October 4, 2022 — The loss of human life and billions of dollars in property damage from last week’s Hurricane is tragic. The storm also brought concerns for snowbirds – will their rentals still be available, or were their homes seriously damaged? Folks have been calling their friends and scouring the news for reports about what was damaged, and trying to estimate how soon life can return to normal. In many cases, they have not been able to get answers. Thousands will probably find that their plans for spending part of the winter in southeastern climes might have just floated away. This article reports on some of the affected areas, and what your possible reactions might be. Mainly, we would like to hear what you know – was your home or snowbird rental damaged, have your plans changed, or is all well? Plus, what kind of coping strategies can you put in place if your winter plans have been upended? Please add your thoughts in the Comments section at end. We should add that problems for snowbirds are definitely first world problems. We feel for all of the full time residents who have lost their homes or who have been forced to find temporary shelter. There are many accredited charities such as the Red Cross that would appreciate our support.
Sept. 27, 2022 – The leaves are turning and there is a chill in the air in the Northeast and Midwest. So it’s time we once again link to the “Snowbirds Leaving for the Winter Checklist” that we originally published in 2010. Every year we add to it in different ways, based on our own experiences and suggestions from Members. We hope you find it helpful. We link to the original article because there have been so many helpful and interesting Comments added by our members over the years.
Here is the link to the original (but updated) article:
June 15, 2022 — One of the most frequent questions we get from Members is how to find a great place to spend the winter as a snowbird. Their questions usually center on where to go, and how to find a good one. In this article we will share some basic steps on how to get started. Best of all, we will highlight some of the most interesting and useful Comments from our Members on this topic.
TwoKeys to Success The keys to success in finding a good snowbird rental are quite simple: get started early, and use every option you can think of. One strategy that rarely yields good results is hoping to luck into something at the last minute.
Many Advantages There are many advantages to renting in a warm place for some or all of the winter. There is the obvious one: it gets you out of the frozen Midwest, icy Northeast, or the dark/dreary/wet Pacific Northwest for a pleasant interlude in the sun. Another big advantage of snowbird rentals is that they give you a chance to see and experience different parts of the country with very little risk or expense. If you ever decide to purchase a place either as a snowbird or for year-round living, you will be a much more educated buyer. Yet another advantage: it provides an opportunity to be visit friends and family without overstaying your welcome.
May 10, 2022 — People living in a retirement face a new and growing problem – short term renters. While the problem is more acute in resort communities, it can occur almost anywhere.
Imagine living in a peaceful community where you know your neighbors on a first name basis. Then one day you wake to see strangers dragging suitcases down the hall, not sure where they are going. Confused about which unit they are renting, they might even try to get into yours. When when you hit the hay at 10 or so, the party next door is just getting started, their alcohol-fueled voices getting louder and louder over their music. The next day at the pool you find that you can’t get a lounge chair, all of them taken up by your new neighbors as they enjoy their music, smoke, and drink beer from glass bottles. The renters, who might have crammed 3 couples into a 2 bedroom home, have helped to fill the parking lot too.
April 20, 2022 — Highways are filling up with snowbirds headed north right now. Those trips provide the perfect excuse for exploring the many wonderful East Coast towns along the way. Here are 10 towns that we think are definitely worth a detour, either for a night in a B and B, or a leisurely lunch to break up the drive. In this installment we will concentrate on charming or interesting towns near the coast. But if your trip takes you along the western route, see our 2 part series on great retirement towns along that route through western Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia.
February , 2022 — Depending where you live, you might be familiar with the concept of a Chautauqua community, those seasonal assemblies dedicated to four pillars: the arts, education, recreation, and religion. As such they offer the perfect snowbird retirement for people who love culture.
Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were part of an adult education and social movement in the United States that brought speakers, teachers, musicians, showmen, preachers, and specialists of the day to communities. Lakeside Chautauqua on the shores of Lake Erie was the first assembly in 1873, followed the next year by the Chautauqua Institute on western New York’s Chautauqua Lake. Although at one point there were several hundred Chautauquas, these two are among the few independent Chautauquas that persist in the 21st century. The drawback to a Chautauqua retirement is that they are seasonal – after summer ends you need to find a place to live the rest of the year.
For culture loving people – you can’t beat a Chautauqua retirement
October 27, 2021 – When it comes to naming the best places to be a snowbird many familiar towns come to mind. Most are in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, and South Carolina for the obvious reasons, as they are the warmest contiguous states in winter. But this year a list by StorageCafe´ has come up with some winners that are not exactly household names.
The company used a number of criteria that make sense – miles of beaches, winter temperature, crime, housing costs, parks, internet speed, etc. Many of the choices are unusual, but most are familiar. Some we would have picked, others not (particularly in Arizona and Texas). But in the end the best place to be a snowbird is the place that you like the best, not one picked by someone else.
October 6, 2021 — The results of last week’s survey on snowbirds are in. Many thanks to the community spirited folks that filled it out! While we can all speculate about snowbird behavior, it is satisfying and interesting to find out what people like you do in the real world. The results are roughly consistent with our 2018 survey on this topic, which had a much larger response rate. You can compare those results as well as find a link to Part 2 of that report, which lists ideal snowbird pairings and many comments from people who snowbird, here.
Most of the people who completed it are snowbirds, which reflects a natural interest in the topic. The results show a great variety of when people leave for the winter and how long they stay. Some of the most interesting results were comments about how people found their winter place, and how Covid has affected their plans. We have summarized the results for each question below, which we hope might be useful in your own snowbirding lives.
Will you go somewhere warm this winter (be a snowbird), and for how long.
Most of the people taking the survey were snowbirds. There were roughly equal numbers who will go away for periods from 1 to six month. One fourth plan on snowbirding for less than a month.
September 24, 2019 — The skies are starting to get busy with birds and butterflies headed south on their winter migrations. And soon Interstates like 25, 75, 95 will be crowded with baby boomers on their way to similar retirement destinations. To help you get ready for those trips we re-publish our popular “Snowbird’s Leaving for the Winter” Checklist every year. This year we also have a new article with tips for making your snowbird experience as wonderful as possible. Note that most of these tips will apply even if you are one of the many counter-snowbirds: folks who live north in the winter and elsewhere the rest of the year.
Anyone who has had the snowbird experience quickly learns it leads to a very different lifestyle than what they experience living in only one place. Your snowbird life will be a little more complicated, probably a bit more expensive, and if done right – more enjoyable. Here are some things to consider as you embark on this lifestyle.
December 5, 2018 — This is Part 2 of our report on our recent Snowbird Survey. Part 1, “Florida is Favorite Snowbird Destination“, contained the detailed results on the survey’s first 9 questions. This installment is mostly made up of verbatim comments detailing where people snowbird to, and how they get there. Because these are actual comments from real people on this issue, we think you will find it a great source of ideas and comparisons to your own thoughts and experiences.
This article has three sections: Section 1 will start will overall observations, Section 2 is a sampling of 351 overall comments made to Question 10, “Anything More to Say”, and Section 3 has a link to all 166 comments made to Question 8, “How Hard Was It to Find a Place to Snowbird”.
Section 1: Observations Driving vs. Flying. More people drive to their snowbird destination than fly; the ratio is about 3 to 1 in favor of driving. Top reasons for driving include: having a car at the destination, more room for stuff, taking pets, and visiting/exploring on the way are . Avoiding a multi-day, long drive is a top reason for flying. Many people who fly either keep a car at the destination, or have the car driven down.
East vs. West snowbirds. As is usually the case with Topretirements surveys, the majority of our audience is east coast based, mostly from the Northeast or Midwest. Although there were some folks who cross the Mississippi to either (more…)