Is New Jersey a great place to retire? Not according to a new survey that looked at a variety of financial, healthcare and quality-of-life categories focused on senior care in all 50 states.

Tim Sullivan, vice president of, said Utah is the best place to grow old, while West Virginia is the worst. Jersey came in at 45th overall and the main driver of that poor ranking is the cost of being a senior in the state.

He said New Jersey's quality of life ranks 26th, but the care we get is quite expensive, ranking 40th for affordability. That's what drove the lower overall ranking.

But New Jersey did well in some areas of the survey. It ranks 14th in third-party objective measures of quality of life and care. Also, "there is a good amount of support for family caregivers — those caring for an aging loved one or spouse. It came in 15th for that," Sullivan said.

He added the cost for assisted living communities and nursing homes drives down the ranking. New Jersey is right in the middle, 26th and 28th for home care services and home health aide. But the communities and facility-based care are quite expensive.

Sullivan said what wanted to accomplish with the study is to get people thinking not just about the immediate year after retirement, but also the time they'll spend in their 70s and 80s. There are a lot of factors to consider — like availability of services and the cost of services, which make a significant difference in how comfortable people are in their later years.

When thinking about retirement and where you should settle down, Sullivan said, the best thing to do is to think about people you know in their 70s and 80s. Think about what their needs are and if those needs are being met. Some of the best states to retire in besides Utah, according to the survey, include Iowa, South Carolina, Washington, Nebraska, Arizona and California.

"Also, look at the services in their area or the area where they're planning to retire. Are there services for them? Are there assisted living communities? Are there in-home care services? Can they afford them? Are those services and communities any good?"  Sullivan said.

He also does not want people to be alarmed if they live in a state that's in the bottom of the rankings like West Virginia, Indiana, New York, North Dakota, Wyoming or New Jersey. There are good options for everyone. Sullivan said you just have to think about what you will need in your later years and whether or not the place you live in or plan to live in can offer what you need.

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