While many of us stayed home in 2020 waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to pass, some Americans took a different approach. People from all walks of life were inspired to pick up and move last year — perhaps to be closer to family, or to escape crowded cities amid a highly contagious viral outbreak; as a result, according to analysts at LendingTree, many of those left cities for smaller "micropolitan" areas. Up to 4.9% of total movers from a metropolis (namely Cleveland) went to a micropolis, LendingTree says, and retirees made up a fair share of them. Here's a look at the smaller towns that were most popular among relocating retirees from bigger cities.
LendingTree identified the percent of total movers from big cities, then broke out how many moved to the most popular micro area. From that figure, we show how many were 65 and older, ranked from lowest percent of total moves to highest. When there were towns drawing from more than one big city, we moved them to the highest ranks. In other words, if you moved to Branson, Missouri, last year from St. Louis, don't be too surprised to see some familiar faces at the grocery store.
"A move from a metropolitan to micropolitan area needs to take into consideration more than simply cost of living and more space. For retirees, warmer weather, lower taxes, and more affordable housing are key factors when relocating," says Denny Ciezyk, a mortgage expert at LendingTree. "An affordability calculator is also a really useful tool to understand your debt to income ratio."