More Retirees Relocating

By: Kelly Leighton on  in 

The old cliché is that everyone retires to the beach, right?

Well if 2020 proved anything, it’s that there is no “normal” anymore. While the warmer states are still popular for retirement, there have been some shifts in lifestyles among retirees. In 2020, nearly 400,000 Americans relocated for their retirement, the most in five years, and Florida was not the top spot. The majority of retirees relocated to Virginia, according to Hire a Helper.

But 7% of those retirees relocated to Pennsylvania, which was fourth overall in state relocation for retirees, behind Virginia, Florida and Wyoming. In Pennsylvania, Allentown was the most popular area, with around 5,000 retirees relocating to the Greater Lehigh Valley, representing 3% of all retiree moves.

“The Lehigh Valley has so much to offer, retired boomers are attracted to the urban corridor due to walkable amenities, such as restaurants, theaters and cultural centers, such as museums, arts and easy accessibility to quality of life outings. Plus, we are close to Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Pocono Mountains and the New Jersey shore. The valley has so much to offer, like change of seasons, plenty of local colleges, which offer public lectures, plays and sports events,” said Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors® President Tim Tepes.

Elsewhere in the U.S., 38% of retirees moved to a different state, while 40% moved within their county and 22% moved to a different county in the same state. This is atypical compared to the general population, who mainly move within the same county. Twenty-six percent of retirees were moving out of a city to a less dense and more affordable area.

Single men were more likely to choose Florida as their new state, while most single female retirees were heading to Virginia. Married couples were more likely to head to Florida for their retirement.

Where are retirees leaving? Utah (17.3%), Maryland (12.3%), California (11.1%) and Texas (9.9%) were the top states retirees were moving from.

The Pew Center found that the pandemic quickened retirement for many baby boomers in 2020. By the third quarter of 2020, around 28.6 million baby boomers reported they were retired, an increase of 3.2 million compared to the same period in 2019.