A new survey ranks New Jersey as the worst state in America to retire in.
Thanks to sky-high taxes and a high cost of living, the Garden State ranks last in affordability, according to the WalletHub report.
But what if your family and friends are here and you just don’t want to pick up and go someplace cheaper? According to Ken Kamen, the president of Mercadien Asset Management, if you’re still considering spending your “golden years” in Jersey there are some important steps to consider.
“The type of thing that retirees or pre-retires can start looking at is where they live. Are they living in a very expensive school district? Maybe they move three towns over and they could start saving money on real estate taxes,” he said.
He said it’s important to consider that the types of things older people spend money on inflate differently than the general population.
“Medical expenses become a big number. It’s certainly expensive in New Jersey, but it’s expensive everywhere,” he said. “People don’t think about medical care when they get older, from a numeric point of view, because they’ve been covered by insurance and they’re assuming that it’s going to be covered by Medicare when they get older.”
Kamen pointed out this is not necessarily so, which means budgeting for additional expenses is important.
“If you have assets, how do you want to want to invest your assets to create some sort of income for you,” he said.
In situations where someone’s assets are limited, he stressed budgeting becomes all the more important, factoring in Social Security and savings.
“It really is a question of maybe dial back, or pre-live your retirement experience before you get to retirement so you know what you can and cannot do without, without it really rocking your lifestyle,” said Kamen.
He said planning for retirement is never easy but in New Jersey, taxes and cost of living make it harder.
Even if someone does move out of state to save money, they may not factor in coming back to visit children and grandchildren, and those expenses can add up, which means savings may not really turn out to be as much as anticipated.
The WalletHub survey ranked New Jersey 41st for adjusted cost of living, 33rd in the annual cost of in-home services, 39th in its taxpayer ranking, 38th when it comes to having an elderly-friendly labor market, and 47th for health-care facilities per capita
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com