RI Is Losing Its Wealthiest Residents, Poor Place to Retire

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


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Wealthy residents are moving out of RI

The leading block of Rhode Island’s residents who are moving out-of-state are primarily wealthy, according to a new study.

The study shows that 44.7 percent of those moving out-of-Rhode Island earn $150,000 or more.

And it shows that the largest block of those migrating out-of-state are younger -- they are aged 18 to 34 years-of-age.  As GoLocal has previously reported, the Providence DMA (designated market area) has the second largest exodus of college grads of any metro area in the country — second only to Phoenix.

A second study which was released on Monday finds that Rhode Island is the second worst state in the country to retire.

More on Migration Study

The data from the migration research shows a slight increase in net inbound residents to Rhode Island, but the research unveils Rhode Island is losing substantial wealth in the net migration.

The National Movers Study reveals the business data of inbound and outbound moves from 2018. In addition to this study, United Van Lines also conducts a survey to find out more about the reasons behind these moves.

According to the study, “A leading motivation behind these migration patterns across all regions is a career change, as the survey showed approximately one out of every two people who moved in the past year moved for a new job or company transfer.”

“The data collected by United Van Lines aligns with longer-term migration patterns to southern and western states, trends driven by factors like job growth, lower costs of living, state budgetary challenges and more temperate climates,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Unlike a few decades ago, retirees are leaving California, instead choosing other states in the Pacific West and Mountain West. We’re also seeing young professionals migrating to vibrant, metropolitan economies, like Washington, D.C. and Seattle.”




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RI is one of the worst places to retire in the U.S.

RI Second Worst to Retire

According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, RI is the second worst state to retire in the country -- only behind Kentucky.

“Finding the best states to retire can be difficult without doing lots of research. Even in the most affordable areas of the U.S., most retirees cannot rely on Social Security or pension checks alone to cover all of their living expenses. Social Security benefits increase with local inflation, but they replace only about 39 percent of the average worker’s earnings,” said WalletHub.

Retiring in Rhode Island Numbers

  • 41st Best– Adjusted Cost of Living
  • 42nd Best– Annual Cost of In-Home Services
  • 46th Best – WalletHub ‘Taxpayer’ Ranking
  • 25th Best – Elderly-Friendly Labor Market
  • 25th Best – Health-Care Facilities per Capita



The Rankings

Florida is ranked as the best place to retire.

See the rankings in the map below

Source: WalletHub


The Method

In order to identify the most retirement-friendly states, WalletHub compared the 50 states across three key dimensions: 1) Affordability, 2) Quality of Life and 3) Health Care.

They evaluated those dimensions using 46 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for retirement.

WalletHub then calculated each state’s weighted average across all metrics to determine its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

Affordability – Total Points: 40

  • Adjusted Cost of Living: Double Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • General Tax-Friendliness: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Tax-Friendliness on Pensions & Social Security Income: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Tax-Friendliness on Estate or Inheritance Tax: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Annual Cost of In-Home Services: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Annual Cost of Adult Day Health Care: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older Who Could Not Afford a Doctor Visit: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)


Quality of Life – Total Points: 30

  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older: Double Weight (~2.61 Points)
  • Risk of Social Isolation: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Elderly-Friendly Labor Market: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older in Poverty: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Elderly Food Insecurity Rate: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Expenditures Captured by the Administration on Aging per Population Aged 60 Years and Older: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Access to Public Transportation: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Mildness of Weather: Double Weight (~2.61 Points)
  • Access to Scenic Byways: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Shoreline Mileage: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Museums per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Theaters per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Golf Courses per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Access to Adult Volunteer Activities: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Elderly Volunteer Rate: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Share of Residents Who Do Favors to Their Neighbors (proxy for Neighborhood Friendliness): Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Violent-Crime Rate: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Property-Crime Rate: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Quality of Elder-Abuse Protections: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Air Quality: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)
  • Drinking-Water Quality: Full Weight (~1.30 Points)


Health Care – Total Points: 30

  • Family & General Physicians per Capita: Double Weight (~3.00 Points)
  • Dentists per Capita: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Nurses per Capita: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Home Health Aides per Capita: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Share of Geriatricians Required to Meet Estimated Need (Geriatrician Shortfall): Double Weight (~3.00 Points)
  • Top-Rated Geriatrics Hospitals: Double Weight (~3.00 Points)
  • Health-Care Facilities per Capita: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Quality of Public Hospitals: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Well-Being Index for Population Aged 55 Years and Older: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older with Good or Better Health: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older with Poor Mental Health: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older with a Disability: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older Who Are Physically Active: Half Weight (~0.75 Points)
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older Who Are Obese: Half Weight (~0.75 Points)
  • Share of Population Aged 65 Years and Older with Inadequate Sleep: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Share of Medicare Enrollees Aged 65 Years and Older Who Have a Creditable Prescription Drug Plan: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Life Expectancy: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)
  • Death Rate for Population Aged 65 & Older: Full Weight (~1.50 Points)

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