NJ: Where No One Should Retire? [AUDIO]
While the report wouldn’t hand out official rankings, New Jersey was the first state mentioned.
The annual list considered a number of factors, with the most important being property taxes.
“New Jersey has the highest property tax in the nation as a percent of the value of the home,” said John Brady, president of TopRetirements.com. “It’s an onerous thing on a retiree, and it often forces them to sell their home because they can’t afford to pay the property tax.”
The median property tax in New Jersey is nearly $6,600 per year, according to Tax-Rates.org, and it represents about 1.9 percent of a property’s assessed fair market value.
The list also criticized the state’s “highest estate taxes in the nation” with an exclusion beginning at $675,000, compared to a federal rate above $5 million. New Jersey also lost points for its high cost of living, and tax rates on incomes over $500,000.
New Jersey’s poor showing came as no surprise to Maury Randall, chairman of the finance department at Rider University, who said he’s personally aware of many individuals who decided to leave New Jersey in their later years.
“Jersey is not a cheap place,” Randall said. “There are a number of taxes that make it less attractive to be here.”
The report, though, had some positive things to say about the Garden State. Looking beyond the pristine beaches and solid transportation options, the report cited the fact that social security benefits are not taxed.
“It has one of the lowest gas taxes in the country,” Brady added. “In fact, you’re not allowed to pump it yourself, so that’s a relief. Just stay in the car and let somebody else do it.”