Regrets? These NJ Retirees Have a Few About Staying in NJ
New Jersey retirees have had decades of adulthood to prepare financially for their golden years.
But according to a new survey from Global Atlantic Financial Group, the state's high cost of living may be a little more than they bargained for.
The study surveyed thousands of Americans and oversampled the 10 most populous states, including New Jersey. At $2,540, retirees in the Garden State are spending significantly more each month, on average, than the average retiree in eight of the 10 oversampled states.
Retirees in New Jersey with a mortgage are spending an average of 39 percent more than the typical American retiree with a mortgage, the report finds. Those who rent are spending 35 percent more in New Jersey than the national average.
Retirees in the Garden State are also spending more than their national peers on leisure activities such as vacation, even though many cut back on these expenses since retiring.
Forty-eight percent of retirees in New Jersey have retirement planning regrets, the survey finds. About a third say their biggest disappointment is not saving enough. Compared to 15 percent nationwide, 24 percent of New Jersey retirees said the biggest unexpected cost was high tax bills.
"In most people's planning, they're never really thinking about things like taxes," said Ken Kamen, president of Mercadien Asset Management in Hamilton. "A lot of people think about moving out of high-tax states like New Jersey, New York, California."
California, according to the report, is the only state where retirees are spending more per month than New Jersey retirees.
"Many times you can move to a lower-tax state and even improve your quality of life going forward, on less cash flow," Kamen said.
The leading income stream for 86 percent of New Jersey retirees, compared to 83 percent of those retired nationally, is Social Security.
Still, most retirees in New Jersey feel they retired "at the right time," according to the survey. Twenty-five percent say they retired too soon.