We did it again, folks.

The uplifting news that North Carolina is the worst state for workers that came last month preceded another death blow—the Tar Heel State was recently deemed the No. 6 worst state for older workers when factoring in income, taxes, and healthcare.

To make matters worse, Americans are delaying retirement at an unprecedented rate.

The state income tax of 5.3 percent, the average life expectancy of 77.6 years, the fact that 97 percent of seniors are on Medicare, and 55.4 percent of seniors have an annual income of less than $50,000 sealed our fate in a new study from Seniorly, an organization that aims to inform seniors on quality of life issues.

This time, at least we can say we’re ahead of Kentucky and Alabama—or, if you’re an optimist, 44th best!

If you recall from last month, North Carolina’s $7.25 minimum wage, poor unemployment benefits, and lack of worker protections landed it dead-last on a recent ranking of the best and worst places to work in the United States conducted by Oxfam, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty

There are a record 10.6 million Americans aged 65 and older in the workforce, a number that is expected to rise to 16 million by 2030. Workers 75 and older are projected to increase by 96.5 percent  and workers 65 and older by 41.9 percent, according to the study.

Many older Americans are working longer than they have in the past. The majority of them don’t have a choice. According to the study, 70 percent work, because they must in order to pay for basic necessities (strange, huh?) but almost 60 percent say they continue to work because they enjoy it. 

The study also suggested that the pandemic has contributed to both people needing to work longer than expected, and being able to work longer than expected, due to remote work options.

According to the study, the five best states for older workers are Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Washington, and Vermont. The five worst are Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama, New Mexico, and Arkansas. Generally speaking, the study seems to show better senior worker conditions in the West and Northeast, with worse conditions in the Midwest and Southeast.

The study evaluated states based on five factors: Labor force participation of people 65 and older, median household income with householders 65 and older, median state income tax rate average life expectancy from birth, and percentage of people 65 and older covered by Medicare.

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