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Unusual retirement destinations becoming more popular

September 17, 2012

Florida and Arizona have long been popular retirement destinations, but as baby boomers enter their golden years, many of them are doing things a bit differently. Experts have noticed an increase in the number of older adults heading to smaller states in cooler climates, The Associated Press reports.

Older adults are becoming more likely to move to states above the Mason Dixon line. Everywhere from Maine to Washington has become a popular option. In fact, Michigan retirement communities are one of the most frequently-cited prospective destinations for older adults. Experts say the shifting attitude is due in large part to the fact that today's seniors value more than just warm weather.

"Yes, the Sun Belt remains popular, but many people prefer a four-season climate and enjoy the changing of seasons," Mary Lu Abbott, editor of Where to Retire magazine, told the AP. "They seek towns that are safe and have active, appealing downtowns and good hospitals nearby, and increasingly they're looking for places with a lower cost of living and lower overall tax rate."

The changing expectations of retirement also play a large role in why some seniors are eschewing a move to Florida in favor of one to Colorado. In particular, older adults place an emphasis on staying physically active and engaged. So, a community with volunteer opportunities and other older adults committed to healthy aging is important.

Of course, there are some retirement destinations in the southern United States that offer advantages as well. According to experts from CBS MoneyWatch, Texas has risen to become an ideal destination thanks in large part to thriving communities such as Austin. Fort Collins, Colorado, is also a popular spot, especially for outdoor enthusiasts.