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10 worst states for retirement

Retirement » 10 Worst States For Retirement

No. 1: New York
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New York © Songquan Deng/Shutterstock.com

No. 1: New York

This is probably not a surprise for anyone who lives (and pays taxes) in New York City. The Big Apple is home to nearly half of the state's residents, and the city's high taxes and cost of living has pushed the entire state into the very bottom of Bankrate's ranking of worst states for retirees.

It takes a lot of infrastructure to cram 8.4 million people into New York's five boroughs. Residents help pay for the extensive subway system, police force, parks staff and other services with a tax rate that's second to none.

"Higher spending is the biggest driver" for New York's 12.6 percent tax rate, says Elizabeth Malm, an economist at the Tax Foundation.

Besides the hefty tax bill, residents also deal with the fourth-highest cost of living in the country. The government also gives New York relatively low scores for health care quality, and New York received low scores in the Gallup-Healthways' wellness survey.

The weather also can be pretty rough, with frigid winters and the potential for hurricanes later in the year.

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Sources: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Healthways; the Council for Community and Economic Research; the FBI; the Tax Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Source methodology: Bankrate collected the latest available statistics on cost of living, violent and property crime, health care quality, state and local taxes, wellness and weather (humidity, percent available sunshine and temperature). States were then given standardized scores, with more points going to a lower cost of living, lower crime rate, lower tax burden, stronger health care, better wellness grades and better weather. The scores were combined to create a composite score.

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