Top 5 States Where Retirees Are Moving (2024)

Top 5 States Where Retirees Are Moving (1)

Top 5 States Where Retirees Are Moving (2)

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Older Americans are on the move, and they’re still making Florida their number-one stop.

More than 338,000 U.S. residents retired to a new home in 2023, a 44 percent jump from 2022 and the highest number in three years, according to a new report on migration trends from online moving-services marketplace Hire A Helper.

Retirement was the fastest-growing reason people gave for moving last year, the company found in its annual report, increasing by nearly twice the rate of job-related moves and more than four times the rate of people seeking cheaper housing.

About a quarter of retiree relocations crossed state lines, with Florida ranking as the top destination for the second straight year. About 11 percent of such moves were to the Sunshine State. South Carolina, which did not make the top 10 in 2022, was a close second, drawing 10 percent of retirement moves.

Where retirees are going to (and leaving from)

These five states drew the largest percentage of interstate moves by retirees in 2023:

  1. Florida (11.1% of all inbound moves)
  2. South Carolina (10%)
  3. New Jersey (6%)
  4. Texas (5.8%)
  5. Washington (5.3%)

And these five were the most frequently exited:

  1. California (18.3% of all outbound moves)
  2. New York (11.4%)
  3. Virginia (6.5%)
  4. Ohio (4.9%)
  5. Pennsylvania (4.8%)

Source: Hire A Helper, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and its Annual Social and Economic Supplements for 2023.

“My guess is it’s probably due to cost,” says Miranda Marquit, a consumer advocate and spokesperson for Hire A Helper, of the Palmetto State’s ascent. With the cost of living rising in Florida, particularly for housing and homeowners’ insurance, “more folks are looking for someplace that’s also warm but maybe isn’t as expensive.”

New Jersey, Texas and Washington state rounded out the top five landing spots. California and New York were the states older residents most often left, the study found, with 3 in 10 relocating retirees departing from one or the other.

‘More affordable to move now’

The report, drawn from U.S. Census Bureau survey data, links the big increase in moves to economic factors such as a cooling housing market and lower inflation. “It’s kind of a shift to where you’ve got folks saying OK, it’s more affordable to move now,” Marquit says.

Financial worries were less pronounced in survey responses on retirees’ reasons for moving. Just 6 percent said they were moving to find cheaper housing, compared to 12 percent in 2022. Family and health issues were the top two motivators in 2023, collectively driving 27 percent of retirement relocations.

Top 5 States Where Retirees Are Moving (5)

Top 5 States Where Retirees Are Moving (6)


Top 5 States Where Retirees Are Moving (7)

Top 5 States Where Retirees Are Moving (8)

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Top 5 States Where Retirees Are Moving (2024)


What is the best state to live in after retirement? ›

A: The best state to retire in 2024 is sunny Florida, according to WalletHub, thanks to its relative affordability and high quality of life for seniors. That's followed by Colorado, Virginia, and Delaware.

Where is the best place for seniors to move? ›

Florida, Colorado, and Virginia rank as the top three states for retiring seniors, according to WalletHub. 1 In a recent study, they compared all states based on 46 indicators in three key categories: Affordability, which includes tax benefits, cost of living, and more.

Where do the happiest retirees live? ›

Denmark has the highest level of life satisfaction among seniors and retirees, according to the World Happiness Report, which, for the first time ever, ranked countries by age group.

What is the best state for seniors on social security? ›

Idaho is revered as one of the best states to retire on social security for taxes. In this state, social security benefits are not taxed at the state level. Other types of retirement income are taxed at rates ranging from 0.00% to 6.00%. Property and sales tax rates are also low.

What is the cheapest state to live in when you retire? ›

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the lowest overall costs of living were found in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama, and West Virginia: Cheapest states to retire.

What is the number one state for retirement? ›

1. Delaware. Delaware is a popular destination for retirees, with around a fifth of its population being 65 years or older. Nicknamed the Diamond State, this East Coast jewel offers a host of benefits for retirees such as affordable housing, quality health care, and favorable tax policies.

Which state is the most tax-friendly for retirees? ›

Nevada. Nevada is considered to be very tax-friendly toward retirees. Nevada has no state income tax, meaning that withdrawals from retirement accounts are not subject to state income taxes. There are no state income taxes on Social Security benefits as well.

Why are retirees leaving Florida? ›

Why are boomers moving from Florida to Appalachia? Most of the boomers moving to Appalachia are "drawn by lower housing costs and living expenses, lower taxes, lower insurance costs, low crime, warm weather (but with seasons) and less chance of hurricanes," the Journal said.

Where do most 70 year olds live? ›

By Total: California has the highest number of seniors in the U.S. with a total of 5,148,448 residents ages 65 and older. But that is likely because California also has the highest population out of the states. Second in line is Florida, with a total number of 3,926,889 seniors.

What is the best state to live in when you are old? ›

Iowa is the best state overall for retiring. Washington is the worst state for retiring. Florida is the safest state overall for retirees, followed by Wyoming. Florida, Hawaii, and Louisiana are the warmest states to retire to if you don't mind some humidity.

What state do most retirees move to? ›

Older Americans are on the move, and they're still making Florida their number-one stop. More than 338,000 U.S. residents retired to a new home in 2023, a 44 percent jump from 2022 and the highest number in three years, according to a new report on migration trends from online moving-services marketplace Hire A Helper.

Where do most single seniors live? ›

New York. The New York metro area, which includes Newark and Jersey City, is home to more single people age 65 and older than any other city. There are more than 1 million older residents who are currently unmarried.

What is the number one place to retire in the US? ›

Florida, Colorado and Virginia top the list of the best places to retire in the U.S. in 2024, according to a new survey from WalletHub. The study compared the 50 states across 46 key indicators, from tax rates and the cost of living to access to quality medical care and fun activities.

Where is the best place to move after retirement? ›

Among the top ten states to retire, Florida comes in at number one, followed by Colorado, Virginia, Delaware, Wyoming, Idaho, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Montana and Pennsylvania. The next 15 states also earn the distinction of being good states to retire in 2024.

What is the most tax-friendly state for seniors? ›

Alaska. Alaska is rated as very tax-friendly for retirees. Alaska has no state income tax. This means no taxes on Social Security benefits, income from public or private pensions, or from any income from employment or self-employment in retirement.

Are seniors leaving Florida? ›

But while many people from that generation have indeed retired to the Sunshine State, recent reports indicate that boomers are now abandoning Florida for an unlikely alternative: Southern Appalachia, a region that includes Northern Georgia, the Carolinas, and portions of Tennessee and Virginia.

What state has the best cost of living for seniors? ›

Clouds rise above the mountains of the Teton Range as seen from Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on August 15, 2022. A new study identifies a rugged group of states — Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Idaho — as the most affordable destinations for American retirees.

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