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Where Our Members Are Retiring to

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 28, 2011 — We’ll confess, one of the things we are most curious about is the answer to this question – where do our Topretirements members move to when they finally reach their decision? Our hope is that by the time they have read our newsletter articles, studied the reviews of the many towns and active communities on the site, visited their top candidates – they ultimately make what turns out to be a happy decision. Note: We reported on this same subject with earlier member responses in 2010.

We don’t have perfect knowledge of what actually happens when a member moves, because we only hear from a tiny fraction of our membership base. Surprisingly, a lot of people email to tell us they have made a decision – but for one reason or another they don’t provide the information we really want – where are they moving!

Most people do not decide to move very far away for retirement. The Boston College Center for Retirement found that only about 10% of older Americans moved in any 2 year period. Non-movers elect to stay with the familiar; family, friends, and neighborhood. They might downsize or move to 55+ community, but they don’t generally go far. We also hear from many of the people who planned on moving, but now won’t be able to. It is disturbing to hear from so many whose retirement dreams have been turned upside down for one reason or another.

Reasons for Moving
There’s a short article from Money/US News, “5 Reasons to Move in Retirement” that summarizes the basic reasons why you might want to move:
– Be near family
– Save Money
– Be near a job
– Change in marital status
– Upgrade

To these we add 3 other, rather important ones – to pursue a different lifestyle, be in a better climate/location, and health reasons.

Where They Are Moving
Listed below are some of the places that Topretirements members told us they are moving to. But first, a few conclusions about what is admittedly a non-scientific sample:
– West of the Mississippi, our members are moving to a very diverse group of towns and states, which is refreshing.
– In the southeast, Florida attracted more moves than any other state
– We are not sure if our correspondents just failed to omit the details, but not that many active communities were specified.

Here is the list of responses we have received in the past 8 months. When our members provided comments, they are shown:

West of the Mississippi:
– Instead of a 55+ community, we bought at Del Webb’s Sun City Anthem, north of Phoenix, AZ. It’s a multi-generational community with all the 55+ amenities
– Prescott, AZ
– Looking into moving/retiring to New Mexico. Have researched area and like the fact that both winter and summer living and playing.
– We are retiring to Cedar Crest, NM, a suburb of Albuquerque.
– We retired to Rapid City, SD
– We’re moving to Las Vegas.
– Found & bought retirement home in Washington State.
.- We have settled on a location in Austin, TX
– We found our retirement home in Oregon
– Found a place we love in Arroyo Grande CA
– I will be retiring to the Boulder, Colorado area

– We moved to a general community in New Bern, NC. We lived in an adult community in Northern Virginia and would not make that mistake again. We definitely learned we prefer a general community.
– We decided to relocate to a Del Webb community in the Gainesville, GA area. The close proximity to the mountains as well as the tax breaks got our attention.
– We are buying a place in Myrtle Beach, SC
– We are having a townhouse build in Durham NC. We are within the city limits but just and closer to Chapel Hill
– Plan to move to Branson, MO
– Your info was very helpful. We decided to move to Fleming Island, FL near Jacksonville. This area is central and near major attractions without all of the drama when we want to relax
– Bought in The Villages, FL
– We have settled on The Villages in Florida for our retirement community
– Moving to Pensacola,FL
– Found the ideal for us Florida community-” Stonecrest’.
– I also have my retirement homes in Destin/Miramar Beach, Florida
– We purchased in Ft. Pierce, near the edge of Vero Beach, Florida
Barefoot Bay (close to Sebastian), FL
– Fortunately I have purchased a home in Timber Pines located in Spring Hill Florida. Your newsletter was a great help in making my decision, many thanks

– We have retired to Fort Wayne, IN
– Lincoln, New Hampshire
– Moving inside Pittsburgh, PA

– Already purchased in Lake Chapala, Mexico
– I have retired now to San Miguel ,Mexico

Where are you moving? As always, our member comments are immensely helpful. Please share your ideas about where you are moving/planning to move to in the Comments section below. Note: members have discussed other communities they live in the Comments section of various other Blog posts on this site.

For further reference:
Find all of the towns mentioned in this article
Where Topretirements Members Are Moving, 2010
Looking for the (almost) perfect retirement climate.

Posted by John Brady on February 27th, 2011


  1. We are moving to Hot Springs Village, AR

    by Phil — March 1, 2011

  2. We have just moved from New Jersey to Victoria Falls in Laurel, MD. We found this 55+ community through a link from your newsletter. The exercise opportunities are perfect to inspire us and we are 15 minutes from family.

    by Susanne Hilton — March 2, 2011

  3. You might want to hear about our move . My wife and I live in South Africa . After 65 years in Durban , a major city of + – 4 million, we decided to move to Knysna on the Garden Route,a 5 hour drive from Cape Town. What a wonderful decision we made. We live on Thesen Island, The people here, of all races are far more friendly . Our quality of life has far exceeded our expectations . .No more space to elaborate. We enjoy your emails. N B our daughter lives in Florida . Our son and family live in Dubai .We travel a lot!

    by Ed and Pam Jamieson — March 2, 2011

  4. I’m moving to Casa granda, Arizona.. warmer, dryer area then this oregon I’ve lived for past 30 years… …

    by Al yates — March 2, 2011

  5. We bought our future “snow bird” home in Venice, FL. We are in our mid 40’s and use it as a vacation spot for now.

    by Gph — March 3, 2011

  6. All the responders sound like couples . What are the best places for single women (widows)?

    by Carole Mehlman — March 3, 2011

  7. my wife and i have decided that we need to modify our plans now. as we approach $5.00 gas and beyond, we do not think we can do our great “DISCOVER AMERICA RETIREMENT DRIVE. nothing is final, but we may need to delay retirement another 3 years. such is the roll of the dice of life. maybe the current economic slide will end and maybe the stock market arrow will find the sky.

    by DAVE HUCKABEE — March 4, 2011

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