THE BLOG
12/14/2013 06:57 am ET Updated Feb 13, 2014

Boomers Are Moving to These 50 Small Towns

I've been on a mission to come up with the plan of what my retirement years should look like. I feel like a kid just getting out of school and planning what to do with my life. While I'm over 50, I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I suppose my childhood desires to become a ballerina, movie star and princess are a bit unrealistic at this point (although I still think I would look nice wearing a crown) but there are loads of other lifestyles, places and jobs that could suit me, and I plan to be around for another 40 years, at least!

I'm approaching a point where my kids are almost grown and I have a whole new blank chapter to write. Where will I go? What will I do? Who will I become? I could really do anything. Or be anyone. Do I want warm? Water? Country? City? Do I want to start a new adventure or a new career or business? I'm not ready to pack it in and sit around and play cards and but yearn to do something completely different. Sure I like my house and town and my friends... but hey, been there, done that and there are always Skype and planes to keep those connections going. As I continue my personal quest to figure out where I should live and what I should do once I retire from my current job, I feel like a kid in a candy store. Baby Ruth or Clark Bar? Mounds or Almond Joy? The world is my oyster, right? And, I also have my husband to consider, I don't think he wants to be a princess or ballerina.

I grew up in a pretty small town in New York on Long Island called Rockville Centre. It had tree-lined streets and nice neighbors. It was a 35- minute ride on the train into Manhattan and a 15-minute ride to the beach. As an adult, my family settled in Wilton, CT, a small country town about an hour and 15 minutes North of New York City. Wilton is beautiful with lots of trees, stone walls and nice neighbors. But, neither town offers the adventure and change of venue I now long for.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article called "Where Are All the Boomers Moving?" on Huffington Post. Using our GangsAway! proprietary data and U.S. Census data we came up with a list of the top cities (over 50K population) that Boomers were heading to in each state. This was based on actual moving numbers over the past couple of years. Lots of people are moving into cities for retirement so they can live in a walk-able place with lots of services.

However, we also noticed that a fair number of Boomers are heading to smaller towns or maybe small towns near larger cities. We thought as a follow up to our earlier article, it would be interesting to see where Boomers are moving when they are not going to cities. We've developed a list of the top towns (between 10-50K population) in each state that are attracting the greatest number of people 50+. Some are those you may be familiar with but quite a few are new to us. Many of them are home to adult communities that are also a big draw for retirees. Small town charm but close enough to larger towns or cities to keep interesting. Once again, crowd sourced wisdom is invaluable. Have a look and they may give you food for thought. Let us know what you think of these towns. As for me, who knows, one of these small towns may need a new princess!

AK: College
AL: Pell City
AR: Bella Vista
AZ: Sedona
CA: Rancho Mirage
CO: Greenwood Village
CT: Southbury
DE: Middletown
FL: The Villages
GA: Perry
HI: Wailuku
IA: Bettendorf
ID: Hayden
IL: Woodstock
IN: Valparaiso
KS: Leavenworth
KY: Shepherdsville
LA: Shenandoah
MA: Hull
MD: Parole
ME: South Portland
MI: Riverview
MN: Buffalo
MO: Town and Country
MS: Long Beach
MT: Helena
NC: Pinehurst
ND: Dickinson
NE: La Vista
NH: Bedford
NJ: Hanover
NM: Carlsbad
NV: Gardnerville Ranchos
NY: Woodbury
OH: Beachwood
OK: Bartlesville
OR: Oak Grove
PA: Whitpain
RI: Narragansett
SC: Aiken
SD: Pierre
TN: Millington
TX: Boerne
UT: Pleasant Grove
VA: Huntington
VT: South Burlington
WA: Vashon
WI: Fitchburg
WV: St. Albans
WY: Rock Springs

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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