Where Early Retirees Are Relocating

A retired couple, a man and a woman, stand on the right in a yard facing a new home in the background.

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The pandemic has prompted up to 3 million Americans to retire earlier than planned. But not as many are moving right after retirement, as retirees have often done in the past.

The number of retirees who moved in 2021 fell by 43% compared to the previous year, according to a new analysis from Hire A Helper, a home services firm. The reasons some are choosing to stay in place long after retirement are the rise in home prices, lack of retirement savings, and pandemic concerns.

However, retirees who did decide to move are going far. Nearly half of Americans who moved after retiring this year relocated to a different state, compared to 16% of overall movers.

Where are out-of-state retirees moving to? Tennessee, which boasts some of the lowest tax burdens in the U.S., is 2021’s top destination for retirees who are moving to another state, according to the analysis.

A bar chart showing the states most appealing to retirees moving out of their state.

In choosing a metro for retirement, about a quarter of Americans moved to smaller towns and cities far from urban areas, the study showed. The city attracting the largest percentage of retirees in 2021 is Pittsburgh, which is considered to have a low cost of living, a quality health care system, and a significant number of residents who are 65 and older. Three metro areas in Tennessee also made the top 10 list.

A bar chart showing the metro areas most appealing to retirees who are moving.