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Older Americans On The Go: How Often, Where, and Why?

  • Kelly Haverstick
  • Natalia A. Zhivan

The lore on whether older Americans move is mixed. On the one hand, the stereotype of retirement is that people flock to a warm climate such as Florida or Arizona. On the other hand, researchers have found that the home equity of older Americans changes very little over time, suggesting that they tend to stay put. To date, researchers have seldom directly addressed the migration patterns of older Americans. Understanding such patterns can be useful in assessing the social and economic circumstances of the elderly. Therefore, this brief – the first in a two-part series – uses the Health and Retirement Study to examine how often older households move, where they move, and why they move. The brief is organized as follows. The first section covers the prevalence of moving and the geographic locations of the moves. The second section analyzes the reasons that households give for moving and explores whether these reasons suggest different types of movers. The third section concludes by setting the stage for the next brief, which will explore the determinants and consequences of moving.

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File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/older-americans-on-the-go-how-often-where-and-why/
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Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Issues in Brief with number ib2009-9-18.

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Length: 10 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision: Sep 2009
Handle: RePEc:crr:issbrf:ib2009-9-18
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  1. Calvo, Esteban & Haverstick, Kelly & Zhivan, Natalia, 2009. "Determinants and Consequences of Moving Decisions for Older Homeowners," MPRA Paper 48964, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Shan, Hui, 2010. "Property taxes and elderly mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 194-205, March.
  3. Timothy Smeeding & Barbara Boyle Torrey & Jonathon Fisher & David S. Johnson & Joseph Marchand, 2006. "No Place Like Home: Older Adults and Their Housing," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-16, Center for Retirement Research.
  4. Katharine Anderson & Eric French & Tina Lam, 2004. "You can't take it with you: asset run-down at the end of the life cycle," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 40-54.
  5. Alicia H. Munnell & Francesca Golub-Sass & Dan Muldoon, 2009. "An Update on 401(k) Plans: Insights From the 2007 SCF," Issues in Brief ib2009-9-5, Center for Retirement Research, revised Mar 2009.
  6. Farnham, Martin & Sevak, Purvi, 2006. "State fiscal institutions and empty-nest migration: Are Tiebout voters hobbled?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 407-427, February.
  7. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2004. "Aging and Housing Equity: Another Look," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 127-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2000. "Aging and Housing Equity," NBER Working Papers 7882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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