Taxes, Cost of Living Make Massachusetts a Lousy Place to Retire
A recent Medicare enrollee, I take advantage of senior discounts when available. As soon as I was eligible, I obtained a senior citizen pass for the National Park System and one for the Massachusetts parks and beaches.
I am preparing for the future.
The idea of retiring after 50-plus years on the clock is more appealing every single day.
If I had my druthers, I would not retire in Massachusetts. New England winters are too long and too cold. The folks of Massachusetts are nice enough, but their politics are ridiculous and the cost of living is outrageous.
If it were up to me, I'd retire to Florida or Arizona.
The decision is not mine alone to make as I have a wife, who I adore – and I think she still likes me – so retirement decisions will be joint decisions.
We like Arizona. We will see what happens when the time comes.
An article I stumbled upon ranked the "best and the rest" states for retirement. It got my full attention.
The MoneyTime.com article "The Very Best States For Retirement" says, "There are some basic questions everyone needs to answer."
They include "when to retire and how much to save are pretty basic ones to start," but the article says "where to retire is equally important stuff."
The site lists Hawaii as the worst of the 50 states to retire, citing the cost of living at 87 percent above the U.S. average. Health care costs are lower than the national average, but still.
Massachusetts comes in 48th-best, with the cost of living 38 percent above the national average. More than 15 percent of the Massachusetts population is age 65 or older. According to the site, "Massachusetts has the second-highest healthcare costs in the nation, and it taxes retirement income."
Connecticut is the 45th-best state to retire. The cost of living in Connecticut is only 24 percent above the national average but "real estate taxes are some of the very highest in the country and retirement income is taxed," the site says.
Rhode Island ranks 43rd according to MoneyTime.com, with the cost of living 22 percent above the national average. One bright spot is that Social Security income is not taxed in Rhode Island – yet.
New Hampshire comes in at No. 40. New Hampshire's cost of living is 18 percent above the national average, but there is no sales tax.
Vermont checks in at No. 37 with a cost of living 12 percent above the national average. Social Security and other retirement income are taxable in the Green Mountain State.
Maine ranks the best of the six New England states at 26th-best for retirement. The cost of living in Maine is two percent below the national average. While Social Security benefits are "left alone," other retirement income is taxed.
West Virginia – the Mountain State – is considered by MoneyTime.com to be the best place to retire. The cost of living is 17 percent below the national average.