Retirees Seeking Warmer Climates

“Walking to the beach has become a welcome form of relaxation”

Jan 4, 2016 – Leaving the Midwest? You’re not alone – 21 percent of outbound moves came from the Rust Belt states, with 17 percent of those folks heading out for retirement according to the United Van Lines 39th Annual National Movers Study. In Illinois, a whopping 20 percent retired out of the state, including Doug Keefe, a project manager from Gurnee. “It was a three-year review process [to choose a retirement location],” said Keefe. “Knowing I was going to retire on a fixed income, I looked into areas with the lowest cost of living and lowest tax burden, and then decided where I really wanted to be.” Keefe first moved to Gurnee, a suburb of Chicago in 1979, a move he made with United Van Lines. “I always knew that I was not going to retire in Illinois,” said Keefe. “The property taxes were outrageous. On a fixed income, the last thing you want to do is throw away your money on property taxes.” Keefe isn’t alone – Illinois boasted one of the largest numbers of outbound moves in 2015. Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, believes much of the migration out of the Midwest correlates with the demographics of the region. The Midwest has a large population of older adults, and as baby boomers begin to retire, social security becomes a primary source of income. “The only thought I had was to prepare financially for retirement,” said Keefe. “Where [to move] was a secondary thought.” Keefe looked south, researching areas in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina before deciding on Myrtle Beach. “I only had two weeks to pack up and move,” Keefe said. “Fortunately, my favorite mover was available to help get me to my destination.” With United Van Lines’ help, Keefe settled into his new property and new lifestyle. With a warmer climate, walking to the beach has become a welcome form of relaxation, and nearly all of his needs are only a golf cart ride away. “It pays to do your research,” said Keefe.