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More Retirees Planning to Stay in Home State, Survey Finds

By Michele Dawson | October 1, 2012

Many of us have an image of 60-somethings retiring, selling their house, and heading for the sun and sand of warmer climates. But a new study from PulteGroup finds that 62 percent of the Baby Boomers surveyed will stay in their home state — a 20 percent increase from just two years ago.

Image by Alex E. Proimos via

"In looking at our previous studies, we found that there's a group who do not want to leave their family, friends and all the familiar surroundings," said Deborah Meyer, senior vice president of  PulteGroup, Inc. said. "That's why Del Webb established more communities outside the Sun Belt states and into four-season locations, such as Chicago, Detroit and the Northeastern states.”

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • 43 percent plan to retire in the same city where they currently live; 19 percent plan to retire within the same state, but a different city.
  • 35 percent plan to retire in a different state from where they currently live.
  • 53 percent will not take into account the proximity of their children/grandchildren when deciding where to live in retirement.
  • 32 percent want to live within 20 miles of their children/grandchildren upon retirement.

In addition to an increasing desire to stay in their home state, the fickle economy doesn’t seem to be changing or delaying plans for retirement. Some 61 percent of the respondents plan to retire in less than 10 years, including 46 percent who believe they will be financially prepared to retire in the same time period. Among this same group, 59 percent said that they are either not delaying retirement or plan to retire at a younger age than originally anticipated.

"The survey results seem to defy expectations that the economic slowdown of the past five years has forced many Baby Boomers to rethink their retirement plans," said Meyer. "On the contrary, these results suggest that future retirees are likely making financial adjustments now so that they can enjoy the full benefits of the next chapter of their lives.

"Given the significant weakness in housing over this same period, we were surprised to see that only 12 percent of those respondents who are delaying retirement indicated that selling their home or the current value of their home is a barrier to retirement."

Michele Dawson is a freelance writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She spent seven years as a newspaper reporter and has written for various magazines and web sites specializing in real estate and home improvement, including Realty Times, SmartHomeowner, California Builder, and the Sacramento Business Journal.
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