The Top Vacation Spots for Baby Boomers To Retire

    The Top Vacation Spots for Baby Boomers To Retire

    Jul 22, 2021

    Looking for an affordable, warm-weather vacation destination to spend your golden years? It’s no surprise that retirees should look to the South, and a recent report homes in on the best places.

    The top getaway for baby boomers and other seniors to make their permanent home is Georgetown, SC, about an hour south of Myrtle Beach, according to a recent report from personal finance website MagnifyMoney.

    Eight of the top 10 vacation areas for baby boomers and other seniors to move to are in the South. These areas tend to be cheaper, have better weather, and offer more health care facilities and things to do.

    The MagnifyMoney study looked at the metropolitan areas with significant numbers of second homes, from 5% to 30% of the total housing stock. These areas were then ranked based on the percentage of residents aged 65 and up; median monthly housing costs; percentage of seniors with incomes below the poverty line; availability of health care businesses; the share of businesses focused on the arts, entertainment, and recreation options; and average daily temperatures.

    “For many people, retiring to a vacation spot is a way to go on a never-ending vacation,” says Jacob Channel, senior economic analyst for MagnifyMoney. “A place where there is a lot of retirees is attractive because of the social opportunities and an infrastructure set up to meet their needs.”

    Retirees flock to coastal South Carolina

    Georgetown, the No. 1 pick, offers buyers a mix of more affordably priced ranches, new-construction homes, and megamansions on the water. The median home list price there was $324,545 in June, according to the latest® data.

    About half of Georgetown real estate broker Will Davis‘ clients are baby boomers moving from the Northeast.

    “I thought they would be coming here for golf, the beach, and the climate, but realized after I got here that the low cost of living, low taxes, and inexpensive housing are No. 1. Lifestyle factors are Nos. 2, 3, and 4,” says Davis, who’s with The Litchfield Company. “Buyers from New Jersey can’t believe they were paying $1,000 per month in taxes and are now paying $800 a year.”

    Builders have put up lots of housing to accommodate these new residents. And unlike in the pricier Northeast, buyers can score a newly constructed home with a patio starting in the upper $100,000 to the mid-$200,000 range, says Davis.

    Meanwhile, prices for more upscale properties have skyrocketed “in the crazy, post-COVID environment,” he says. Now properties priced over $1 million are getting multiple offers.

    Top 10 vacation home areas for retirees

    1. Georgetown, SC: $324,545 median home list price*
    2. Sebring, FL: $224,950
    3. The Villages, FL: $340,000
    4. Punta Gorda, FL: $437,050
    5. Myrtle Beach, SC: $259,950
    6. Payson, AZ: $572,550
    7. Sebastian, FL: $324,550
    8. Naples, FL: $620,050
    9. Homosassa Springs, FL: $287,050**
    10. Salisbury, MD: $242,550

    * Median home list prices from as of June 1

    ** Data for Homosassa, FL

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