What factors have the biggest impact on deciding where to retire?
New York, New York, it’s a helluva town, as the song says, just maybe not to retire.
The Big Apple does not rank among Forbes’ list of the top 25 American cities to retire. It placed a distance 147th on WalletHub’s recent survey of the best places to retire among 150 of America’s largest cities. And now comes a new AARP report with dire implications for the state’s economy.
At issue is what AARP is calling Boomer Flight. Of survey respondents who said they are confident they will be able to stop working, six-in-ten said they are at least somewhat likely to leave New York after retiring. Why the escape from New York:
- 56 percent are either “extremely” (33 percent) or “very” (22 percent worried about paying property taxes
- 51 percent worry about being able to pay their utility bills, which are reportedly among the nation's highest
- 40 percent worry about paying their rent or mortgage
- More than half of New York Boomers (56 percent) said their retirement will be delayed for financial reasons, while 26 percent report not having access to a retirement savings plans through their employer
Large majorities of respondents said they would stay in New York if there were improvements in health care (77 percent), housing (70 percent), transportation (66 percent) and jobs for older residents (61 percent).
The so-called “longevity economy” comprises nearly $600 billion, supporting 53 percent of the state’s jobs, 48 percent of its employee compensation and 44 percent of all state taxes, AARP reports. The departure of 60 percent of Baby Boomers from New York could mean a loss of more than $105 billion annually.
The prospect of moving out of state in retirement is at odds with the general preference to retire in place. Roughly 60 percent of Affluent Americans plan to stick close to home if or when they retire, according to a 2013 survey of Affluent households conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
But cost of living issues can throw a wrench into retirement planning. This is the No. 1 factor for the highest percentage of Affluent respondents (60 percent) when asked what will have the biggest impact on their decision on where to retire. The other determining factors include:
- Proximity to family/friends (58 percent)
- Weather (57 percent)
- Access to healthcare (44 percent)
- Taxes (40 percent)
- Landscape (34 percent)
- Recreational opportunities (34 percent)
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.