Many of us look forward to that sweet day when we’ll never have to set an alarm again. You have no boss, no deadlines and no meetings. Most of us would agree that retirement sounds pretty awesome. Which is why it is so important to plan for it properly.
When it comes time to choose where to live, cost of living and general livability for retirees are typically the two main concerns. In past studies, we have endeavored to look at a cross section of retirees’ concerns, so we can rank the best places to retire. But sometimes, the best places to retire doesn’t always line up with where retirees actually move. We hope to shed some light on senior retiree preferences by finding the top retirement destinations. Here’s a look at the most tempting locations.
Phoenix stole the number one spot that retirees are flocking to. But if you prefer less desert and more beach, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida came in second place. If you’d take a lake over a beach any day, Lake Havasu City in Arizona made its way into the top 10. And thanks to their low cost of living, midwestern cities may be the perfect place to spend your golden years.
If the top 10 is sounding a little crowded for your taste, you could hop on over to the Pacific Northwest. Slightly less popular – but still highly ranked – is Portland and surrounding metro areas in Oregon and Washington. The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area in Oregon and Washington ranked 11th place. And Eugene, Oregon was also highly ranked as the 19th most popular retirement destinations for seniors. We have to say, Portland has a pretty stellar reputation. We found in a previous study, that Portland ranks seventh as one of the best places to live in America if you’re looking for a balanced lifestyle.
The South is looking mighty appealing too. Of course, plenty of spots in Florida made the list, but so did Nashville, Tenn. Who’s ready for some BBQ? If you desire even more southern charm, check out the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin region of South Carolina.
Humidity got you down? Golden coast California didn’t make it into the top 10. Hint: high real estate prices. But sunny San Diego ranked 23rd, which is not too shabby.
|Rank||Metro Area||Migrated In||Migrated Out||Net Migration|
|2||Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||20734||14856||5878|
|3||North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL||9987||4237||5750|
|4||Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||5790||1866||3924|
|5||Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||6465||2807||3658|
|6||Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL||5477||2120||3357|
|7||Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL||6346||3063||3283|
|8||Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL||6009||2734||3275|
|9||Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ||3631||527||3104|
|13||Port St. Lucie, FL||5734||3150||2584|
|16||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||17829||15367||2462|
|18||Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV||8159||5944||2215|
|21||Punta Gorda, FL||3431||1493||1938|
|22||Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL||4851||2916||1935|
|23||San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||8599||6774||1825|
The New York metro area ranked number one in our list of the least popular retirement destinations for seniors. Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles didn’t fare too well either.
Dream locations like Honolulu, Hawaii, and Orlando, Florida didn’t rank as highly as one would think. And on a not so surprising note, bustling metro areas full of workers bees weren’t desirable spots either. Apparently, there is a lot less need for early bird specials in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Seattle and Chicago.
|Rank||Metro Area||Migrated In||Migrated Out||Net Migration|
|213||Kansas City, MO-KS||3952||5009||-1057|
|216||Baton Rouge, LA||808||1962||-1154|
|217||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||2753||4003||-1250|
|221||Urban Honolulu, HI||657||2134||-1477|
|225||Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||4878||7019||-2141|
|227||Colorado Springs, CO||1017||3420||-2403|
|229||Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||9345||12037||-2692|
|230||San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||8714||11445||-2731|
|234||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||13353||21685||-8332|
|236||New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||18262||33638||-15376|
Preparing to retire is a big financial undertaking. One you should take seriously and plan for. Consider these tips as you prep for retirement.
Take advantage of catch-up contributions: If you find yourself over the age of 50 and getting ready to retire but fell behind on saving money, you may want to take advantage of catch-up contributions. Usually, the maximum contribution limit to a 401(k) is $18,500 and to an IRA is $5,000. But for those over 50 years of age, catch-up contributions are more flexible, allowing those total contribution limits to be $24,500 and $6,500, respectively.
Adjust your budget: Tightening your budget so you can see how you’ll live on your new income can help you prepare for the adjustment to life in retirement. You may want to consider saving for unexpected expenses like travelling, assisting family and friends and the potential need for medical care or the option of living in an assisted living facility.
Review and pay off debt: Taking care of debt before you retire is something to seriously plan for. Seniors with credit card debt have a net worth worth of 43% less than those without credit card debt. The high interest rates associated with credit cards can destroy nest egg income.
Because the average credit card interest rate is 14%, seniors who have credit card debt (on average, $4,786) will pay an average of $670 every year for interest charges. With the average investment portfolio not earning more than 8% every year, seniors will on average earn only $4,508 from their portfolio. Sadly, this means that credit card interest can eat up more than 15% of a nest egg income.
Data comes from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). In order to rank the top retirement destinations for seniors, researchers looked at two metrics. Specifically we looked at the number of residents over 65 who were out of the labor force who moved into a metro area and compared it to the number of over 65 residents who were out of the labor force who moved out of a metro area. Those two numbers were then combined to create a net migration figure. This study is ranked based on that net migration figure.