce, life expectancy, property crime rate, elderly food insecure rate and the weather were considered.

New Jersey ended up 46th on the list with 47.85 points. Not surprisingly, Florida was №1 with 65.60 points. Don’t move to Kentucky, though, as it finished last with only 43.85 points.

On the broader scope of categories, New Jersey did OK in health care, ranking 29th, a little worse on quality of life, coming in at 33, and absolutely awful on affordability, with a ranking of 45. All of that makes sense, especially the affordability part, as, yes, property taxes are something else around here.

The study also backs up other reports that historically rank the state among the top for people leaving — for many of the same reasons listed by WalletHub.

For seemingly forever, state leaders have talked about tax reform. Back in 2006, a special section of a joint legislative committee looked at property tax relief. More recently, a Path to Progress group consisting of economic experts took a run at taxes and other economic issues. Its report can be found at pathtoprogressnj.org.

So we know we have a problem. And we even have some possible solutions. Now all it will take is the political gumption to make tough decisions.

Then, maybe, seniors will find it easier to retire here.