Best Places to Save for Retirement 2019 New Jersey

To find the places where people can best prepare to retire we considered four factors: paycheck friendliness, 401(k) plan performance, public pension plan performance and the number of financial advisors per capita. We reviewed this data for every county in the country.

Methodology

To find the places where people can best prepare to retire we considered four factors: paycheck friendliness, 401(k) plan performance, public pension plan performance and the number of financial advisors per capita. We reviewed this data for every county in the country.

To determine which counties allow you to keep the most of your paycheck (paycheck friendliness), we measured paycheck size, purchasing power, unemployment and income growth. We first calculated the net semi-monthly paycheck for a single individual with two personal allowances making $50,000 per year. We then indexed the paycheck amount for each county to reflect the counties with the lowest withholding burden. Next, we created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the ratio of household income to cost of living. We then created an unemployment rate index that shows the counties with the lowest unemployment. To determine income growth, we calculated the annual growth in median income over five years for each county and indexed the results. Finally, we calculated a weighted average of these metrics to yield an overall paycheck friendliness index.

To determine which counties have the best 401(k) plans, we first calculated and indexed the ratio of employer contributions to total plan contributions. We then examined and indexed returns on total plan assets for each county as a measure of plan performance. Finally we indexed administrative fees as a percentage of total plan assets to determine county-level plan costs. Each factor was then used in equal weighting to determine an overall 401(k) index.

To create the pension plan performance score, we used Census data on state and local public pensions for each state. We first calculated and indexed the ratio of government contributions to total plan contributions to determine the rate of government matching. Next we indexed each state's return score, measured as investment return over total plan assets. Finally, we determined and indexed each state's pension health index as the ratio of plan obligations to total plan assets. Each factor was then equally-weighted to determine the state's public pension performance score.

As the final factor, we looked at the number of financial advisors per capita for each county. We then indexed those scores. In addition to savings plans such as 401(k)s and public pensions, financial advisors can be a valuable resource to help people plan for retirement. (You can find a financial advisor using SmartAsset's matching tool.)

Each of the four factors described above were indexed to create one overall score. The places with the highest score are the best places to prepare for retirement.

Source: Sources: SmartAsset, government websites, US Census Bureau 2017 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016 United States Department of Labor Form 5500 Database, SEC Investment Adviser Public Disclosure Database

Find Top Financial Advisors in New Jersey

Learn more about financial advisors in your area below through our detailed advisor profiles organized by location. That's just one of the ways that we make it easier to find and research financial advisors. You can also find nearby financial advisors through our matching tool, which does the work for you by pairing you with advisors based on your situation and preferences.

Find Top Financial Advisor Firms in New Jersey

Learn more about financial advisor firms in your area below through our detailed advisor profiles organized by location. That's just one of the ways that we make it easier to find and research financial advisor firms. You can also find nearby financial advisors through our matching tool, which does the work for you by pairing you with advisors based on your situation and preferences.