tropical beach in florida with group of seagulls flying away

Why are more people leaving Florida than entering?

For the second year in a row, Atlas Van Lines is reporting that more residents have moved out of Florida rather than deciding to settle in the Sunshine State.

Where People Are Going

According to the Atlas study, America continues to see a mass migration to the west as people seek out more rural areas in favor of crowded urban areas. Places like Washington and even Alaska were reported as inbound states for the first time ever and received some of the highest percentage of incoming movers.

These real estate trends could be indications of new retirement living desires across the country.

Where People Are Leaving From

Not surprisingly, the states identified as the "Rust Belt" (Ohio, Indiana and Michigan) saw some of the highest outbound percentages of traffic. Ohio had overall the largest percentage of outbound movers compared to inbound movers in the country and ranked fifth overall in the number of people who left the state.

The Northeast remained relatively stable overall, but states like New York and New Jersey saw some of the highest percentage of outbound movers.

Most of the states in the Southeast were relatively flat, after experiencing dramatic changes in the post-Katrina migrations of the last couple years.

It is important to note that these findings are based on Atlas Van Lines data and are not necessarily reflective of the actual migration patterns of the country.  For example, while Atlas noted more people left Florida than entered it, the U.S. Census Bureau noted that the state population increased by 1 percent in 2007.

What Does This Mean For Your Retirement Plan?

While many have dreamed of retirement living in Florida, the numbers show that fewer and fewer people are considering this option each year. Many of the people who had once considered retiring to Florida are instead settling in places like the Carolinas and Georgia.

Similarly, many people seem to be favoring a move to the Southwest in search of retirement communities in states such as Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, where prices are more reasonable and there is more open space.

Other retirees are trading in the fun and sun and joining the latest trend of people migrating to the Northwest. While the Northwest may not provide the hot weather that can be found in places like Florida and Arizona, it does provide more of a relief from the heat that steers many away from the common retirement hot spots (pardon the pun).

In 2008, the first baby boomers will turn 62 and many will be much closer to taking their retirement. With such a vast number of people reaching retirement, we will likely see some interesting trends in the coming years.