Should I stay or should I go? Is a "Stay-Tirement" for you? In my quest to figure out the next phase of my life, the "where" piece continues to be the big question mark. Part of me wants to have a big adventure before I'm too old to physically have one. (Although, what's too old? At this very moment, my 93-year-old aunt is vacationing in Belize. Go Aunt Catherine!)
I've thought about moving to another country for a year, or joining the Peace Corps, or traveling to countries most people can't identify on a map, like Bhutan or any of the former eastern block countries that now have new names I can never remember.
But I still feel the need to have a home base. I want a place where I have a connection to my current life. There are people who have retired and moved off to a distant place only to miss their friends and family and move back. It's not as easy to make new friends when you get older and maybe I just don't feel like making a whole bunch of new friends. I kind of like the friends I already have.
On our retirement planning (and dreaming) website, GangsAway.com, we present all types of info about places to retire and what to do in retirement, whether it's working, volunteering or traveling. Using U.S. Census data and our own proprietary data, we wanted to figure out which town in each state has the highest percentage of Boomers electing to stay vs. move out. We wanted to see which hometowns across the country were the stickiest with people 55+ paying off their mortgages and staying put. We call it Stay-Tirement. We're not exactly sure what each and every individual town has to offer. Might be the environment or activities, weather, sense of community, extended family, cost of living or proximity to services.
In some states it's a city, in most, it's smaller towns. We are very familiar with some of them, others, not so much. In the state of New Hampshire, Portsmouth is number one. Portsmouth is a beautiful, charming and rare (very small coastline) coastal New Hampshire town, so that makes sense. In Tennessee, it's Nashville. I get that. Nashville is really hopping these days, who would want to leave? In Ludlow, MA, over one-fifth of the community is made up of Portuguese Americans, so perhaps it's the family connections that keep people there. And Lady Lake, FL is the home of one of the largest adult communities, The Villages. In Nevada, it's Pahrump (never heard of it) but Pahrump is an hour from Las Vegas and an hour from Death Valley National Park. You get hiking, biking and dice...nice. (I wonder what people in Pahrump call themselves? Pahrumpians?) It appears that each of these places has a unique reason for why people stay.
Here's the full list of the top town or city in each state that Boomers just don't want to leave. Have a look. Maybe your hometown is one of them and will make you think twice about taking off for parts unknown. Or maybe you'll take a closer look at some them as a future home for you. What do the locals know that we don't? Find out.
CA: Seal Beach
FL: Lady Lake
ID: Idaho Falls
KS: Dodge City
MI: Allen Park
MN: Albert Lea
NE: Grand Island
SC: Wade Hampton
TX: West Odessa
WA: Sea Tac
WY: Rock Springs