Downsizing Across State Lines

Reflections on an article from IBD I read last week…

The number of retirees moving to Florida has decreased over the past 20 years according to Richard Johnson of The Urban Institute. According to Johnson, 1/4 retirees age 55-65 moved to Florida from out of state. That number dropped to 1/7 by 2010.


Is Florida losing its luster?

Some of it can be explained by people wanting to retiree closer to home. The number of retirees moving to Las Vegas, Arizona, Texas and South Carolina for example, have increased. According to a recent study, 9/10 of Americans want to stay in their homes indefinitely (see article).

Downsize…to the City?

One point Johnson makes that I have seen is this movement of retirees back to the city. I attempted to create a workshop series in

Beautiful Florida Home

partnership with a national real estate chain and a very large bank catered to people making this move. I was not able to get it going but still believe in the idea that this boomer generation, unlike the previous two generations, WILL move into something else. They don’t seem to have this emotional attachment to real estate. And perhaps they see in a sobering way that with all of the demand for city living, the future value of their suburban real estate could be dropping every year (despite short term price movements).

So the question is, is Florida declining as a destination? Perhaps before it was the only destination, it now has some competition, and if boomers truly want the city lifestyle, they may be more attracted to Miami and some of the development in downtown Fort Myers if Florida is the place they want to be. I do think that a city condo, even in a winter-exposed northern city like New York or Boston, offers significant competition to Florida. I will add however, that many of the people we are talking about, can ALSO afford to have a condo in Florida (they’re so cheap).

Downsizing to Live Comfortably

There is another group of boomers that are sick of their jobs but may not be wealthy enough to have it all. This group is likely to consider downsizing to Florida or another low cost location – perhaps if they know there is a bedroom at their children’s house for them when they come and visit. Structurally, social security benefits are very generous in my opinion – so even someone who hasn’t done an awesome job of saving could escape and live comfortably in a place like Florida if they utilize the proceeds of their likely more expensive city home smartly. This point is also mentioned in the article.

I have run into many people in my practice that simply want to retire and enjoy themselves. Interestingly, I seem to hear “I want to retire now” as often as I hear “I’ll keep working until I’m at least 70.” Seems the generation is split. It seems to depend on career passion or relationships with co-workers. Some people will continue to work because they don’t know what they’d do with themselves if they retired. My mother in law doesn’t have that problem. She laughs at that comment because she has so many hobbies she would have no problem keeping busy after she retired!

Know YOUR Options

Overall, the article reflects what I am seeing in my practice. If you are considering downsizing, get to know ALL OF YOUR OPTIONS. We can provide guidance into many facets of the process due to our on site research into retirement real estate in places like Florida, Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley, Northern New England and more. We have also doen extensive research with onsite visits to retirement communities (and senior housing) so we can help you or a loved one through the process of downsizing. And whether it’s for you to enjoy life better, or your parents for medical reasons, we have the experience and the team to help with the entire process. Give us a call toll free at 888.278.9433 (781.393.0021 local) or contact us through our contact form by clicking HERE.

You can also request a free copy of our downsizing report. Learn more about that on our Downsizing page HERE.

Thanks for reading!