Why Maryland Is The Worst State For Retirement

It's not surprising whatsoever that Maryland has been ranked the worst state for retirement, according to a new Bankrate study. The state has a whole list of problems, mainly due to it's out of control taxation by local governments, the implosion of Baltimore City, unaffordable housing, and the high cost of living.

Bankrate analyst examined eleven public and private datasets related to the life of a retiree. The study concentrated on five categories (weightings in parentheses): affordability (40%), crime (5%), culture (15%), weather (15%) and wellness (25%). It determined that Maryland ranked last at no.50, it ranked no. 47 for affordability, no. 33 for crime, no. 42 for culture, no. 18 for the weather, and no. 37 for wellness.

"Where to live is probably one of the most personal decisions one can make because it's not just about preferences, it's also about the financial considerations that are associated with it," says Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows almost 600,000 adults 65 and older moved to a new state or the District of Columbia during the past year.

About 40% say they've relocated at least once since retirement, reported a 2018 survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

Baby boomers are searching for retirement areas that are close to family and friends, have an affordable cost of living, low taxes, top tier health care and hospital systems, good weather and a low crime rate. Something that Maryland misses on in several categories.

"Obviously, a primary area of concern for older Americans is health care costs," Hamrick says.

"The older we get, the more likely it is we're going to have an increasing need for health care services. In some cases, there will be illness and, in some cases, there will catastrophic illness. That can be very expensive."

Fidelity Investments recently said a baby boomer is estimated to need $285,000 in today's dollars for medical expenses in retirement.

Rising health care costs are significant hurdles for retirees as pensions have disappeared, individuals have had to take more responsibility for funding their retirements, Hamrick says.

The other worst states include New York ranks no. 49, Alaska ranks no. 48, Illinois ranks no. 47 and Washington state ranks no. 46.

On the flip side, the best states for retirement: Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and South Dakota round up the top 4. With Florida no.5, North Carolina no. 7 and Hawaii no. 10.