NEW JERSEY -- A new ranking of 2020’s Best States to Retire by personal-finance website WalletHub rated New Jersey fourth from the bottom among. To determine the rankings, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 47 key metrics. The data set ranges from adjusted cost of living to weather to quality of public hospitals.

Deciding when and where to retire are among life's most important decisions, and the choice of where to retire should be made after doing significant research on factors besides warm weather. According to the Federal Reserve, 26% of all non-retired adults have no retirement savings or pension, and even in the most affordable areas, most retirees cannot rely solely on Social Security to cover living expenses.

To determine the best states to retire, WalletHub examined 47 key indicators of retirement-friendliness and considers affordability, health-related factors, gold courses per capita, shoreline mileage, and overall quality of life.

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

  • 42nd – Adjusted Cost of Living
  • 31st – Annual Cost of In-Home Services
  • 38th – WalletHub ‘Taxpayer’ Ranking
  • 37th – Elderly-Friendly Labor Market
  • 30th – % of Population Aged 65 & Older
  • 46th – Health-Care Facilities per Capita

"The high cost of living was one of the factors that contributed to New Jersey being the fourth worst state to retire," WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told "Other factors were related to the quality of life and included the lack of access to scenic byways and the small number of museums per capita."

While New Jersey is among the highest taxed states in the nation, it ranked only 38th (instead of 50th) in the tax category because seniors are exempt from some taxes.

"While property taxes in New Jersey are the highest in the nation, they were not the only taxes we considered. Overall the state wasn't among the last in terms of taxation," Gonzalez said. "For example, the fact that New Jersey doesn't tax social security income and that pension income is exempt from taxes up to a certain level, contributed to the state ranking higher in terms of tax friendliness."

Healthcare also played a key role in determining the rankings.

"The quality of public hospitals is the second lowest in the country, and the well-being index for the population aged 55+ is also among the lowest," Gonzalez added. "At the same time, the share of residents aged 65+ who are physically inactive and who report inadequate sleep are among the highest. But what hurt New Jersey the most was having the largest share of population aged 65+ who couldn't afford a doctor visit, over 8%, and low quality elder abuse protections."

Not surprisingly, Florida ranked No. 1 among all the United States.

Overall  State Total Score Affordability Rank Quality of Life Rank Health Care’ Rank
1 Florida 63.02 2 5 26
2 Colorado 60.99 17 11 4
3 New Hampshire 59.25 27 4 6
4 Utah 58.33 15 18 17
5 Wyoming 58.17 11 12 33

Nearby Delaware ranked No. 6 with affordability being a strong factor. Pennsylvania rated No. 13 with a strong quality of life ranking. New York, which finished last in affordability, was ranked No. 42 in the study, while New Jersey rated 48th in affordability and 47th overall. Kentucky was ranked the worst state to retire, according to WalletHub's analysis.

To view the full report, visit: