North Carolina #1 Relocation Choice Among Nation’s Youngest Boomers

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North Carolina will become the nation's #1 choice in retirement relocation in coming years. Florida is gradually losing its grip on this industry. The National Active Retirement Association (NARA) will be exploring this and other topics at its annual conference on Hilton Head Island November 8-10.

North Carolina has held a strong national position as a retirement destination for almost two decades, but a detailed new survey shows that North Carolina is the number one future retirement choice among the 41-49 age group.

Among all participants aged 41-69, North Carolina was the number three retirement destination choice behind Florida and Arizona.

“Based on 1990 and 2000 census numbers, North Carolina has held steady as the fifth most popular retirement state in America,” said Dan Owens, president of the National Active Retirement Association (NARA). “This new study shows that North Carolina is projected to become the number one retirement state over the next 10 or so years."

NARA will be exploring these and other trends at its 7th Annual Conference, entitled FROM EMPTY NESTER TO RETIREE: Focusing on the Exploding Consumer Demand, on Hilton Head Island November 8-10, 2006. For more information on sponsorships or registration, see

Also, the annual NARA Awards celebrate the finest in active adult/retirement housing, industry advertising and in sales and marketing success.

Owens is also publisher of Retirement Lifestyles, named one of the finest magazines in America for 50+ readers in 2005 by the 2006 Mature Market Awards program.

Del Webb, the national leader in developing communities for 55-plus consumers, commissioned the study. Harris Interactive conducted the survey in April, 2005. Del Webb, owned by the Pulte Corporation, is developing approximately 18 new large scale 55+ developments around the country. In the Carolinas, Del Webb has developments in Bluffton/Hilton Head, SC, Cary, NC and in Lancaster County, SC just south of Charlotte, NC. (This survey can be accessed at

With huge numbers of people turning 50 each year, the survey results portend a dramatic expansion in the number of older adults living in the state, Owens said. “This trend is the "silent growth engine" in the Southeast and will continue over the next 25 years. Certainly, North Carolina is in the catbird seat...the trends will increasingly favor the state and help fuel the real estate market.” he added.

The Del Webb Baby Boomer survey also presented some other interesting findings. Among those 41-49, 59 percent said they will move to a new retirement home. Among those 50-59-year-old boomers, 50 percent will move. Of those willing to move, 54 percent will seek a warmer client.

Additionally, the survey reported that Florida, which for years has been the overwhelming destination of choice for retirees, received both high and low marks. While high percentages of 50-59 year olds (18 percent) and 60-69 year olds (17 percent) choose Florida as their destination of choice, 10 percent of all respondents said Florida was their least likely destination.

“The fact is, Florida is somewhat losing its grip on the retirement industry and other states - especially those scenic but less expensive areas in the South and the West - are going to capitalize in the future,” said NARA's Owens. He noted that only 11 percent of the youngest baby boomers (41-49) see themselves moving to Florida.


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Charles Owens
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