July 7, 2016 — If you have been curious about how your plans for retirements stack up with other baby boomers, look no further. The almost 1200 community-minded members who responded to last week’s “How Much Do You Expect to Receive in Retirement” survey have answered your question. We will report on the results in 2 phases; Part 1 concentrates on the “Where You’ll Move” questions in the survey. In Part 2 we will explore the renting vs. buying, financing, and 55+ appropriate construction topics – as well as a summary of of the over 500 comments made about your plans for moving in retirement.
One thing we do know for sure, Topretirements members are far more
likely to be interested in moving out of state than the general boomer population.
Here are the major highlights from the poll.
– Retired vs. Planning to retire. Slightly more respondents are already retired or partially retired than are not retired (56% vs 44%).
– Moving plans. The vast majority of those completing the survey have already moved or are planning to so soon. Only 9% indicate they will stay where they live prior to retirement.
– Plan to move out of state. Our Members plan on moving, and it won’t be local. Over three quarters plan on moving out of state for retirement.
Popular regions to move to By far the most popular place to retire for Topretirements members is the Southeast, followed by the Southwest, and Northeast. Florida, the Carolinas, and Arizona are the most popular states – but there are many contrarian opinions.
We always ask qualifying questions 1 and 2 in our surveys to get a sense out of who we are listening to. Compared to previous surveys, a slightly higher percentage is retired at this time, and the average respondent is a couple of years older.
1. Retirement Status
About half of our members and visitors are not retired – 46% retired vs. 43% who are not. Another 10% are partially retired.
2. Retirement Age
Almost all Topretirements members are members of the baby boomer generation. More are between the ages of 60 and 69 (67%) than any other age. Those between 50 and 59% were next (21%). Just 11% are 70 and over, and very few under 50 or over 80.
3. Have you moved, if you ARE retired
The short answer is … not yet. But the overwhelming majority of retired folks at Topretirements intend to move in the next few years.
Many people are either still deciding where to move or have to wait for something (2nd spouse to retire, family situations, etc.) before they can do so. Other comments explain what people are looking for in their retirement home.
Plan on moving
Yes will move
4. Will you move, if you are NOT yet retired?
Our folks who have not yet retired are even more interested in moving once they do retire – 77% of them say they are “Extremely” or “Very likely” to do so. By contrast only 6% are Extremely or Very likely to stay where they are.
Main reason for moving. We asked people to give their “Main” reason for wanting to move in retirement. An amazing 425 comments came back with their main reason for moving (many gave more than one. Here in descending order are the main reasons:
– Weather/climate (getting out of the cold)
– Cost of living
– Type of house/downsizing
– Move to a different kind of community
– Closer to family and friends
In addition to these reasons for moving there were many others mentioned. Those include: being near ocean or mountains, health, different region or state, walkability, and divorce. What is just as interesting are the items usually associated with retirement that were not mentioned frequently: low maintenance and universal design1
5. If moving, how far?
In this question we asked people to describe their plans for moving. Their responses are somewhat peculiar to Topretirements – the overwhelming majority (76%) of our members are planning on moving out of state for their retirement. By contrast, in the general population about 15% of people say they want to move – anywhere. The percentages for the various choices we gave are shown below in rank order:
New home, different state
New home, same region/state
New home, same town
6. What region of the country will you move to
The Southeast is overwhelmingly the place where Topretirements members plan on retiring; it was chosen more than two times as much as the next highest choice, the Southwest.
From the comments made it is clear that the Southeast is the most popular region because of its generally lower cost of living and warmer winters.
We also asked in this section which state people are thinking about moving to. Almost 800 people took the time to give us their intended retirement state – thanks! There are some certain favorite states, but the choices are astonishingly diverse. Every state got mentioned at least once, along with foreign countries including Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Italy. These were the five most popular states, in rank order:
States. Most people listed a single state they intend to move to. But what was especially interesting were the clusters of states that many others reported they were considering. Some are fairly obvious, such as Tennessee, or Kentucky; Oregon, Washington and Idaho; North or South Carolina, Florida and Georgia; Delaware and Virginia; Arizona and Nevada; and Wyoming and Montana. But occasionally there were some disparate combinations of states that are not neighbors; in these cases you can see the complex family, friend, and other considerations that get plugged into a complex decision like choosing a retirement destination.
Thank you to all of the Topretirements members who took the time to share – we greatly appreciate your input! Part 2 will be published in the next few days.
Links to Previous Surveys
Good News: Topretirements Members Very Confident About Retirement
Where to Retire Preferences
Topretirements Members Report High Degrees of Spousal Compatibility- 2013
Our Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves- 2013
Retirement Living Preferences – 2013
Medicare Survey – 2012
Best and Worst Things About Your Retirement
Your Bucket Lists Are Amazing
Top Concerns about Retirement
Plans for Retirement
Comments? Please share your thoughts about these “where to retire” results in the Comments section below. Did anything surprise you or change your mind – please let us know!