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So, what are the TOP TEN RETIREMENT STATES? This is a *personal view* by yours truly Joe Duck based on limited research, but I think this is probably close in terms of the states to which most people retire among those who are *changing their home state*. Obviously most people stay put for retirement, so simply asking “where do most people retire” is the same as asking “where do most people live”? If you are searching for a new home our site is a great place to start, and here are the states I think you are most likely to be searching for.
If you think this is NOT a good list, please let me know in the comments why! Some day when I’m not as lazy as right now I’ll research this topic, though it’s often hard to find good data since most states are all trying to promote their virtues – I’m guessing there will be many “self serving” studies by economic development or travel groups to “show” that their state is THE place to retire. I think the best test is probably to find the states that get the most people to *change their residence*, as this is a very good sign that you are doing something right … retirement wise.
California Retirement | Colorado Retirement | Florida Retirement | New York Retirement | Nevada Retirement | North Carolina Retirement | Oregon Retirement | South Carolina Retirement | Texas Retirement | Utah Retirement | Virginia Retirement | Arkansas Retirement
Here’s a very different (and pretty odd!) list from an AARP article based on cost of retirement. Only Virginia and Texas are on both these lists…
8. South Dakota
Is retirement an intelligent action? A good part of the settlement in this country was dictated by actions other than that of the people who chose to move. The Homestead Act opened up vast tracts of land, though not without a great many problems and inequities. The discovery of gold brought vast waves of migrants many of them ignorant of how to find gold, how to mine it and ignorant of the fact that most of the good claims had already been staked. The Defense Highway Act made White Flight simple and cheap and created massive commuting jams.
I keep hearing of retirement trends and “good states” but a fair number of retirees leave Florida’s oppressive heat. Everyone speaks of The Sunbelt but Maine gets a great many retirees too. As does Alaska. I’ve known people who retired from Florida to Maine and from Florida to Maryland. Each are happy with their decisions and each of them probably reads articles mentioning Florida as a retirement destination.
Old people can be a prisoner of Winter or a prisoner of crime in Chicago, but retirement to Florida or Nevada can mean they become a prisoner of air conditioning. Some have retired to golf communities wherein there is not enough money to maintain the golf course. Some have retired to golf communities but find their active retirement extends to actively pressing the TV remote all day long. Some retirees in rural communities find they’ve not retired to “Florida”, they’ve retired to the local American Legion Hall and never get to go anywhere else.
People choose careers for a variety of unwise reasons and they probably choose retirement places for the same variety of misinformation and half-baked notions. One man became an Air Traffic Controller because he wanted to be a cop and felt that Traffic Control would be good. He had, of course, learned in his first few weeks in the Air Force that all mops, buckets and desks were prefaced by the word air so Air Traffic Control meant something totally different to him. It turns out he was great at it and the FAA even sent shrinks to study him to see why he was so good. I’m sure he is retired now… I wish I could find out how he made his retirement decision? Perhaps he looked at a map and seeing both Greenland and Iceland, he may have made the obviously correct choice?
Watch the headlines about North Las Vegas which recently filed a declaration of an existing emergency allowing it to suspend union contracts for police and fire men on the grounds that an economic emergency is not excluded by the statute nor is an emergency that is long term and extends well beyond city limits. Many communities in California and Illinois will watch this case because they face extortionate demands by public sector unions with city councils freely granting salary and pension benefits the tax base can not afford thus causing all but single family homeowners to flee or even causing the town to be filled with renters while the voting rolls are filled with LLCs with Florida addresses.