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The 4 Worst Cities to Retire


There may be something of a retirement crisis in America. Due to a strained economy, high education costs, and fewer companies offering retirement accounts to employees, workers are expecting to retire later than they used to. But, for at least a decade, folks have tended to leave their working lives behind sooner than they expected – often due to health problems or some other factor. Now, although the expected retirement age is 66, the average age for making the move is actually 62. The crisis then is pretty clear – a lot of folks are retiring without quite being able to afford to do so.


(Photo Credit: Ken Lund/Flickr)

Therefore, it’s become very important to make wise decisions about where to retire. Cost of living is a huge factor to consider. One proactive step to take is to try out Payscale’s Cost of Living Calculator to help you determine how changing cities will impact your finances.

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Beyond finances, folks want to retire somewhere safe, lovely, and where there are interesting places to go and things to do. WalletHub took all of these factors, and many more, into consideration when they recently came up with their list of the best and worst cities to retire. Let’s take a closer look at the four worst cities to live post-retirement and try to understand why they’re such a challenging fit.

1. Newark, New Jersey.

Ranked 150th out of the 150 cities profiled, Newark, New Jersey is the single worst city for retirees according to this ranking. The city came in dead last in healthcare rank (based on factors such as number of care facilities and public hospitals, number of doctors and nurses, and other things like “emotional health” and “death rate for people over 65”). One thing is clear, the lack of adequate healthcare in Newark makes it a less than ideal place to retire.

2. Jersey City, New Jersey.

Another city in New Jersey holds down the second to last spot on the list. Jersey City’s healthcare rank was 149 of 150, just behind Newark. Also, this city scored low (140th out of 150) in activities rank (hiking, golf courses, fishing, etc.) and in affordability (141st out of 150).

3. Providence, Rhode Island.

Providence came in as the third worst city to retire for one big reason – affordability or rather, lack thereof. This city came in last (150th out of 150) according to this ranking, which assesses things like adjusted cost of living, taxpayer ranking, and annual cost of in-home services. A decent activities score (85th out of 150) wasn’t enough to counter balance such a low affordability ranking.

4. Aurora, Illinois.

Aurora was dragged down into position No. 4 based on both a low healthcare ranking (145th out of 150) and a low affordability score (143rd out of 150). The quality of life score for Aurora (87th out of 150) speaks to the decent air and water quality, crime rate, and the relatively high percentage of the population that’s over 65. However, those benefits weren’t enough to make up for Aurora’s drawbacks.

For more information, be sure to check out the complete list of best and worst cities to retire from WalletHub.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you retired to one of the cities on this list? Do you agree with the rankings? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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RicardoKaren MerrillRecce1 Recent comment authors
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Never move to Las Vegas unless you want to live with a lot of superannuated East Coast ex-Hippies who moved here for the tax breaks after retirement in the East. Most have no clue at all what the American West is all about and still act like they were in New York, Boston or Baltimore. As a lifelong Westerner, having these folks come over here ruins it for me and my family.

Karen Merrill
Karen Merrill

Greensboro,Alabama has turned out to be an exceptional retirement community. There are increasingly more retirement age couples finding the huge historical homes for sale around $100,000. We bought ours for $30,000, 12 room antebellum. There are large cities less than 1 hour away with every amenity. There is a golf course and country club with low fees. Food is cheaper than in the big cities and utilities are reasonable. Also there is no state tax on some retirement systems (I.e… Read more »


I’m almost of the opinion that the whole USA ranks low on the factor of affordability for all but wealthy seniors.

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