The Takeaway: Out-Of-State Retirement Out Of Fashion; 80 Is the New 65

Boomers Stay Put: For a while, it seemed so many retirees flocked to places like Florida and Arizona that it became something of a cliche or joke (think Jerry Seinfeld’s parents on Seinfeld). But the times, they’ve changed: Boomer retirees, either battered by a bad economy or just harboring a greater desire than their predecessors to age in place, are staying put. A USA Today analysis of Census Bureau data found the number of Americans age 55-64 who have moved to Sun Belt or other retirement-friendly states in the past few years has dropped dramatically. And net migration to a group of counties across the country that are primarily retirement magnets fell 70 percent last year.

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Partly, this reflects an overall change in mobility trends-Americans in general are moving less. The percentage of Americans who changed homes last year-11.6 percent-reached a record low, fueled in large part by the recession and the mortgage meltdown. In the mid 1980s, more than 20 percent were moving each year. In this climate, it’s no wonder that retirees and older adults are opting to forego out-of-state moves.

There’s economic uncertainty in all areas,” says Deborah Meyer, chief marketing officer for PulteGroup, the largest developer of 55-plus communities such as Del Webb and Sun City. “Even though desire is as high as ever, they’re delaying. … The volume isn’t what it was.”

Colorado is the one state that continues to attract large numbers of both incoming retirees and young professionals. The Carolinas have also emerged as a preferred retirement destination.

80 Is The New 65: This is hardly news any longer, but …. Americans are preparing to work longer in order to save for retirement (you’re shocked, I know). That’s the word from a new survey by Wells Fargo & Co., which found 25 percent of those surveyed said they expect they’ll need to work until at least age 80 because they don’t have sufficient retirement savings.

“Eighty is the new 65,” Joseph Ready, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust, said. “It’s a real sea change.”

More than three quarters of respondents think it’s more important to reach a specific dollar amount before retiring, compared with 20 percent who say it’s more important to retire at a given age. The way near-retirees view retirement savings is also changing: About 68 percent said they’re not confident the stock market is a good place to invest retirement savings. About 45 percent said if they were given $5,000 they would buy a certificate of deposit, and 50 percent said they’d invest it in stocks or mutual funds.

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Photo: Wing-Chi Poon