Has COVID Made You Think About Retirement?

You are not alone! Recent research has suggested that the economic disruption of the pandemic and the booming housing market have resulted in record numbers of Americans opting to retire and relocate. According to a Pew Research Center report roughly 28.6 million members of the ‘baby boom’ generation decided to retire in the third quarter of 2020, over three million more than during the same period of 2019.

There are a combination of factors that have made this a trend. First, high prices for the homes that these new retirees are selling have increased their nest egg. Second, those who lost their jobs as a result of Covid decided it was too late in their career to find another one, or they just didn’t want to go through the process of finding new employment. Third, the work from home changes and other issues that 2020 brought to their door just made them move up the date for an already planned exit from the working world

So are they all moving to Florida? Florida officials have been actively trying to woo new residents, retirees or not, because of virus fears in the metro areas of the northeast and western US. According to the state’s own figures, Florida’s population was expected to rise by nearly 1.4%, or nearly 300,000 between April 2020 and April 2021.

But that’s the slowest rate since 2014

In fact, 2020 also brought the fewest number of moves into the state in the last nine years, according to national moving company Atlas Van Lines, and for nearly every move into the state there was an outgoing move to offset it. Some experts suspect that is a result of younger families moving out of Florida to pursue better jobs. As recently as 2015 that ratio was 60/40 in favor of moves into the state. By 2030, the state expects its growth rate to slow to under 1%.

So where are these new retirees going? That same Atlas Van Lines report noted that states with the highest ratios of inbound moves were in the upper South (VA, KY, NC, TN), the southwest (TX, NM, AZ, UT, NV), and the upper corners (WA, ID, NH, ME). See the map graphic below. It seems that a new emphasis on family may have something to do with these choices. Many seem to be opting to move to locations that are closer to family and friends. Maybe that is one silver lining behind a very big Covid Black Cloud.

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