July 15 – Retirees are coveted by states and towns because of their economic value. They buy homes, usually don’t need jobs, and bring with them pensions, social security checks, not to mention tax dollars. A report from the N.C. Center for Creative Retirement: Institute for the Future of Retirement at UNC Asheville finds that some states are doing better at attracting retirees, and they are not all the usual suspects.
The Center relied upon 2005 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Surveys (ACS) to compile their findings. The biggest news reported is that Florida, although still receiving the biggest share of 60+ individuals, continues to lose market share to other states, particularly Texas.
In 1980 Florida received over 26% of 60+ migrants, in 2005 the number was just under 17%. The Lone Star state is experiencing the fastest growth – while it was the #4 state for retirees in the 2000 census, it jumped to #2 in 2005. Arizona also slipped, dropping from #2 to #3.
The other way to look at this data is by net-migration (new residents – those who moved out). By this measure the 2005 rankings remained unchanged for the top 2 – Florida and Arizona – but there were significant changes elsewhere in the top 10. Texas (#3), Tennessee (#4), and Georgia (#5) jumped ahead in the rankings, displacing North Carolina (now #6), Nevada (no longer in top 10), and South Carolina (#7). Arkansas, Washington, and Oregon round out the rest of the top 10 states for net immigration.
The IFR study also points out the value of the so-called “Mailbox Economy”, where new retirees bring in money from out of state in the form of pensions, social security, and investment income. While the big net immigration gaining states are the obvious winners, it is a sad picture for old northeastern states like Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, which have a net outflow of dollars – just when they could use a positive jolt to their economies.
In another piece of research we also turned up the hottest counties for active adult communities. This data from the National Association of Home Buyers is a bit older (2005), but probably still generally relevant. The hottest 5 U.S. counties for buyers of active communities were:
– Sumter County, FL
– Nye County, NV
– Archuleta County, CO
– Washington County, UT
– Collier County, FL