Why have Arizona and Florida become a destination for retirees?
One thing retirees look for is to live in a place where they already know people. You know, social support is pretty important. I have actually known people who move somewhere and felt like they did not have that social support system and so they have gone back home.
Arizona and Florida are home to a number of retirement communities that offer a robust support system for newcomers. Is that part of the draw?
Yes, it definitely is. And many of those communities provide amenities that retirees are looking for. So they have a lot of quality-of-life amenities. They offer travel programs. They have community centers and senior centers where people can gather to do things socially. So yes, that is absolutely a huge part of it. There are classes available to people that they might be interested in. So there is absolutely some momentum going with communities like that. And usually they are fairly affordable for living. And then they create that social aspect to living there. And some people prefer to live with a lot of people that are more their own age, so they typically do not let people under the age of 50 or 55 even live there.
If you look at the statistics, however, for cost of living, crime, health care, weather and other factors that matter to retirees, you'll find that neither Florida nor Arizona ranks as the best state in terms of retirement. Other states, like Colorado, Utah and the Dakotas, actually rank much higher. Does this make sense to you?
A lot of those states have industries that are strong. They have the oil industry (especially in North Dakota) and so taxes are likely to remain low. ... In a lot of states like Montana, even though it is cold in the winter, it is quite beautiful. ... There are a lot of nice quality-of-life amenities and it is still arid and sunny. So you get the sun and you may get some snow. But then a lot of people also like winter sports, including retirees. So they still ski and do other kinds of things. So that is not all bad. That is probably why Colorado is popular, and Utah, too, potentially.
You know, we tend to put a lot of emphasis on weather, but that is just one part of the equation, and there are a lot of other reasons people want to live in one place or another. And it is not necessarily all about weather.
It seems like popularity may not be the best thing. If a retirement spot becomes too well known, then property values go up. The cost of living goes up. All of a sudden, it's not such a great place to retire.
Yeah. You know, I think that there are just so many factors that play into it that it is really hard to be predictive as far as where people are going to move to and why they are going to go there. Each person you ask may have a slightly different reason for going somewhere. Again, whether it is because they have kids who are there or they have friends that have moved there before them, there are just so many different reasons that people might go to one place versus another.