Report: Cities Where Retirees Are Moving

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A recent report shows which cities retirement-age Americans are moving to for reasons ranging from economics to more sunshine. If you’re retiring soon, the report may be a great way for you to find your next destination.

Business insurance platform AdvisorSmith examined the U.S. cities that are luring the new residents aged 65 or older, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here’s Where Retirees Are Moving

To find the cities where retirees are moving, the AdvisorSite segmented its analysis into large cities (defined as those with at least 250,000 residents), midsized cities (populations 50,000-250,000) and small cities (10,000-50,000 residents).

Here are some of the report’s key findings:

  • Large Cities: AdvisorSmith found that, among 84 large American cities, an average of 2,105 seniors moved in within the past year. 
  • Midsized Cities: Florida makes up the vast majority of cities in this category, accounting for seven of the top 10.
  • Small Cities: When it came to smaller cities, an average of 115 seniors moved to each locale per year. Arizona cities make up seven of the top 10.

Although moving to a city with a lower cost of living is a great incentive for many retirees, cost isn’t everything — even to money expert Clark Howard.

That’s why he recommends that you test the waters before committing to a full-fledged move.

“One of my key rules is you should always rent first for six months, a year or even two years if you’re thinking about relocating for retirement. If it turns out that you don’t like it, at least you’re not all-in owning a home that you’ve now got to get rid of,” Clark says.

Let’s look at the cities where retirees are moving, in order of their popularity, according to AdvisorSmith.

Retirees Are Flocking to These Cities

Small CitiesMidsize CitiesLarge Cities
Sun City, Ariz.The Villages, Fla.New York, NY
Fortuna Foothills, Ariz.Port St. Lucie, Fla.Los Angeles, Calif.
Green Valley, Ariz.Scottsdale, Ariz.Houston, Texas
North Fort Myers, Fla.Lakeland, Fla.Mesa, Ariz.
Oro Valley, Ariz.Surprise, Ariz.San Diego, Calif.
Venice, Fla.Cape Coral, Fla.Phoenix, Ariz.
Sun City Center, Fla.Fort Myers, Fla.San Antonio, Texas
Apache Junction, Ariz.Bonita Springs, Fla.Philadelphia, Penn.
Prescott Valley, Ariz.Vancouver, Wash.Chicago, Ill.
Sun City West, Ariz.Palm Coast, Fla.Jacksonville, Fla.

Final Thoughts

Moving from one city to another is a big deal. Clark wants you to consider how such a major life change will affect you. 

“What’s so important for you to do is think of all the factors, starting with your personal life: family,” he says. “If you go move somewhere else and you’re 1,000 miles away … as much as you think about enjoying life, it could be lonely. Are you going to be able to make friends?”

Some other things to consider about a “new” city are:

  • Health care costs: Will your medical care be of good quality and easily accessible?
  • Taxes: How will the state and local tax laws affect you in your new home?
  • Crime: How safe is the city and the particular area where you plan to live? Is the crime rate an issue for you?

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