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2017 Magnet States for Retirees

by Jackie Heath on Jan 30, 2018

With 74 million baby boomers between 53 and 71, they’re starting to relocate forelderly woman smiling retirement. Not surprisingly, the top five magnet states for 2017 are popular retirement destinations. Here’s what all of the states (Florida, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina) share that make them popular for retirees.

An existing population of retirees that provides resources and infrastructure. Texas ranks third in the number of retirees; Florida has the highest percentage of its population over 65, at 19%, while Arizona’s percentage of population over 65 is 16%.  South Carolina and North Carolina both have growing retirement communities along the coasts. As they cater to their aging population, these areas have created an environment built for retirees –think golf carts and senior centers—as well as social networks for new arrivals to tap into.

Warmer weather. No one wants to shovel snow and deal with inches of ice. But for senior citizens, cold weather can have health risks, like the exacerbation of medical conditions and the danger of injury from falls. There’s also the sense that after putting up with a lifetime of winter, you may deserve to enjoy better weather in your retirement.

Lower taxes and housing costs than the US average. Retirement dollars have to last, so it makes sense that retirees would seek out lower cost states, including states without income tax like Texas.

Quality health care. Seniors are the biggest consumers of healthcare, and many have chronic conditions that need to be managed. Whether seniors move to places for access to healthcare, or healthcare grows to match the demand, all five states have higher than average employment in the healthcare sector.

Something surprising, though, is that many of those moving for retirement are moving to college towns in these states. Clemson, SC and San Marcos, TX were among Forbes’ Best Places to Retire in 2017; other college towns with high numbers of retirees include Gainesville, FL, Chapel Hill, NC and Tucson, AZ.

If a retirement move is in your near future, you’ll want to decide what’s important to you in your new community. Affordability and future healthcare needs will be high on the list, so take the time to research thoroughly. When it’s time to move, you’ll need a good moving partner to lighten the work load. 

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