Oregon Becomes a Retirement Destination

Baby Boomers leave high-cost cities and move to more affordable states

Jan 19, 2015 – As the largest generation in the United States, baby boomers are bound to make an impact on the economy, even after they retire. Without a steady flow of income, this generation is beginning to leave their homes in high-cost cities and move to more affordable states.

When choosing where to relocate in retirement, the main consideration used to be climate. Today, the primary concerns are cost of living and access to affordable healthcare.

United Van Lines’ Annual National Movers Study tracks customers’ migration patterns state-to-state during the course of the past year. The 2014 study found that Oregon has received an influx of retirees to the state. Dr. Michael Stroll, Professor of Public Policy at UCLA attributes this increase to California residents who are choosing to leave their high-cost state for areas with lower housing costs, a higher perceived quality of life and a generally lower cost of living.

Recreation, Walkability and Green Space Draw Seniors

The Pacific West, including Washington and Oregon, both saw an increase in migration in the 2014 study. According to Dr. Stoll, recreational amenities, walkability scores, outdoor space, greenery, affordable housing and a vibrant downtown area all are drawing boomers to the great Northwest. Residents can go hiking, fishing, paddling or cycling. Boomers have indicated they enjoy a more rural life because it reminds them of their childhood. It’s less congested, less noisy and slower paced. Rural areas have beautiful sceneries, clean environments and friendly neighbors. Leaving bigger cities also means boomers can save money, have more land and avoid crime and violence.

Boomers Impact Local Economies

Migrating boomers will have a deep impact on small towns and rural areas in Oregon. Instead of building big manufacturing plants, developers will look to golf courses and bike trails. Boomers are still active, willing to work part-time or volunteer, and come with many assets that will help communities to thrive. This trend may cause lower economic growth, but with so many people in retirement, it may lead to new opportunities.

Get the full story.

Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles share his thoughts on migration patterns and moving trends.

Press Kit:

United Van Lines 2014 National Movers Study Press Release, Map and Data – Download Now