The 10 Most Expensive U.S. States to Retire in — California Didn't Make the List

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In addition to being home to the most expensive city to live in worldwide, New York is the least affordable U.S. state to retire in.

That's according to WalletHub's "2023 Best States to Retire," which compared all 50 states across three main categories: affordability, quality of life and health care.

For the affordability metric, WalletHub used data from various agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau and the Council for Community and Economic Research. The ranking looked at adjusted cost of living, general tax-friendliness and annual cost of in-home services, as well as other factors.

While New York ranked 10th in the quality-of-life category and 16th in health care, it came in 50th for affordability. That's likely due to having the second-highest adjusted cost of living, behind Alaska, and the third-highest tax rate, according to WalletHub.

Even $1 million in retirement savings would cover your living costs for only about 14 years, a fraction of the 25 years or more retirement typically lasts.

Don't expect to find affordability across the Hudson River either: New Jersey ranks as the second most expensive state to retire in.

Here are the top 10 most expensive states to retire in, according to WalletHub:

  1. New York
  2. New Jersey
  3. Vermont
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Maryland
  6. Washington
  7. Connecticut
  8. Maine
  9. Illinois
  10. Oregon

Retirement will look different to everyone, and there are several factors to consider.

While a state's cost of living is often important, retirees may also think about how close they'll be to family and how easily they'll be able to access health care and engage in social activities, Alan Castel, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of "Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging," said in WalletHub's report.

If you'll be living on a fixed income in retirement, it's important to regularly review your budget and future financial commitments, said Castel.

"Sometimes our spending habits need to be re-evaluated, and many senior discounts can be utilized to lower bills," he said. "It may also be useful to consider downsizing or minimizing certain costs that are no longer needed."

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