You want to retire to a state where there are jobs. Not because you might need one someday, though you might. I’m thinking for insurance reasons. States without jobs are states without revenue. And they may be eyeballing your nest egg someday like a ravenous rodent.
It’s not a bad idea to have the mindset of a 20-something college grad. They’re moving to where the action is. For retirees, splitting time between two states doesn’t have to be expensive. You should see some of the younger crowd getting by for two weeks on what you might spend going out to lunch with friends.
Now it’s understandable if you’re worried about missing the family. But don’t get too bogged down. They’ll come visit you. Like a moving circus. And you’ll silently cheer when the airlines charge more for baggage.
If you live in New England, pack your bags. Population growth in the first decade of the new millennium, according to the 2010 census, was only 3.8%—a hiccup compared to 9.7% for the U.S. New England also leads in the graying of the population. Only seven states in the U.S. have a median age of 40 or older. Four are in New England: Maine (42.7), Vermont (41.5), New Hampshire (41.1), and Connecticut (40.0).
Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight predicts many states hit the hardest by job losses will recover the most. It mentions states like Florida, Nevada, and Arizona as seeing above-average growth through 2017. But the five states with the weakest forecast have had it rough too. And they are New England states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine. The fifth is Michigan.
As you can see in the following charts, the U.S. initial jobless claims are not looking good. But within the numbers, there is a different story from state to state. You want to be in the states where there are jobs.