To the surprise of few people, New Jersey ranked among the worst states for retirees, according to Wallethub's 2019 "Best States to Retire” list.

Based on a comparison of all 50 states in 46 key metrics, New Jersey landed at No. 46 in the report by the personal finance website, which also found that nearly 25 percent of all American adults having no retirement savings or pension.

The metrics data set ranges to various categories — from adjusted cost of living and tax friendliness to weather and quality of health care options. New Jersey's rankings for adjusted cost of living and annual cost of in-home services contributed to making it one of the costliest states, according to a WalletHub spokesperson.

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Florida finished at the top, followed, surprisingly, by South Dakota, Colorado and New Hampshire. New Jersey was fourth from the bottom, and the two other states in the tristate are — New York and Connecticut — didn’t rate much higher.

Retiring in New Jersey (1=Best; 25=Avg.)

  • Adjusted Cost of Living: 42nd place
  • Annual Cost of In-Home Services: 33rd place
  • WalletHub ‘Taxpayer’ Ranking: 42nd place

*The WalletHub Taxpayer ranking is based on its "2018 Tax Rates by State" report. The good news is that New Jersey ranked second in the number of private, federal, state and local hospitals per 100,000 residents, and 23rd among nursing and residential care facilities.

Here are WalletHub’s Top Ten:

Overall Rank
(1=Best)

State

‘Affordability’ Rank

‘Quality of Life’ Rank

‘Health Care’ Rank

1

Florida

1

7

27

2

South Dakota

9

22

5

3

Colorado

26

9

4

4

New Hampshire

25

3

9

5

Virginia

14

13

24

6

Utah

16

14

16

7

Iowa

27

8

10

8

Wyoming

8

12

36

9

Pennsylvania

23

5

22

10

Minnesota

43

1

1

In the tritate area, New York rated highest, although three states all were ranked in the lower half of the study.

36

New York

47

11

13

38

Connecticut

48

20

7

46

New Jersey

45

33

29

Did WalletHub take weather into consideration? The Top 10 included South Dakota (No. 2 in the overall rankings), which is cold and remote — not exactly what seniors are seeking.

"We did account for the weather, and South Dakota certainly did not rank very well in terms of mildness,” the spokesperson said. “However, it's one of the most affordable states to live in, and scored high in the health care category.”

What led to the surprisingly high ranking was South Dakota does not have a personal income tax, and its sales taxes are among the lowest in the nation. It also does not tax Social Security and pensions, nor does it have an estate or inheritance tax. South Dakota also has the highest number of nurses per capita, top-rated geriatrics hospitals, and the second highest number of health care facilities per capita.

For the full report, click here.