Survey Results Show Our Members Will Retire Out of State, Weather is a Main Reason

Category: Retirement Planning

July 13, 2016 — If you have been curious about how your plans for retirement stack up with other baby boomers, look no further. This article will let you compare your plans and dreams with the 1200+ community-minded members who responded to our recent “How Much Do You Expect to Receive in Retirement” survey.

The 11 questions in that survey asked how far you might move, where you intend to retire, whether you would prefer to rent or buy, financing plans, as well as your interest in a home designed for 55+ living. We also provided a space for you to tell us in your own words about your plans for moving in retirement. More than 500 people did, and there is a link to every one of those interesting comments at the end of this article. Note that last week we published these results in 2 separate articles, this article basically combines those into 1, although today’s includes 3 separate groups of comments not included before.

Highlights
One thing we do know for sure, Topretirements members are way 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 plan 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.
Renting is not on the table. As a group you seem to have very little interest in renting a home in retirement – owning is much more popular.
Financing – half will pay cash. About half of you plan on paying cash for your next home, while the remainder will mostly be taking out a conventional mortgage.
55+ appropriate design. About half of you say your current home is not very or only slightly appropriate for 55+ living (universal design and 1 floor living). When asked if you would be interested in purchasing a home with 55+ type design, a higher proportion said yes.



Detailed Findings
We always ask qualifying questions 1 and 2 in our surveys to get a sense of who is responding. Compared to previous surveys, a slightly higher percentage is retired at this time, and the average respondent is a couple of years older (looks like us baby boomers are aging after all!)
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 are 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 we moved
Not sure
Won’t move
51%
28%
15%
6%

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.

Extremely likely
Very likely
Likely
Very unlikely
Extremely unlikely
55%
23%
17%
5%
1%

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
– Taxes
– 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 a home designed for 55+ living. (use this link to read all 425 comments)

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
Unsure
New home, same region/state
New home, same town
Won’t move
76%
10%
9%
3%
2%

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.

Southeast
Southwest
Northeast
Northwest
Midwest
Not moving
Outside U.S.
54%
19%
10%
8%
7%
2%
1%

States. 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:
Florida
North Carolina
South Carolina
Arizona
Tennessee

What was especially interesting were the clusters of states that many others reported they were considering. Some are fairly obvious, such as Tennessee and 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.

Question 7. Renting vs. Owning
There is little doubt about how our members feel about renting a home in retirement – you don’t want to! Some 74% said you would be Extremely or Very Unlikely to rent, vs. 12% who indicate they would be Extremely or Very Likely to rent.

Q 8. How will you finance your retirement home?
Survey takers were evenly split between those who will pay cash (presumably from the equity in their pre-retirement home) and those who will take out some kind of mortgage, mostly conventional ones. The choice of a conventional mortgage indicates, in our opinion, that retirees haven’t given enough attention to the usefulness of reverse mortgages like the HECM product (only 1% said they would use this tool). We say that because some of our Topretirements homebuilder advertisers say that significant numbers of the buyers in their developments choose HECM mortgages, once they are acquainted with the product. Obviously, such products are not for everyone, however, and customary caution is advised as in any financial transaction

Cash
Conventional Mort.
Other
HELOC (relocation)
HECM or Reverse
51%
37%
8%
3%
1%

Q 9. Is your current home age appropriate?.
We were curious to see how people rate their current home for being 55+ appropriate – by which we mean single floor living, downstairs MBR, no steps, universal design (ability for anyone to live there regardless of physical condition). We included low maintenance as part of these characteristics, which we believe are important considerations for retirees to consider. The results were split – about half thought their current home is age appropriate, and half did not. Here is the breakdown:

Not at all appropriate
Slightly not approp.
Very appropriate
Appropriate
Unsure
24%
26%
23%
26%
1%

There were 252 additional comments made on this question. Many people commented that they were looking for a ranch style home, that their current home had too many steps and levels, and that they want to downsize from what they have now. We are happy that folks are thinking about these considerations, and here is where you can read all 252 comments.

Q 10. How likely are you to buy a home that is 55+ appropriate (with all of the factors discussed in previous question?
It appears that there is fairly strong interest in buying a home with 55+ friendly features. About 3/4 of respondents were at least interested in the concept, while the remaining quarter said not so much. Given this interest we are, frankly, surprised that there are any active adult community builders left who don’t make all of their homes 55+ friendly.

Extremely interested
Very interested
Interested
Slightly not interested
Not at all interested
19%
27%
27%
17%
11%

Q 11. Is there anything else you would like to share about your thought process concerning your move to a new home in retirement?

We were pleased to see over 500 comments made in this optional section. All of them are interesting, and they cover a broad range of issues. If you have the time you might want to skim through them as they provide considerable insight, food for thought, and just plain assurance that you are not alone in this challenge. This is where you can read all of the comments

We don’t have the space to include them all here, but here is a random sampling that will give you a flavor for what was contributed (our apologies for not including yours)
———-
It is frightening to me…I have been looking at real estate websites as well as reading a lot about living in various places…..I am having a very tough time figuring out where I will live. Right now, I am alone……so even more scary as I eave my few remaining friends, it will be like completely starting life over again.

Struggling with choice of a 55+ community or not. There are strong pluses (facilities, peers, opportunities for activities) but also strong negatives (living only with old people, HOA controls over maintenance and personalizaion; more restricted resale market if choose to move).

I presently live on a lake in New Jersey where the taxes ($13,000 a year) are horrible. I can find the same size home?(even though I don’t need the size)in the southeast (SC or TN) with taxes of approximately $1000-$1500 a year. What I pay now in a month I can pay in a year and not change my lifestyle. It’s amazing. I have my home up for sale now can’t wait to sell.

We set clear criteria:?Near major urban area with art, culture, hospitals Near the beach? Age diverse living area? Lock and leave potential After several visits, We selected Daniel Island, SC.

Hate to leave current home but unable to afford to stay here. Forced out.

Having close access to towns to socialize, near hospital if ever needing medical attention.

Right now, our move is 6-8 weeks away, and i’m scared to death. I’ve lived in this area of the country for 38 years and it’s home. Is this the right thing for me to do???

I am bored here. I miss clean streets, and quiet nights. The weather is perfect here, but I’m willing to give it up in exchange for more opportunities to be active, e.g. hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, and volunteering. And to make more friends who are intellectually stimulating.

Have to be in a 55+ community and have to have numerous activities.

We are moving to be more physically comfortable. The southern heat and humidity is killing us! Since most of our family?is on the east coast, we started our discussion in Florida. It gradually moved up the coast until we found a place that had the most of what we were looking for – small city with things to do, not overly taxed and cooler weather. A spreadsheet to compare places was also helpful.

The South holds no interest for either of us. It is getting more crowded here and we need some room. The West is beautiful and our savings will also go further there. Yes we will miss our family; we’ll visit. We are looking at this as a new adventure.


We wanted to be in a warmer climate during winter. Also wanted to have organized activities, walkability and trails to explore. Having all these things with the added bonus of being a part of an community.

We’ve RVed for vacations for awhile. We’ve decided there’s so much to see and do, so we are moving to our RV full-time, giving up our “sticks-and-bricks” home until we’ve either found the next place we want to call home or we can’t wander any long
__
Want to move to area of lower cost of living, lower property taxes & near adult children

Good airport? Good arts Wednesday, Good healthcare, Good sports

We are looking forward to the next adventure and are excited about the chance for a new beginning at that stage in our lives.

I really need to get out of Illinois.

Do it before your too old and trapped. I think a comfortable home in a stimulating area adds to longevity and quality of life!

We need to move to a smaller home that one of us could manage if the other person becomes ill or dies. We live in the NH. The winters are long and the shoveling is very difficult for us at this stage in our lives. The property taxes, vehicle registration costs, etc. are expensive in NH.

Bottom Line
Thank you to all of the Topretirements members who took the time to share – we greatly appreciate your input! If you have an idea for a future survey, please leave your suggestion as a Comment at the end.

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 any of the results surprise you or change your mind – please let us know!




Posted by Admin on July 12th, 2016

83 Comments »

  1. As I read the comments by people worried about an upcoming or contemplated move, I was reminded of something that has really stuck with me from the Creative Retirement Workshop hosted by the Osher LLI at UNC Asheville that I attended a number of years ago: many (perhaps most) of us will move more than once after retirement. There are different stages of retirement, and one setting make be best initially and then we might decide we’d prefer something different after a period of time. And we can always change our minds if we decide we don’t t like the place we first chose. It may be a hassle, but another move is generally possible and maybe likely. So we make the best decisions we can and see how it goes. It doesn’t have to be permanent.

    by Nancy Fasano — July 13, 2016

  2. Why are you pushing reverse mortgages??? The fees are astronomical and, frankly, I can’t see any upside unless a person is absolutely destitute.

    by Linda — July 13, 2016

  3. Wondering what the total amount of people that participated in the survey? How many members are in Topretirement?

    Comment from Admin: Good question Tom. We don’t have a precise answer but since we only solicited input from our Blog and eNewsletter it is a pretty good bet that at least 90% of the respondents were Topretirements Members or subscribers to one of our newsletters. We think that it is why the results show such a high percentage of out of state moving intentions.

    by Tom Egly — July 13, 2016

  4. That slightly over half of the respondents plan to buy a home and pay cash kind of confirms what I have noticed on this site, that many here must be above average financially. So many of the communities listed are quite expensive, advertising luxury living. Living like you are on vacation at some fancy resort. I’ve traveled the world and have never stayed at such resorts. Those places are populated only by tourist looking to feel like the rich and famous. I like to see how normal local people live, even if they are poor. Since I have always been middle class that is all I need in retirement.
    The comment about possible (probably?) moving again also rings true to me. That is why I disagree with the buy instead of rent. How do you really know you are going to want to live wherever you move? Rent and it is easy to leave. Especially if you rent a size appropriate to be an old retired person. All I need is a small one bedroom apartment, so also won’t need a ton of furniture to buy, and then get rid of if I move. I don’t feel it is my responsibility to have quest rooms so others won’t have to take a motel if they want to visit. In fact, depending on where you move, your place could end up being a motel for people you know who want to take advantage of not having to pay for a motel on vacation:) Renting gives you the opportunity to REALLY evaluate the location you thought was great. So many northerners want Florida or other deep south states. I really laughed at the one who lived down there and said he was in retirement moving further north because he had had enough of the heat and humidity LOL! Florida in the winter months is great. Summer is heat, humidity, bugs, hurricanes, T storms and tornadoes. Did you know Florida has more tornadoes than any other state? They do, they are just smaller ones, instead of the monsters in tornado alley. So instead of flattening a whole town they only flatten a few house to a block or two. Not much comfort if it is your block. Then the other thing I discovered, even as a traveler, is the SE states religious thing. Man oh man, if you don’t believe you are not going to be welcomed in the actual community, the town. Your fake community of a gated 55+ of no locals may be OK, but again if you isolate yourself from the actual community when you make your forays outside those gates you we be less welcome. I found I could never live in the Bible Belt. For those who are deeply religious, fine. Just saying there are so many considerations to buying a home in a place you do not really know that well. RENT. If you still love it and get along with everyone in the community after a couple of years, then buy if you really want, as an old person, a home to have to maintain.
    One more thing on 55+. I have a friend who bought a place in one of those. When you daughter ended up needing help and support losing a job (not uncommon in these economic times) she could not come and live with her until back on her feet. She found out 55+ means just that. All people living there must be over 55.
    The ones who said they are going to try the RV life has me thinking they may have the best solution. Portable living. Tired of one spot? Or it was not as good as you thought it would be? Nice in winter, but too hot in summer? Nice in summer but too cold in winter? Turn the key and hit the road. Your house is always right there. Maybe I will try that too.

    by Bob — July 14, 2016

  5. Bob,
    I agree with you. I am a divorced, 64 year old woman. I liked the site in the beginning but it is mainly for people in the upper middle class to wealthy range.
    I would like to find something for people who still have to work and are on a very limited income.
    I search for affordable, safe places to live all the time.
    I took my ssi early, so with that I can only make 14,000 a year plus the 764 from ssi.
    All this has been a huge adjustment from being married with a 4000 Sq ft house and upper middle class income.
    It has made me appreciate what is important in life. I would be happy in a one bedroom rental in a safe area. I would just like some extra cash to visit my children and grandchildren.
    Right now, I’m in an extended stay in Georgia (moved from PA for work) living paycheck to paycheck. I would like to move back to PA to be near my grandchildren but can’t even afford the move back. Cold weather used to bother me but now it is not the weather that matters to me; it is the people in my life.
    Any suggestions on a site for low income people would be wonderful.
    By Kathy

    by Kathy — July 14, 2016

  6. Kathy – I suggest you check out the “City Data Retirement Forum.” You will discover all sorts of topics regarding retirement, including low income and renting.

    by Bubbajog — July 14, 2016

  7. Bubbajog,
    Thank you for that information. I will definitely check it out.
    Kathy

    by Kathy — July 15, 2016

  8. I agree with Bob and Kathy. Since reading these blogs, and now the survey results, I too get a sense that a majority of responders are upper middle class or wealthier. It may just be that I am not financially prepared for retirement in a year, but I have been busy dealing with the little set backs that come along. Yes, it ‘s scary and I have a husband that is younger and will still be working. Although I would love to stop working, I’m afraid I will need to still find part-time work. We need to get out of Connecticut, lovely state but just too expensive for us. We need to find a location that will let our income go farther. I think we will end up making a few moves because my husband still has not faced the reality of what we will be able to afford once he retires 7 years from now.

    We can only afford to buy a condo or home around $200K and that will be with a mortgage, A mortgage at 66 is scary to me, but we bought high and sold our home at a loss to get out of the constant upkeep that was draining our resources. Personally, I’m for renting forever because I don’t want to deal with large upkeep costs when I am in my 80’s or 90’s.

    During my husband’s 20 yrs in the military, we moved many times. I found that my impression of where I would live in a location changed greatly from when we arrived in a location to when we left. This retirement move will be a big one and can’t imagine choosing a supposedly “forever” location without renting and living in a location for at least a year first. It seems it would be more stressful buying right off the bat. I’m guessing that they have enough resources to just make another if it does not work out.

    by BeckyN — July 15, 2016

  9. In response to the readers of this blogs income level, i would like to dispute the concept that this blog is for the wealthy. During our work-years, my husband and i never made it out of the middle/middle class; and at many times in our lives we didn’t even make it that far! We did save, however. Now our income in about what my husband made before soc. sec. and before i worked full-time. Nothing to shout about, but adequate. I do relate to most of what’s written on this blog. A good time to say, thanks John Brady!

    by ella — July 15, 2016

  10. I would like to respond to several of the comments made. I would like to buy our retirement home with cash, there will be a potential mortgage if retirement home closes first, but it would come from the sale of our home. There will not be a large splurge on the new one. We will live in a community that we can afford but not have all the bells and whistles.
    There are many 55+ communities that allow someone under 55 to live in the home. Some of the communities are also set up where a percentage of residents can be in the 45-55 range also for the older person.

    by Vicki — July 15, 2016

  11. Responding to the idea of being wealthy in order to buy our new home. We never made it to the upper class in any catagory. My wife and I worked at typical blue color jobs. Neither of us will receive a pension. Our savings, investments and social security will allow us to live a better life once we leave the New York metropolitan area. Our life style has always been to live well within our means while still allowing us to enjoy life as we go along. We do not have to have the latest greatest of anything. We want for nothing except to continue in good health in order to enjoy our retirement. God willing.

    by Basil — July 15, 2016

  12. A lot of insightful comments here. Living in Maine and turning 59 recently, we have done and are doing considerable research on retirement locations. Ultimately my plan would be to pay cash with the proceeds from our current house; definitely middle-class in the under 200k range. We travel a lot and have looked at both Ecuador and Costa Rica; both beautiful countries with many positives and of course the not so positives. We are heavily considering the Tallahassee FL region, but ultimately would love to end up on the Big Island of Hawaii. But, in all the research and travel we still love our house in Maine, particularly during the May-October period. Being a safe state not prone to natural disasters my thought at the moment that bears additional research is the possibility of keeping the Maine residence and renting in a different winter location for at least the first years of retirement. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

    by Merrill — July 16, 2016

  13. I am single, 66, and have lived on less than $1000/month for the past 10 years. I have done this by paying cash for my home, then that $1000. goes far. Currently I have purchased a mobile home in NC and my HOA payment is $135/month that will cover everything but my electricity. The park even has a nice swimming pool. My worldly possessions fit in my car, and if they don’t, I give them away. I love to travel, and very much enjoy my freedom to come and go as I please. I also do house-sitting and have traveled all over the US and Mexico, Bolivia, Panama and Guatemala. Having spent the past 6 years living at Lake Chapala, Mexico, I’m looking forward to a new adventure living in the mountains of NC. I like to hike, kayak, and ride my bicycle. I’m also hoping to volunteer at the Senior Center. It doesn’t take much to live a rich life.

    by Betsy — July 16, 2016

  14. To Betsy, you go girl! You have a great life. Blessings

    by June — July 17, 2016

  15. BETSY, I Def agree with you. I plan on selling my condo in san diego and probably making a profit of $140,000. Then relocating to the Oregon coast and probably buying a home for cash and investing the rest to add to my monthly social security. You can buy a condo on the beach for $100,000, or a Mfg home starting at $25,000. If you want to rent a 1 bedroom apt they start at $500,so you can live on less it all depends on your wants and needs…….

    by Mary Jane — July 17, 2016

  16. Nancy, that’s very true. My parents first retired from NY to Fla, and after 10 yrs moved to SanDiego. The humidity and the bugs chased us away…I don’t think I will need to make such long distance moves but one never knows…..

    by Mary Jane — July 17, 2016

  17. I am a firm believer, and have tried to live my adult life by the acronym that all time great NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw uses often: KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!!!

    by Bubbajog — July 17, 2016

  18. Betsy–We sound like kindred spirits. I plan on making it on about $1900 a month, with a modest paid for home in the desert southwest. I have spent my money over the years traveling while I was young and healthy, so purposely did not really save much, enjoying the money as I earned it. I am amazed at those who think they need $4000 or more to live on once they retire. Maybe I will be surprised and have to work part-time, but hope not. Or I can always just move to Latin America, where I know my funds will be sufficient and where I can brush up on my mediocre street Spanish. I noticed your comment about house-sitting, and wondered if you could share which site you have found best to find them. I think that would be great fun and a good way to experience extended visits to various areas at a very reasonable cost. I have followed some bloggers for a couple of years who actually do it almost full-time.

    by Pat — July 18, 2016

  19. Betsy whereabouts are you settling in NC?

    by Pam — July 18, 2016

  20. Mary Jane,
    Where on the Oregon Coast can you find properties at that price level?

    by Jim C — July 19, 2016

  21. JIM, I have seen listings on Craigslist for studio up to 1 BR condo’s on the beach for about $110000 in the Lincoln City area. Florence, near old town have 1 BR apts for $700. If you go inland you can rent a house in Roseburg area for $800. I am interested in the Greentrees 55+Mfg home park. You can buy an older home starting at $60000 and you own the land. HOA fees are only $215 which includes cable.

    by Mary Jane — July 20, 2016

  22. Mary Jane,
    I appreciate the information and will check it out.

    by Jim C — July 20, 2016

  23. Mary Jane

    HOA fees of any kind are a ripoff. $215 a month for nothing more than the to live somewhere is crazy. Basic cable usually costs around $50 month… What do I get for the other 175 dollars.

    by Ron — July 20, 2016

  24. MaryJane thanks for reminding me about Oregon. Haven’t been there in years. Sounds like a good vacation. Will check out Florence, Roseburg, and Lincoln City. Also love Grants Pass, Seaside, and Corvalis. It’s fun to visit the Pendleton Factory and outlet. The green trees, rivers, lakes, streams, and ocean are so refreshing. Not that NC/SC vibe, but a real Western feel.

    by SandySW — July 20, 2016

  25. Ron….That “other” $175 will pay for mowing, snow removal, common grounds maintenence, exterior building maintenence, community center and probably a pool and exercise room. Just mowing cost $20-$25 per week where we live, 6,000 sq ft lot. Being a homeowner, I can assure you normal maintenence can run into $100’s of dollars per year, add in air coditioner, roof damage, siding damage,not covered under your insurance, and yes your insurance premiums. Replacement of a roff can run into thousands. For us however, it’s the community center. My wifes family lives into their 90 s, no male in my family has lived past 74 in the last 3 generations. We have set up a trust to maintain her lifestyle after i’m gone. The point is she will have the community to rely on, we do not have a family that we can depend on for regular visits or help. Most condo communities are fairly close, sharing the same lifestyle and interests.

    by Jeff — July 20, 2016

  26. I live in somewhat rual Southern New Jersey. It is really a great place to live despite stereo types. It is close to great beaches and cities( Ocean City, Cape May our favorites), 1 hr. from Philadelphia , 2hrs. Baltimore, 3hrs. Wash. D.C.. Due to a spinal cord injury /heath issues we are next to great hospitals and doctors. An added bonus , it is the Garden State. Fresh produce is in abundance. But ! Like most I hate the very high property taxes, car insurance and soon (when Gov. Christie gets his way ) the 2nd highest gasoline tax in the nation. So, I want to retire somewhere in the South. But Where?

    Costal North and South Carolina, and Georgia are always being considered. But with the factors mentioned above I never hear enough about retiring to the Panhandle of Florida ( Mexico Beach , Bay Co. and Port St. Joe,
    Gulf Co. in particular) and the Eastern Shore of Va.

    What do you think? Any information? Thanks!

    by Sam Pace — July 20, 2016

  27. Jeff,
    Your absolutely right. HOA fees are not always a ripoff. The term has been demonized over the years. $225.00 does seem too bad considering the fact that we are paying Comcast over $100.00 a month!!!

    by Jim C — July 20, 2016

  28. Well guys I’m currently in oceanside ca living in a 55+ condo community and HOA is $425. Cable used to be included and they took it away…?so why do you think I’m moving out of Cali…lol

    by Mary Jane — July 21, 2016

  29. Ron, Jim, and Jeff – We pay a modest HOA, around $187.00 a month, and are happy to do it. The high maintenance of roads and green space in our community, the highly qualified security staff, or the expenses of trimming the thousands of palm trees and live oaks here in the Lowcountry- we certainly get our $$$ worth!

    by SandyZ — July 21, 2016

  30. Loved the comments, I’m looking to move to 55+ community, but want one. I would like more comments from people about there knowledge dealing with them. looking for southeast coastal area.

    by Deb — July 21, 2016

  31. Sam Pace,
    I live in the Atlanta suburbs but am originally from the Chicago area. My son lives in Panama City, FL which is about 50 miles west of the area you reference. I love that area of Florida but it’s not for everyone. It is somewhat isolated and has more in common with southern Alabama than the rest of Florida. I have rented beach houses on St George Island and Cape San Blas. Beautiful white sand beaches with very few people on them. The area also offers great saltwater fishing as well.

    I have heard that the panhandle is the hottest place in all of FL in the summer. And the other extreme have seen snow flurries on the beach in Panama City.

    by Jim C — July 21, 2016

  32. Ron, HOA fees are not a ripoff. Mine cover insurance on the building, lawn service, tree service, pool maintenance, pest control, parking lot maintenance, water, irrigation system and its water, reserve for future things like roof replacement, etc. Trust me, it’s not fun trying to hire all this on your own.

    by Linda — July 21, 2016

  33. Jim C, I see that you live in a suburb of Atlanta & was originally from Chicagoland. My wife and I currently live in the Chicago area and have been looking at suburbs of Atlanta as well. If you don’t mind my asking, what suburbs of Atlanta do you find most appealing? We’ve visited the area a few times and appreciated the forests to the North/Northwest, as well as lake areas of the Northeast suburbs. Any drawbacks to any of the suburbs in the areas I mentioned? Should we consider any suburbs to the south of Atlanta?

    by Tim H — July 21, 2016

  34. Jim C, Thanks from the comments! Most of what you said I am kind of familiar with . Because , 34 yrs ago in my middle 20’s I did live in the very remote area of Indian Pass Beach. I was a teacher in Apalachicola. So I do love the area. But! Retirement was the furthest thing from my mine. I thought people retired to Florida to get away from the snow, that was it. I didn’t think about things like cost of living, housing costs, property taxes, insurances , winter or summer living, doctors and medical issues/illnesses. I was getting paid very low wages so I did manage to pay my rent , electric , gas, phone bills and car insurance . Saved very little and I do mean very little. Never spent a whole summer there because I came home to see my family and work my summer job was a mover.

    I have never met or know of anyone from Southern NJ or the surrounding area (South Eastern Pa. or Delaware who retired there. Neither do any of the retirement publications I get, ever mention that area as a great places to retire too. I did hear of and met many people from Atlanta who were buying beach houses not retirement homes there. It is my understanding that Ga. is a great retirement state. I personally love the Savannah area. Thanks again Jim C! I would love to hear from those who retired or possibly are considering retiring to Northwest FLorida. Panama City, Mexico Beach , Port St Joe, Cape San Blas and Indian Pass . Jim you mentioned it was a lot like other parts of the south especially Alabama. My friends and many people I met during my time there were very proud of the fact that they were ” Native or True Floridians” Born and Raised there , not transplants.

    Looking forward to hearing more comments! Might be planning a visit to that wonderful area in Aug. Sam P.

    by Sam P — July 21, 2016

  35. Sam, my husband and I are headed to that part of Florida in October. The same places you mentioned…..Panama City and east from there down to Port St Joe. We are then driving West to New Orleans. Having lived in New Orleans for many years I know about the heat and I have visited the Mississippi and Alabama coasts …..the Florida tax situation is definitely a draw. Will post our thoughts as I hope you will too!

    by Jean — July 22, 2016

  36. Tim H,
    If your retired and proximity to the city is not a concern I would look at areas in the far north suburbs like Canton and Cumming. Closer in Alpharetta, Roswell and John’s Creek are nice communities but traffic is horrible. You could also consider the north Georgia mountains. I like Dahlonega, Clayton, Blue Ridge and Hiawassee Georgia. I’m not very familiar with areas south of the city but have heard Peachtree City is a nice community.

    Hope this helps.

    by Jim C — July 23, 2016

  37. Sam P,
    Very familiar with Indian Pass. Must have really been off the beaten path 34 years ago. There is a quirky somewhat famous restaurant there, I think it’s called The Raw Oyster Bar but I’m not sure if that is the correct name. I’ve always dreamed of retiring somewhere between Mexico Beach and Apalachicola but alas my wife doesn’t share my enthusiasm.

    by Jim C — July 23, 2016

  38. Jim C, You are correct. The Indian Pass Raw Bar, What a neat place, in fact ” Southern Living” magazine rated it one of the top places in the South to eat oysters. If you or anyone reading this goes there or eats oysters try them with what is becoming a local favorite ” Ed’s Red” a blend of hot sauce and spice founded by a local resident of Port St. Joe, Ed Creamer. Like the bottle says ” an oyster’s best friend” Quite tasty!

    Another plus about the area is fresh seafood- oysters, fish (all kinds), blue crab, bay scallops, clams, and there is nothing like fresh and I do mean fresh shrimp.

    I brought my wife to Indian Pass and the area in 1986. I was hoping she would fall in love with Indian Pass. Too remote for her but she did like Mexico and St Joe Beach. One thing she fell in love with that we did and I believe you can still do in August and September is bay scalloping in the St. Joe Bay. Beautiful crystal water similar to snorkeling except you look for and try to grab a scallops.

    Keep those comments coming.

    by Sam P — July 23, 2016

  39. Sam P, I heard that scalloping was not allowed this year because of the impact of red tide. Apparently the scallop population is very low so they made a decision to ban scalloping until the population recovers.

    I am considering Mexico Beach as well. Closer to where our son lives and not so remote.

    by Jim C — July 24, 2016

  40. Jim C, Jean

    One thing I can say about the area between Mexico Beach , Port St Joe, and Apalachicola is that it hasn’t been over developed over the years according to most friends I talk too. It wasn’t during my last visit ,which I am sorry to say was in April/ May of 2001. So hope it is the same when I do visit next month in Aug. My guess would be that Panama City, Panama City Beach and the areas surrounding them and Tyndall Air Force Base have grown.

    Another thing about that area that is unusual and takes a little bit getting use to is the Time Zone factor. This is something my family will experience next month. There is a Time Zone change between some Gulf County towns ( Eastern Time) and some Gulf County and all Bay County towns (Central Time). Something simple like going to a Friday or Saturday night movie was an adjustment . I lived in Indian Pass (Eastern Time- ET) which was an hour drive to Panama City ( Central Time-CT) . The movie at the Mall started at 8 PM( CT) . So to make a long story short , your night for just the movie would start at 7:30 (ET) and end about 12:30AM (ET). Add something before and after the movie and you would end up home much later in the AM hours

    How many after 11 PM calls have you gotten from your son Jim because he wasn’t thinking (Eastern Time)?

    As I did say in earlier exchanges, I never met anyone from this area who has retired there. Nor do I read anything about the area in retirement magazines or articles about retirement things we will face in that area There is one negative about the area when I lived there and I hope it has gotten WAY BETTER. It is not any social issues. So don’t laugh. I do love all the fresh seafood and the down home Southern dishes like BBQ, fried chicken, catfish, okra and grits etc, etc. But! Having grown up in an Italian American household in South Jersey there were no places in the area to get any kind of good ITALIAN FOOD to eat or Specialities( Vegetables, oils and Bread/pastries) to cook with.

    I lived in South Carolina too. Being with and seeing family/ friends was the #1 reason to go home in the summers. FOOD – (Italian) in particular was my #2 reason to come home in the summers. Mom’s cooking, Pasta, Pizza, (Subs, Hoagies, Heroes- what ever you know them as) and one of my favorites Philly Cheesesteaks.

    Being a fan of many of the cooking channel shows, I hope my food issues have gotten better down there.

    by Sam P — July 25, 2016

  41. Hello Folks
    While many of you are contemplating a move south to escape a harsh winter, right now I’ve been stuck inside for 3 days (and counting) in the extreme heat of SE PA. While I’m not a fan of the snow and cold I kinda feel like I’m supposed to be inside in the winter– but the summer- no way!!! We love being outside gardening and in our yard and this extreme has been awful. In that regard we have our eyes on some “cooler” mountain towns out west. We’d like to be within driving distance of major airport and city for cultural and medical reasons. We were thinking of the Denver area or perhaps southern Wyoming to travel to Denver or from the west to Salt Lake City. We want to be in a small town, not the suburbs and I need to see green trees and not desert. (Any maybe not too much snow) lol
    Any ideas? Thanks in advance!!

    by Florence — July 26, 2016

  42. Sam,
    Having lived in the South for 23yrs now and after talking with many fellow Yankees over the years I can tell you the one thing we miss more than anything is northern food. I especially miss Italian beef sandwiches and Chicago style pizza.

    by Jim C — July 27, 2016

  43. Florence, Florence …..
    3 days of extreme heat over 3 months of cold, shoveling, ice dams, frozen pipes and ice.
    Sorry can’t agree….. You can’t beat the heat early and in the evening. When it’s cold, it’s cold morning noon and night.
    Good luck and health where ever life takes you…

    by Alexmac56 — July 27, 2016

  44. Alexmac56
    Well we’ve haven’t had frozen pipes or ice dams yet and we’ve been here for 25 years. When you’re retired and dont need to get out in a hurry shoveling isn’t that bad. We’re going on our 4th heatwave of the year ( 4 or more days of 90 or above) and July isn’t over yet. I guess to each his own 🙂

    by Florence — July 27, 2016

  45. Hi Florence,
    Lots of green, not too much snow and moderate temperatures year round in the Rocky Mountain West, is a tall order. The flats are semi-arid, brown, hot during summer, and cold in winter. The mountains are cool and beautiful in summer, but, very cold in winter with lots of snow, lots of green in the higher elevations.

    For your requirements, you might want to check out Laramie, WY, its a really nice college town (University of Wyoming). Plus, no state income tax.

    Grand Junction, CO is popular with retirees. There is more green then most areas, the summers can be hot, but, the winters are mild and gets less snow then Denver. Eagle, CO is a really nice place in the mountains and is semi-arid. This web site has a nice article about it. Inhabitants there represent all income levels, from trailer parks to monster mansions.

    Salida, CO is a small town surrounded by mountains, doesn’t get too much snow, has lots of green and isn’t too cold in the winter. It has a large artisan community with a nice vibe and retirees like it. Buena Vista, an even smaller town about 20 minutes north from Salida, is much smaller, hardly gets any snow, and its a lot less expensive and really nice.

    Denver, CO is expensive and getting to be more expensive with real estate prices Its the biggest city in the entire Rocky Mountain West. I live here and really like it. I would like to stay, but, I’m unable to afford it when I’m retired. Colorado Springs, CO and Pueblo, CO are less expensive alternatives and are being considered. Hence, my search on this web site.

    Wherever you live, most likely you’ll be staying indoors 3 to 5 months a year from cold or heat. I hear Hawaii is great year round outdoors. My neighbor’s middle class parents are transplant retirees in Hawaii and found a way to do it on the cheap. Anyway, good luck on your search.

    by ColoradoLiving — July 28, 2016

  46. ColoradoLiving — great review of various spots in CO. Living there you have a completely different understanding than even a month’s stay can offer. Much of what you said jives with what I saw in my visits/drive throughs, but it’s good to tie my time with specific places that all run together and were all in Jun-Sep time. (It’s hard for me to realize that I actually was in CO for almost two months over two long trips!)

    Do you have any experience in the central-southwest areas of CO — say between Buena Vista and Durango? We have driven over much of CO including the Sand Dunes area and Durango to Telluride and SW, but have not seen or stayed in that area between. Cold leaves me cold, heat is not a concern at all, but I do love to see green.

    thanks

    by Rich — July 29, 2016

  47. Rich:
    Yes, I’ve traveled extensively throughout Colorado. Also did lots of it off the grid and in Wilderness Areas. I backpack, hunt, camp, mountain bike and road cycle a lot throughout the state. Yes, I bicycle over 12,000 foot mountain passes, but, those days are soon numbered.

    West of Buena Vista, over Independence Pass, is Aspen. Aspen is a ski resort town for the ultra rich. Multi-millionaires and billionaires play there. Some of the most expensive real estate on the planet is there. During the summer, the off season, its a nice place to visit.

    North of Aspen is Glenwood Springs. This is a really nice town. Lots of summer tourists. There is a huge natural hots springs public pool in town. Lots of road and mountain biking, fishing and river rafting there. My wife and I will be there for a week long vacation next month. Yes, it’s a mountain paradise. Real estate prices are higher than Denver. I wish I could afford to retire there.

    South of Buena Vista is Salida (previously described). Further south is San Luis Valley where the Great Sand Dunes National Park is. This large flat area is semi-arid to arid. Lots of farming using pumped ground water. Summers are hot and winters are cold. Farm migrants and working class live there, real salt of the earth people. Further south is Taos, NM. Really beautiful place, great Indian enchanted vibe, many high end art galleries, lots of tourists, very expensive place to live.

    West of Salida is Gunnison and Crested Butte. Gunnison is very cold in the winter, perhaps one of the coldest places in the continental US. Nice town with good down to earth people. Crested Butte is a ski resort and mountain biking mecca. It might be one of the least expensive ski areas in the state. The average age is pretty young, not too many retires live there. But. the place really rocks. There’s usually something going on there (concerts, competitions, X-games) and its a fun place to be at. Great fishing at Blue Mesa Reservoir. Ice fishing might equal to Minnesota.

    Durango, in southwest Colorado, is a great place to be. Lots of retires live there. Snow is moderate in the winter and not too cold, but, sometimes they get huge dumps and you’ll need to shovel it off your roof. Summers are cool and gorgeous, simply beautiful. Its an amazing outdoors man’s/woman’s paradise. Fishing, river rafting, mountain biking, road cycling, and hiking are all fantastic. Everything is and stays green year round. Motorcycle clubs (Rolling Thunder) rally there in the summer. People are openly friendly and not pretentious. Its a laid back, young at heart mountain community. Mesa Verde National Park is 45 minutes away. Lots of summer jobs because of tourism. But, the town is more expensive in every way when compared to Denver. Excellent place to live if you can afford it, I wish I could. Further west and southwest is all dry hot desert (UT, AZ, NM). Hope this helps with your curiosity.

    by ColoradoLiving — July 29, 2016

  48. Thanks so much for all the great info!!!

    by Florence — July 30, 2016

  49. Much thanks, ColoradoLiving. It sounds like you live up to your moniker! If you’ve seen any of my previous posts, you know that I think CO is a great state. Interesting (and too bad) that you find Denver with its costs is still lower cost-of-living than so many other parts of the state. Pueblo is nice, but the Plains areas are no real attractive to me for numersous reasons. Perhaps you recognized that Durango is of special interest to me. We spent four days roaming there in 2003 and thought it was one of the most beautiful areas we have ever seen. I think my next long trip may well be a month or so in/near Durango.

    by Rich — July 30, 2016

  50. ADMIN: maybe I need a post again about ” retiring in place”. I’ve read for years now that everyone wants to move to get out of the cold. I remember heavy snow and tiring of snow in Jan, Feb, and March; loving April, May, and June; hating the heat and humidity of July and August; loving Sept and Oct; and loving the winter holidays of Nov and Dec. It seems to me that just about 99% of the Country is uncomfortable in July and August so why move just for those 2 months? Jan, Feb, and March is a longer period and if I were stuck in 90-100 degree temps for 3 months I would have to escape too. So I really can understand the need to “get away”, but completely moving seems so drastic and moving to the SE wouldn’t solve the problem for me. It would just change the awful 3 month period to 3 or more awful months some place else.
    I really am not trying to be difficult because I “sunbird” between CA and NM. I love the East and NorthEast. I couldn’t understand my parents totally moved to Florida from Ohio and I don’t understand your need to move because of 3 bad months. Please tell me why this won’t work : Selling your larger home, using half of the money to downsize in the same town ( assuming you are happy there, except for the weather) or renting a small apartment there if money is a concern. Escaping for all or part of those 3 months with half or all of the money from selling your home. You may only feel this need to escape for the early retirement years or have the health for that short period. Couldn’t you take mini trips during those months to the SE or one 3 month stay for less than you pay to move etc.? I know you complain about property taxes, but wouldn’t you be saving $ 5-10,000 in taxes by renting or half that amount by downsizing? All I can think of is that you want it all – a large house, but cheaper; sunshine every day ( but how about the rain, storms, and hurricanes of the SE) ;the beach at your front door (but most of you have to drive an hour to get there from what you post). It doesn’t seem we can afford to have it All. Can’t we just visit unless family or a job are calling?

    by SandySW — August 15, 2016

  51. This comment came in from AWB: Can anyone help?

    Just before I retired from the Army almost 3 years ago, my wife and I purchased what I thought was our retirement home on the 8th Fairway at the National Golf Course. Now Pinehurst #9. It is beautiful here, but my wife and I don’t golf and we quite frankly cannot stand the heat here in NC. We are pretty much opposed to Property Owners Associations and their extra fees as well. We really want to move NORTH to a more northerly climate with four seasons. We are fine with cold and snow. She doesn’t want to move to Alaska. She wants to be on a big lake where we can fish and have our first morning cup of coffee on our own boat pier overlooking a lake. I am just looking for a pleasant, nice place with abundant fishing to call home. She also likes birdwatching, prefers hummingbirds, etc., etc. Do you have any ideas or locations that come to mind? Low taxes and beneficial to disabled military retiree’s. Thanks again for your help.

    Comment from Admin: I think you should look for a lake in PA or Ohio or even Michigan or indiana. PA is considered pretty retirement friendly. Looks like you will have to do some traveling to find your next place.

    by Admin — August 15, 2016

  52. AWB, There are plenty of lakes in the mountains of PA, especially the Pocono regions of Wayne and Pike county. Watch out for “planned vacation communities”, where the fall of housing prices have brought investors purchasing rental properties that may attract less than desireable neighbors. PA also has high real estate taxes. Do some investigating as there are non development properties as well. I think a good real estate agent should be able to steer you in the right direction. Good luck in your search.

    by Florence — August 16, 2016

  53. Sandy
    For a lot if people perhaps, the idea of retiring in place won’t work. In my my township in southeastern PA the cheapest single family home on the market is 329,000 and the real estate taxes are 6,500. I couldn’t downsize (much) even if I wanted to stay here, which thankfully I don’t. I also think that after being in one location for many years, in my case 65 lol, people want to experience living in a different area, I know I do. The big question, as always, is where?

    by Florence — August 16, 2016

  54. Florence, that is quite interesting that the areas are so homogenized. Is it just the larger cities where prices can change by the block? Are there no apartments in or surrounding some communities?

    by SandySW — August 16, 2016

  55. AWB, take a look at online resources on days of sun by state. You will see Michigan is NOT highly rated.

    I have recently done some research on finding inland lakes in Michigan for my retirement. I don’t want to live in the Upper Peninsula, nor the northern regions of the Lower Peninsula where lake houses can be found more easily and affordable – quite beautiful but too isolated for me. However, there are many inland lakes in Oakland County along with Livingston and Genesee counties. Some specific towns would include Lake Orion, Oxford, White Lake, Waterford Township, Fenton, Linden, Davisburg. You can also explore the Lansing and Grand Rapids areas along with western Michigan. Don’t know what your price range is but I have been searching for $250K and under.

    There are also many internet sites summarizing taxes by state; one is http://www.retirementliving.com. Michigan is not known to be a retirement friendly state for retirees but you can make your own decision and check out how it treats retired Military pay or Military disability retirement pay.

    Hope you find this info helpful.

    by BeckyN. — August 16, 2016

  56. AWB, I am going to suggest Ottawa County, Port Clinton , Ohio area. Plenty of fishing and birdwatching with housing cost half of what you own now. Winter lows of 19 degrees and average Summer high of 82 degrees. VISIT Catawba Bay! Overall expenses even with Taxes Ohio beats N. Carolina. Ohio Retirees usually leave due to the climate, not the taxes, many coming back after a few years of “fun in the sun.” Comfort index is a 46. http://www.ottawaco.info/

    by DeyErmand — August 16, 2016

  57. AWB: Lake Winnipesaukee, and other lakes nearby, in New Hampshire, might be good if you don’t like heat. The summers are mild and the autumns spectacular. The winter is cold and often snowy, but beautiful. It’s considered a summer resort area, but many people live there year-round. New Hampshire is considered fairly tax-friendly. Many homes on choice lake property are expensive, but there are some that are relatively reasonable, especially at other nearby lakes.

    by Clyde R. — August 16, 2016

  58. Hi Sandy
    After living in a single family home for so many years, apartment living is not yet appealing and it is not unusually for apartments in this general vicinity, not just my area, to rent for close to 2,000 monthly for a 2 bedroom. I want to relocate anyway so thankfully it’s not an issue for me.

    by Florence — August 17, 2016

  59. Agree with Florence that renting is not a good option in many areas. We really don’t save on taxes, since the taxes on the rental property are rolled up into the rent. Likewise, you’re still paying for maintenanc, insurance etc. but the landlord is adding his profit markup to those costs. In some parts of the country (I’m near Charlotte) a rental is more than a mortgage payment. And selling a home to use that money may not be the best financial planning decision for everyone. I only earned $15.90 last month on a bank $200K money market account, for example (yes, I know that there are lots of other investments for that money but this could be viewed as a sample baseline). And all of these financial considerations are added to possible lifestyle considerations, including rental restrictions on customizing your living space. I figure that I will have earned the right to make my retirement home very personal to me.

    by Kate — August 18, 2016

  60. Kate you are a very wise financial planner… Good job !

    by Ron — August 19, 2016

  61. Kate,
    You bring up a great point thats not talked about much…..low interest rates impacting retirement. Back in the early 80’s banks payed a minimum of 5.25% on savings. Of course you could get much more in a CD. Thanks to deregulation of the banking industry we now have interest rates that are frankly a joke.

    by Jim C — August 19, 2016

  62. Relocating really IS because of the cold, a desire for a change of scenery, and those “lifestyle considerations” we deserve that rule, isn’t it? I still vote for retiring in place and Traveling vs Moving. Of course, I like my little home and location – with it’s many faults. Can’t convince me re-locating is less expensive but moving would leave the newer home assets to the kids and grandkids. Depends on who you’re planning for. We’ve been retired 8 years. The unhappiest people we’ve met sold everything and relocated because a Financial Advisor told them it was the best thing to do. One of them was a Financial Advisor himself ! He now has no money to move away. I just selfishly, but frugally, live for my Spouse and the best together time we can have with each other. That includes visiting all the Pretty Towns and cities some of these Blogs suggest.

    by SandySW — August 19, 2016

  63. It all depends if you have paid off your mortgage and what part of the country you are living. My story is living in a condo in southern California with high HOA and still paying on a mortgage will not work for me. So moving to a lower tax state that overall offers a lower cost of living is what I need to do, anyways I have lived in 4 different states and like experiencing moving to different locales. It also will allow me to have extra money for traveling. I don’t have family keeping me here so I can live anywhere I want to . It
    makes my decision easier compared to others .

    by Mary11 — August 19, 2016

  64. That old Suze Orman advice of paying off your mortgage and my personal belief in paying for the best health insurance possible has always worked for us. It has always been our way of life and we didn’t pay anyone a 10-15% commission or 400K for heart surgery. I feel most fortunate as my good friend is really in a jam now that her husband died after a 13 year illness. She will be living with us when she can sell her highly mortgaged home.

    by SandySW — August 19, 2016

  65. Kate: I believe you can do better with your money market account of 200K.

    For example:

    Ally Bank has a money market for 0.85%.

    200,000.00 x 0.0085 = 1700 / 12 = $141.67 a month.

    https://www.ally.com/bank/money-market-account/

    by Gary — August 20, 2016

  66. When I no longer need to live near my job, a world of possibilities opens up. Relocating may save me money if I can find affordable housing, with a lower cost of living and taxes. We each have a slightly different view of what retirement will be, and plan accordingly. Mistakes can be costly so I visit different cities and research everything not just the “scenic view”. Of course, climate preferences are highly personal. So is living near family or not. Retirement isn’t a vacation, it is suppose to hold our dreams and desires with a renewed sense of purpose. I consider my retirement a remote proposition choosing my specific “perks” within my budget range. I can’t justify dipping into 25 years of our savings to buy a retirement home when my current home is paid in full. Not until this economy picks up anyways. I agree with SandySW about purchasing the best health insurance possible.

    by DeyErmand — August 20, 2016

  67. Where do MidWesterners and native Southerners retire? Seems like we never hear from them. They must be the most content in their lives and retirement.

    by SandySW — August 21, 2016

  68. Man y people from Indiana retire near Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs and Naples Florida. My Aunt is one of those and she has many friends from her working days at Eli Lilly who have retired or spend at least six months of the year there. It seems word got out in the workplace.

    by Jennifer — August 21, 2016

  69. SandySW
    That is an excellent question. I’ve been reading this board almost from the beginning. I don’t recall many posts from people from the central U.S. or the South saying they are seeking to move elsewhere. I’m originally from Missouri but have lived in Texas for the last 18 years due to employment. We have a son and new grandchildren in Missouri but the rest of our children are here in Texas. That will be a strong reason for my spouse to want to stay put or to move back to Missouri. However, I prefer a move to a better climate, weather-wise and politically, than either of the above. We’ll probably stay in Texas for a while until our other sons scatter wherever their jobs take them. Then, I’d like to move west to Arizona, Colorado, Nevada or New Mexico.

    by LS — August 21, 2016

  70. My relatives from Ohio move to Lee County, Bonito Springs, Florida. Started with my great grandfather. Two of his children went to Arizona first before joining the other five siblings in retirement.

    by DeyErmand — August 21, 2016

  71. I can’t speak for other Southerners or those from the mid-west, but perhaps at least some of those people don’t feel as compelled to find a different place to live because the place they live already provides what many who are seeking to move in retirement want. In the South, we have some degree of mild climate, so that may not be a primary driver. In our case, my wife and I have traveled extensively (particularly in the US) in part to decide whether there was a “better” place than our home in central NC. We decided ‘no’. Perhaps Mid-westerners feel something similar (although I do seem to remember a LOT of people from the mid-west here on TopRetirements who are contemplating moving for retirement).

    by Rich — August 21, 2016

  72. There are a LOT of midwesterners in Lee County, Florida!

    by Linda — August 21, 2016

  73. I think family must be the biggest driver for staying in the Midwest. We have 3 pretty darn decent seasons but unless you love winter, why stay? Or perhaps, like many I know here in the Chicago suburbs, they leave for the winter. If you can do it, that might be the ideal. I remember one February attending the Live South Expo on a particularly nasty cold day in Chicago. An exhibitor from one of the booths was taking a smoke break just outside the door to the hotel and said as we passed by, ‘How can you people LIVE here?’. Especially as we age ice and snow become downright dangerous. So I think you have to have a really strong draw to stay here. Bonita Springs must be quite the attraction for I know many from Delaware who either have moved there or spend the winter there.

    by Carold — August 21, 2016

  74. My husband & I live in SW Wis. 15 min from the Missippi river. Our 2 children live in San Diego. I have no ties left here. My M-I-L is still alive & lives here. I just retired 3 weeks ago & my husband will retire end of Jan 2017. We are much younger than most of the ppl I see posting on this site. Both are 56. We live a simple life. No mortgage or vehicle pmts. We have vacationed in FL for a week at a time up & down the gulf coast for the past 13 years. We like it there but not for 12 mo a year. We like San Diego but really don’t want CA to take most of our retirement income. What to do, what to do??? We have kicked around RV living a bit. After working at SSA for 36 years I have come to the conclusion you should enjoy your life while you are healthy because once that goes, you are cooked, so to speak.

    by SheilaH — August 21, 2016

  75. As a transplanted Hoosier, we spend 9 months a year in NW Indiana. The weather is very nice and we have lots of friends here. For the three bad months, we head to Florida. We have a daughter who lives outside Orlando so we tend to stay there. After living most of my life in Orlando I can’t tolerate the 9 months of heat & humidity there, but Jan-March is wonderful. So we have the best of both worlds.

    by LocoBill — August 22, 2016

  76. Hi. Been reading for a couple of years to see where others retire before I do in five years. I think having family or friends at a new location is a big factor in retirement. The Carolinas, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Colorado are the States chosen most by boomers due to cost of living, and affordable healthcare. Yet statistics shows most people don’t relocate in retirement, and those who do tend to move only very short distances. Just 6 percent of those age 60 and older changed residences between 2012 and 2014, and more than half (3.5 percent) of the people moved within the same county, according to Census Bureau data. I will be one of the 2.5 that moves because my parents moved in retirement, then my siblings and now my children have all moved out of Ohio.

    by Tory — August 22, 2016

  77. I have been stuck in Kansas City, Missouri my entire career, and I cannot wait for this December when I finally escape! 80% decided on Tucson/Green Valley, AZ, but also considering Phoenix, Laughlin, and Vegas.

    by Pat — August 22, 2016

  78. I am thinking of moving to Henderson, NV (near Las Vegas). I am in Southern California, and tired of traffic, high taxes, although weather is nice. Can anyone shed light on Henderson, NV? Thank you.

    by Raman — August 22, 2016

  79. Any thoughts on Huntsville, Alabama? My husband ( a Physics teacher at the time ) and I took a group of students to Space Camp one Christmas season. The weather was pleasant and they really went all out with tree and seasonal decorating. A lot of highly educated “science types” in the area. A great national resource. Is anyone familiar with year- round living?

    By the way, great hearing from the Mid West. In travels and early Ohio living, I always found you to be practical yet adventurous at the same town. What you value is usually worth valuing. Thanks for responding.

    by SandySW — August 22, 2016

  80. Huntsville, Ala is over-rated and high priced. Check out Hazel Green or Madison and save yourself some money. I think Alabama is an ugly state except for Montasano Mountain. Watch out for the “hidden”. Lived there. UGH!

    by DeyErmand — August 22, 2016

  81. UGH says it all. We mostly did our exploring at night when the students were worn down. Guess we didn’t see what was real. Thanks. Space Camp was great, however.

    by SandySW — August 23, 2016

  82. We have just retired last year. We live on the north shore of MA. We will be be traveling to Phoenix (west side of Maryvale) to our son house. House pricse are very reasonable, ($150K – 250K) for a 3 – 4 bedroom 2 – 3 baths. We will go out there in Oct. and stay until the end of March. We are considering moving there full time in a couple years. But when the move happens will will travel to Oregon, during the summer months, to visit relatives.

    by WayneRB — August 23, 2016

  83. DeyErmand. I must ask, what is the “hidden” you mention in your response?

    by Dave C — August 24, 2016

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