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What Are ‘Half Back’ Retirees?

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What are Half Backs?

When it comes to choosing a retirement location, Florida may be at the top of the list. With over 19% of the state population being over 65 years old, Florida is an obvious choice for retirement. With its white sandy beaches, world-class health care, and unparalleled senior services, there’s certainly a lot to love about the Sunshine State. However, Leisure Care is seeing a trend among today’s seniors where retirees in Florida and other traditional retirement states are pressing more north, relocating or establishing a second home in the mid-South states. These seniors are called ‘half backs’, moving ‘half back’ home, which was in one of the northern states.

Learn more about half backs and what is calling these seniors out of Florida and other popular retirement states, into the mid-South.

Increasing Senior Population in the Mid-South

The newest generation of retirees are redesigning and redefining what retirement looks like in America. In the recent past, a dream retirement meant a move to Florida or Arizona – a state with an abundance of sunshine that promoted an “easy living” mentality. While the hot climates and sandy beaches or arid deserts still draw seniors from northern, colder climates, many retirees are opting for a second relocation to areas more north. These retirees are called half backs or half back retirees as they move “halfway back” to their original state.

States like Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia are all seeing more retirees than ever. For instance, Raleigh, North Carolina has seen a 60% increase in its 65+ population in the decade spanning 2000 to 2010. The 55-64 population grew by 97% in the same period. Other mid-South cities are seeing its senior population increase by more than 35%, particularly in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Chattanooga.

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Personal and Financial Benefits for Half Backs

There are a wide range of reasons why seniors are moving ‘half back’ home. Mid-South states still offer the weather that draws seniors to more traditional retirement states, but often without the crowds and the cost. Seniors are moving to states that still boast temperate climates but with four seasons, mountain and lake areas with picturesque landscapes, and some even include popular college towns for active seniors seeking educational or volunteer opportunities.

Due to the risk of hurricanes, hazard insurance rates in Florida are often four times higher than in Virginia. Add that to increased property taxes, and for many, choosing another retirement location is a no-brainer. Additionally, Mid-South states still offer world-class healthcare, often in university towns, and are typically located closer to family.

No matter what the reason, the trend is obvious. Half back retirees are seeking to improve their current living situation. No matter if it’s running from crowds, lowering costs of living, seeking better health care, or just searching for a slower pace of life, half back retirees are changing what it means to retire in America – combining the traditional retirement dream with family and comfort.

Have you seen this trend among your senior loved ones? Would you consider moving ‘half back’ home in retirement? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below.

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About the author

Alissa has been working in marketing and the senior living industry for over 8 years. With a B.S. in advertising from the University of Illinois, Alissa has worked all over the world as a freelance communications strategist and writer. Published in Forbes, Senior Finance Advisor, Alzheimers.net and on other leading senior care blogs, she leverages her working knowledge of the senior care industry with leading research and best practices to create engaging content benefitting seniors and their caregivers. In her free time, Alissa loves to travel, read, cook, and spend time with her family.