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Where Retirees Are Moving Since the Pandemic Began

January 13, 2021

Retirees are abandoning the familiar destinations and choosing to make their homes elsewhere in the pandemic, increasingly turning to Virginia as their new retirement haven.

Nearly 400,000 Americans moved for retirement last year—the highest number in five years, according to a new study from HireAHelper, a moving services website. More retirees are showing a willingness to cross state lines to find a new home: Retirees are twice as likely to move to a different state than the general population.

Chart showing retirement trends


HireAHelper analyzed Census Bureau survey data to pinpoint where retirees moved to since the COVID-19 pandemic began. They identified the following top state destinations for retirees in 2020:

  • Virginia
  • Florida
  • Wyoming
  • Pennsylvania
  • Idaho

Retiring women and singles are most likely to choose Virginia, while couples and males are more likely to move to Florida, the study found.

Broken out on a city level, the following areas were the top retiree havens for 2020:

  • Orlando, Fla.
  • Charlottesville, Va.
  • Waynesboro, Va.
  • Roanoke, Va.
  • Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Twenty-six percent of retirees moved away from cities and metro areas to find a smaller town to relocate to in retirement. The study found that the top states that retirees left to find haven in a new area last year were:

  • Utah
  • Maryland
  • California
  • Texas
  • New Jersey