Sun and sand and beaches are important for baby boomers contemplating where they are going to live when they retire. • But, climate is not as important as quality health care, cost of housing and taxes to the 78 million boomers who are now 47 to 65 years old. • That's according to recently released results of a survey taken by the Consumer Federation of the Southeast in November. All respondents live in the eastern half of the United States (excluding Florida) and said they are planning to relocate or might consider relocating after retirement. It was the first major retirement relocation survey in 10 years.
While only 18 percent of boomers named Florida as their ultimate destination, that equals 14 million people. The population of Florida is 19 million.
"Thousands of boomers are retiring every day nationwide," Walter Dartland, president of the consumer group, said.
"The decisions they make about where they will retire will have a huge impact not only on their families' finances but on the communities to which they move."
Among the findings:
• 96 percent say top-quality health care services are "very" or "somewhat" important.
• 92 percent say affordable housing is "very" or "somewhat" important.
• 53 percent want a warm climate with some cooler months; 21 percent want warm and sunny year round; 25 percent want four seasons; 1 percent want a cooler climate.
• 81 percent say low local taxes are "very" or "somewhat" important.
• 58 percent plan to buy a house in their retirement destination.
• 36 percent say economy is delaying their retirement.
The Consumer Federation of the Southeast (CFSE) is a not-for-profit consumer advocacy group founded in 2003 and dedicated to consumer advocacy in the southeastern United States. Poll results can be found at consumerfederationse.com.