Retiring? These Are the 10 States Attracting the Most Retirees

Retirees enjoy retirement by sunbathing on the beach

Retirees enjoy retirement by sunbathing on the beach | Michael Steele/Getty Images

Have you retired, or see retirement as a near-term goal? There are numerous things to plan for. Signing up for Social Security, for example, should be near the top of your list. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve planned every last detail, and have a solid financial plan for your golden years. You may also want to give some thought to your living situation. As a retiree, you may not want to spend significant amounts of time shoveling snow in the winter, or constantly worrying about hurricanes.

For weather-related reasons and others, you may want to pack up and move. There’s an entire country out there, and some states and cities offer advantages that yours currently doesn’t. Is warm weather important? How about proximity to nature or a big city? You should consider everything before settling on a permanent place to live.

But where to go? There are benefits and drawbacks to just about any city or state, after all. We can, however, look at where other retirees are flocking to and possibly follow suit. A new study from United Van Lines (who would know better than a moving company?) has revealed the top 10 states where retirees are moving.

“For 40 years, United Van Lines has been tracking which states people are moving to and from. We also survey our customers to understand why they are moving from state-to-state,” said Melissa Sullivan, director of marketing communications at United Van Lines. “As the nation’s largest household goods mover, the data we collect is reflective of national migration trends.”

By looking at the percentage of inbound versus outbound moves into each state, United was able to come up with a top 10 list. These are the 10 states seeing the highest influx of retirees.

10. Arizona

View of Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona | iStock.com

You’ve probably heard that retired people flock to Arizona. It’s warm almost all of the time, with big cities like Phoenix and Tucson. It’s also home to some natural wonders like the Grand Canyon. But the warmth alone is enough to convince many retirees to move to the Southwest.

9. Nevada

The Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip | Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Ascaya

A warm, dry place filled with endless entertainment options? Sounds like a retirement paradise. Nevada offers it up, too, with cities like Las Vegas and Reno. Of course, this won’t be ideal for everyone. But if Arizona isn’t quite your speed, Nevada might make a worthy second choice.

8. North Carolina

Downtown Charlotte

Downtown Charlotte | iStock.com

Cities like Asheville and Charlotte have many retirees clamoring to move to North Carolina. It’s a great place to live for sports fans, and a growing startup scene and strong economy make it great for those looking for something to dabble in post-retirement.

7. Washington, D.C.

Washington DC, USA skyline

Washington, D.C. skyline | iStock.com/Sean Pavone

Washington, D.C. isn’t traditionally a place that you associate with retirement, but it landed at the No. 7 spot on the United list. With a new presidential administration and some big changes likely in the next several years, it’ll be interesting to see if it remains a retirement hot spot.

6. Washington

A Washington beach

A Washington beach | iStock.com

The Pacific Northwest is evidently an attractive place to live for those reaching retirement. Washington state ended up ranking No. 6 on the list, with 58% of moves to and from the state being inbound. Perhaps it’s the alluring prospect of Amazon drone delivery that’s bringing everybody in?

5. South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Columbia, South Carolina, USA | iStock.com/Sean Pavone

For many East Coasters who are looking for a break from tough northern winters, South Carolina makes for an attractive retirement spot. Cities like Charleston are heavy with culture, and pristine beaches allow for fishing and sunbathing.

4. Idaho

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl potato mascot at a football game

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl potato mascot at a football game | Loren Orr/Getty Images

Idaho is a fairly large, sparsely-populated state. The cost of living is cheap, which is a big plus for many retired people. There’s access to incredible landscapes, including giant forests and large lakes. If you’re a college football fan, Boise State should scratch your itch. For these reasons and more, Idaho is a retirement hot spot.

3. Oregon

A bicycle and downtown Portland

A bicycle and downtown Portland | Travel Portland via Facebook

Lots of retirees are moving West, and of all the western states, Oregon is taking in the lion’s share. The state has big and medium-sized cities like Portland and Eugene, as well as large swaths of rural, natural landscapes. Residents get the best of both worlds.

2. Vermont

Vermont scenery

Vermont scenery, with retired people | Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Vermont is a small, largely rural state. It’s serene and quiet, making it an ideal choice for many hitting retirement age. Plus, you have a ton of great recreational opportunities. Add in folksy heroes like Bernie Sanders, and who wouldn’t want to make Vermont home?

1. South Dakota

A tourist takes a picture of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from outside the park

A tourist takes a picture of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from outside the park | Scott Olson/Getty Images

South Dakota is becoming a hot spot for retirees. “South Dakota is the most popular moving destination of 2016 with nearly 68 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound. The state has continued to climb the ranks, increasing inbound migration by 23 percent over the past five years,” United’s brief said.

The Corn Palace, Wall Drug, Deadwood, and AARP memberships. This is modern South Dakota.

Follow Sam on Facebook and Twitter @SliceOfGinger

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