Moving to Another State in Retirement? What You Need to Know

The idea of retiring, packing up and starting fresh in a sunny spot or at the foot of some cool mountains may sound intriguing, but have you really thought it out? Some financial, practical and emotional issues to take into consideration first.

Suitcases tied on top of a car.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A pleasant retirement can mean staying put right where you are, chatting with the same neighbors, cheering the same local sports teams, and shopping at the same stores.

But plenty of Americans also get wanderlust when they reach their retirement years, trading freezing winters for subtropical environments, swapping prairies for mountains, or substituting city living for the country. In 2020, 400,000 retirees made a move, which was the highest number in five years, according to a study by the moving service company HireAHelper. Most of those retirees made their move within the confines of the state where they already lived, but 38% moved to another state.

If you guessed that traditional retirement mecca Florida was the No. 1 destination for those nomadic retirees in 2020 — you guessed wrong. Virginia topped the list, although Florida did come in a respectable second. Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Idaho rounded out the top five.

Numerous factors can play into your decision to move to a new locale in retirement, from family considerations to weather to preferences about beaches, mountains, or culture. Finances are key as well. Let’s look at just some of the things you should keep in mind:


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This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Peter Blatt, Investment Adviser Representative, J.D.
President, Center for Asset Management

Peter Blatt is president of Center for Asset Management. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Boston University and a law degree and a post doctorate degree in tax from the University of Miami School of Law.