Baby Boomers Shift Retiree Haven Preferences

September 17, 2012

Retirees are increasingly flocking to cooler climates and smaller towns than sunny, southern havens in states like Florida or Arizona that generally are popular retirement hot-spots. Baby boomers are looking elsewhere, from Maine to Washington. 

"Boomers and retirees these days are considering a much wider range of destinations for retirement, often choosing states that don't commonly come to mind, such as Maine and Montana," says Mary Lu Abbott, editor of Where to Retire magazine. "Yes, the Sun Belt remains popular, but many people prefer a four-season climate and enjoy the changing of seasons. They seek towns that are safe and have active, appealing downtowns and good hospitals nearby, and increasingly they're looking for places with a lower cost of living and lower overall tax rate."

As they retire, baby boomers are increasingly looking at places that are familiar to them, such as where they’ve once vacationed or spent time at as a child, David Savageau, author of "Retirement Places Rated," told the Associated Press. They’re looking for places that are walkable and have volunteer opportunities and college courses, he adds. 

Florida and golf communities are "the old view of retirement," Savageau says. "And it's kind of dying out, the desert Southwest and South Florida. That was for our parents; for us it might be somewhere closer to home, a college town, a ski resort or a historical area that gets some kind of tourism in season."

Source: "Cooler Climates, Small Towns Become Popular Retirement Destinations for Baby Boomers," Associated Press (Sept. 16, 2012)