Retirement Goes Rural: More Retirees Ditching Florida For Southern Appalachia
Retirement Goes Rural: More Retirees Ditching Florida For Southern Appalachia

Despite the fact that Florida has always been “retirement country”, those who have the means to move out of the state to retire are now focusing on southern Appalachia, for life in an even more rural setting.

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the trend of “halfbacks” — retirees initially moving from the Northeast and Midwest to Florida, then relocating to mid-southern regions like Southwest Virginia, North Georgia, parts of the Carolinas, and areas in Alabama and Tennessee.

Some retirees are choosing southern Appalachia over Florida, the report says. From April 2020 to July 2022, these southern Appalachian regions experienced a 3.8% population increase, outpacing the national growth rate, mainly due to retirees seeking retirement or recreational locales.

This influx has sparked development in previously rural counties, with the emergence of retirement communities with upscale features, big-box retailers extending into the area, and an increased demand for government services, housing, and infrastructure, Business Insider wrote in a wrap-up article.

Retirement Goes Rural: More Retirees Ditching Florida For Southern Appalachia

Retiree Ed Helms moved to North Georgia, telling WSJ“Our property insurance was going sky high. We got tired of being unable to find a place to sit in restaurants. We wouldn’t go back for anything.”

“People who have moved here now want us to put up a gate and stop anybody else from moving here. It doesn’t work that way,” said Billy Thurmond, a county native and the chairman of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners.

Back in 2023, we listed the best states for retirement in the U.S. Visual Capitalist’s Marcus Lu visualized data from personal finance platform WalletHub which ranked the best U.S. states for retirement as of 2023.

According to this methodology, Virginia is currently the best state for retirement. Although the Southeastern state does not excel in any one dimension, it scores consistently well across all three to create a very balanced retirement profile.

This gives it a slight advantage over second place Florida, which excels in quality of life and affordability, but falls further behind in terms of health care. Third-placed Colorado is a mirror of Florida, offering excellent health care but a lower quality of life in comparison.

For affordability, top names include many of the Southern Appalachia states, including Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia and South Carolina. 

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/25/2024 – 22:40

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