So many of the people we know who are reaching retirement age or planning for it in the future have staked a claim in other states. They want to be able to afford living comfortably in retirement. For so many people in New Jersey, the prospect of staying here on a fixed income is daunting due mostly to property taxes. You know the stories of widows or widowers kicked out of their long-time homes because they couldn't afford to pay them.

It scares people enough to pull up stakes and leave their homes and families to head for states where the property taxes and cost of living are more reasonable. But with the right planning and looking around for some affordable alternatives it can be done.

This is a great state with so many great things, it's just a shame that our state officials can't find the courage and the will to make it affordable for seniors to stay here.

There is the senior tax program that allows for a small break for them, but not enough to make a meaningful difference in most cases. There are 55+ communities that offer slightly more affordable housing and taxes but not everyone wants to leave their home for these places.  Even in those communities you still have to pay the school taxes that are the bulk of the outrageous property tax bills.

Luckily there are two neighboring states that are listed as the best states in which to retire. Coming in at number 2 on this year's list is Delaware. For those of us in South Jersey it's just a quick ride and hop over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and close enough to family and friends. Pennsylvania is another choice that is just over the river, and they come in eighth on the list.

For those of us who are willing to wait for people to vote courageous people into the New Jersey Legislature, we'll just have to wait and see. If they can get enough citizen representatives in the Assembly and Senate who are willing to take on the NJEA and other public unions that make affording to live here a nightmare, we have a chance to stay in the state we know and love.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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