Relocating retirees: Where Americans are moving to retire

About 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day, according to data from the Government Accountability Office, and some who are retiring are packing their bags and relocating.

According to United Van Lines’ National Movers Study, which analyzed its nearly 27,000 customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year, many retirees sought destinations in the West – meaning Florida surprisingly was not the top location.

The study found that relocating retirees tended to look for affordable states with temperate climates where they can participate in outdoor activities.

These are the top retiree destinations in 2018:

New Mexico (43%):

This was the first year New Mexico topped the list. Forty-three percent of moves to New Mexico were related to retirement, while 60 percent of people moving there were between the ages of 55 and 74. The cost of living in the state is 3 percent less than the national average, while income taxes are low.

Florida (39%):

While it did not make the top spot this year, Florida ranked second with 39 percent of moves into the state being retirement related. Aside from the warm weather and beach communities, Floridians are not subject to state income taxes.

Arizona (37%):

Trailing Florida slightly, about 37 percent of moves to Arizona last year were made based on retirement-related decisions. Arizona has perpetually ranked high as a destination for retiring workers.

Here are the states that rounded out the top 10:

South Carolina (37%)

Idaho (34%)

Maine (33%)

Vermont (31%)

Nevada (29%)

Wyoming (27%)

Montana (26%)


On the other hand, people were moving out of some states at a much higher rate than others. The top states relocating retirees moved from last year were Connecticut and New Jersey.