Real Estate Expert Marian Schaffer of Southeast Discovery Says South Carolina One of Top Relocation Destinations in the U.S. According to National Movers Survey

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Schaffer Says United Van Lines Survey Names South Carolina as One of Five States with the Largest Proportion of Inbound Moves in 2016

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As Baby Boomers reach retirement age, they’re thinking about places that have a warmer climate, lower property taxes, a lifestyle community, and a lower cost of living, and South Carolina is one of the states they frequently choose to move to.

Marian Schaffer, Principal and Founder of Southeast Discovery, a real estate consulting firm specializing in guiding Baby Boomers with their real estate needs in the niche markets of retirement relocation and second homes in the Southeast region, recently shared the findings of the National Movers Survey by United Van Lines, which has been tracking state migration data since 1977.

“The survey ranks the outbound moves in each state as a proportion to the total number of moves in that state. Not surprisingly, northeast states comprise 50% of the top ten spots on the list,” explained Schaffer. “As the population reaches retirement age, Baby Boomers are thinking about places that have a warmer climate, lower property taxes, a lifestyle community, and a lower cost of living, and the survey shows that South Carolina is one of the states they frequently choose to move to.”

The states with the largest proportion of inbound moves in 2016 were Oregon, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota and Vermont. Vermont, unlike other northeastern states, showed a high portion of people (20%) moving there to pursue a different lifestyle.

In terms of outbound moves, New Jersey, a frequent holder of the number one spot for population exodus, has topped the list again according to the survey. 63% more people are leaving that state than moving in. A report by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association stated this outmigration has cost the state $18 billion in net adjusted gross income over a 10-year span.

New Jersey was followed by Illinois and New York, which also had 63% outbound migrations. Connecticut and Kansas had 60%; Kentucky had 58% outmigration, while West Virginia and Ohio both came in at 57%. Utah and Pennsylvania rounded out the top 10 with 56% each.

People facing retirement make up part of this demographic shift to the Southeastern and Western states. According to UCLA economist and public policy professor Michael Stoll, who partners with United Van Lines to interpret the migration study, “Compared to the South and West, the Midwest and Northeast have older populations.” The survey cites many of the moves are also because of high taxes – property and otherwise – and the weather. But, it was a better economic opportunity or new job that accounted for 40% of the moves out of state according to the survey.

“People moving out Northeastern and Midwestern states into Southeastern states are not only finding a warmer climate and better lifestyle, but they are also bringing their income and household spending with them,” said Schaffer. “This bodes well for personal property values, existing and new businesses and services, municipal and state coffers, and the general fiscal health of those states receiving this inbound migration. While states like New Jersey are lamenting the loss of billions of dollars of economic impact, southeastern states, including South Carolina, are reaping the benefits.”

If you’re a baby boomer reaching retirement age and considering relocating to the Southeast, we can help. We've been working with clients to find the right area and community to call home in the Southeast for over a decade. Feel free to complete our complimentary online questionnaire here to get feedback on the best areas and specific communities that may be just right for you.

About Southeast Discovery

Since 2004, Southeast Discovery has been a trusted resource for candid information and insight on communities, developments, and general real estate in the Southeast. Through its highly-ranked web portal, newsletter and blog and its one-on-one work with clients, Southeast Discovery helps buyers actively looking for a retirement or second home in the Southeast navigate the process of identifying the right area and community for their needs. To learn more, visit

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