Step aside, Florida

Perri Ormont Blumberg
May 16, 2018
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Perhaps you've heard of the "halfback" movement, where Northern transplants to Florida buy retirement homes in the Southern Appalachian region (the trend's name symbolizes people moving halfway back towards their Northern towns). Now, as The Wall Street Journal reports, halfback-ing is on the upswing.

"Census data show that from 2010 to 2017, net migration to retirement-destination counties in Appalachian regions of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee increased 169%, the same percentage of growth for retirement destinations in Florida, according to Hamilton Lombard, a University of Virginia demographer who has tracked the halfback phenomenon," notes the article's author Cameron McWhirter. "During the same period, net migration to all U.S. retirement-destination counties increased 67%."

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Of course, this influx of retirees is not without some downsides as The Wall Street Journal report notes. Some locals with their roots firmly planted in the same county for generations struggle to afford making rent and traffic is worsening. On a positive note, the new flow of residents has increased tax revenue and helped to grow local economies. If you're considering settling down for retirement, the mountain towns of Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina are certainly worth investigating.