If you were to ask someone at random to name a state popular with retirees, they’d probably mention Florida first, and right behind it, they’d bring up Arizona. Since the ’80s, these states have consistently ranked number 1 and number 2 for people relocating in retirement.
However, it seems that the tide is changing. In October, we posted a story about how retirees are fleeing Florida for the Carolinas. In that scenario, distance was the main reason. People who retired to Florida from New York, New Jersey, as well as other northern states, reported that the drive back to their hometowns and old friends was too long. For them, North and South Carolina offered the perfect fit of warmer weather, lower taxes, while shaving up to 12 hours off the drive back home.
Now there is evidence that retirees are also leaving Arizona and heading to the Carolinas.
A banking website, called Go Banking Rates.com, published a story last month about the mass exodus out of Arizona. According to the website, in 2023, an estimated 91,000 retirees left the state. Roughly 1 in 8 retirees who left reported a rise in living expenses as their top reason. Go Banking says that the average cost of a comfortable retirement in Arizona was more than $77,000. Other reasons given by retirees include extreme heat and access to health care.
Officially, Texas ranks as the number one destination for retirees leaving Arizona. Seniors are attracted to the low cost of living in Texas and the absence of state income tax.
The second most popular destination is the Carolinas. North and South Carolina are gaining popularity for their temperate climate, scenic beauty, and affordable living. The publication specifically mentioned the growing popularity of Wilmington, Asheville, and Charleston, South Carolina.
If you live in Arizona and are considering moving to our neck of the woods, here are some things to put under the Pro column:
- Milder Climate: Wilmington generally experiences milder temperatures compared to Arizona, especially during the summer. The coastal location moderates temperatures and provides a more temperate climate.
- Beautiful Beaches: Wilmington is located near the coast, offering access to beautiful beaches such as Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach, providing opportunities for water activities and relaxation.
- Rich History: Wilmington has a rich history, with a charming historic district, cobblestone streets, and antebellum architecture. If you enjoy exploring historical sites and experiencing a sense of nostalgia, Wilmington might be a great fit.
- Cultural Scene: The city has a vibrant cultural scene with museums, theaters, and galleries. Events and festivals are common, providing entertainment and opportunities to engage with the community.
- Affordable Living: Compared to some areas in Arizona, Wilmington may have a more affordable cost of living, including housing, utilities, and everyday expenses.
- Outdoor Recreation: Wilmington offers various outdoor recreational opportunities, from hiking and biking trails to water-based activities like kayaking and boating.
- Community Atmosphere: Wilmington is known for its friendly and welcoming community. If you prefer a tight-knit community feel, it might be a positive aspect of the move.
- Proximity to Other Cities: Wilmington’s location provides relatively easy access to other cities in the region, such as Raleigh and Charlotte, allowing for convenient weekend trips or access to a broader range of amenities.
Remember that the specific experience of moving from Arizona to the North Carolina coast can vary based on the location within both states and personal preferences. It’s important to research the areas you’re interested in to make an informed decision. If you need assistance, our relocation experts at JFB are ready to help. Speak to one of them today at 910-202-4813.