Could North Carolina be the next Retirement Hot Spot?

The Herald Tribune reported today that Florida is no longer a top destination for retirees. Will North Carolina be the next best place to retire? We think so. In fact, most of the homeowners in the Cashiers/Highlands areas are originally from Florida. If you've been to our area you'll quickly notice the migration once you start talking to the locals.

Read more about why people are relocating to the North Carolina Mountains

Here's the report from the Tribune....

Thirty years ago, if someone was a retiree making a move across state lines, there was better than a one-in-four chance the move would take them into Florida. But that percentage has declined steadily.

Fishkind and Associates, a prominent Orlando economic consulting firm, regularly displays a chart that shows Florida's share of the 65-plus retirees on the move declining by about 20 percent from 2000-2010 to 2020-2030. But as the total U.S. population over 65 swells during those ensuing years, Florida still catches a good ride, says founder Hank Fishkind.

"The pool of potential people who can move goes from 8 million to 16 million, so even if our share comes down by 20 percent, which would be huge, the number of movers who move here would actually increase," he said.

But others have much different takes.
Bill Haas is a sociologist tracking boomers from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. With backing from the Institute for the Future of Retirement, he is slicing and dicing a new data set from the U.S. Census Bureau called the "American Community Survey" that is giving Haas fresh geographic inputs to work with each year.

"The numbers are taking us away from Florida," Haas said, citing steady declines in the state's retiree market share from a 1980 peak. While his full study on the mailbox economy has not yet been published, some of his key findings already have appeared on the Web. They show that Florida, while still the top receiving state for those 60-plus, "continues its downward trajectory," Haas said.

Florida hit a high of 26.3 percent of all movers 60 and older in 1980. In 2000, the number had dropped to 19.1 percent, and then to 16.6 percent in 2006, Haas' posted findings show.
The state's share of the pie got squeezed down to 13.2 percent in 2006
, Haas told the Herald-Tribune last week after crunching the numbers.

The theory goes that, after a while, places that have been high-intensity migration sites for retirees, like California in the past and now Florida, lose their attractiveness, Haas said. "That theory would leave us to believe that Florida, which had 25 percent of all older migrants going to it, is becoming less and less attractive."

Emulating the mindset and accent of an interviewee, Haas intones: "'I left New York City and moved to Miami and now both of them are too busy and have too many problems.'"


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