Earlier this week, I saw a piece in USA Today regarding the worst places for retirement.
The ranking listed the following states:
Alabama ranked poorly because of low life expectancy and high crime. Alabama does not have a state estate tax.
Michigan ranked poorly due to economic factors, crime, and many other reasons.
8. (tie) New York
New York ranked poorly due to high income and property taxes and a high cost of living, as well as harsh winters. The fact that New York’s separate state estate tax is phasing out may help in future rankings.
7. (tie) Maryland
Maryland, too, ranks poorly due to a high cost of living and higher than normal taxation. As with New York, the fact that Maryland’s separate state estate tax is phasing out may help in future rankings.
6. (tie) Georgia
Georgia ranks poorly in most categories besides weather. It should be noted that Georgia does not have a state estate tax.
Nevada made this list due to a high crime rate and low life expectancies. The state has neither a state income tax nor a state estate tax.
High property taxes contributed to Illinois’ appearance on this list. Illinois does have a separate state estate tax.
Tennessee ranks poorly due to high crime and low life expectancy. Tennessee has no tax on income except dividends and interest.
Louisiana ranks poorly due to high crime and low life expectancy.
Alaska is ranked as the worst state for retirement due to harsh winters and its high cost of living. Alaska has no state income tax and no separate estate tax.
This listing in USA Today, based on a survey by MoneyRates, demonstrates that taxes are only a small part of the equation. Three of the five worst states for retirement have no state income tax, Alaska, Nevada, and Tennessee (except dividend and interest income tax). Many of the 10 worst states have no state estate tax. This list demonstrates that taxation is not the primary consideration for most people.
Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M.
Associate Director of Education
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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