General Question

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Why does everyone retire to where it's hot?

Asked by Aesthetic_Mess (7887points) September 29th, 2010

Florida, Arizona, NC, SC, etc.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Shoveling snow is a pain in the ass when you’re 70.

JilltheTooth's avatar

In a lot of cases, age = pain. It hurts less to live where the weather is more clement, and there’s not as much physical effort required in simple day to day stuff.
What @Adirondackwannabe said, too.

john65pennington's avatar

They retire to that one little section of their house that’s cool and say a prayer thanking the man that invented air conditioning.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
wilma's avatar

Cold hurts when you are old, or even sometimes when you aren’t old.
Arthritis is usually better in the warmer climate. Falls can be very serious for older people and ice and snow can contribute to falls. Many older folks can become housebound in the winter up north, (or down south in the southern hemisphere).

FutureMemory's avatar

A person can only take falling on their ass so many times due to snowy weather.

When I lived in NYC I actually wore these strap on chain things on my shoes to maximize traction. I would hate to live there as an old man.

Deja_vu's avatar

I lived in Boca! All my neighbors were retirees from NJ or NY. I thought it was a myth ‘till I lived there. Granted it’s a Jew’s paradise (hey I’m of Jewish decent, I can say that) If I were to retire thats the last place I would live. They should of all just moved to So Cal or Hawaii in my opinion. I remember one of my neighbor’s was like ”You’re from Hawaii, I’d watch Dog the bounty hounter, aren’t they all crackheads?” No, I would tell her. I miss Boca sometimes though. Despite the gator that crawled up on our lawn.

chyna's avatar

As others have said, warm weather is easier on arthritis and old people would be stuck in their homes from November to March or April in colder climates. Living in Florida or Arizona, they can get out year round without worrying about ice, snow, etc.

sleepdoc's avatar

I am going to quote my father-in-law on this one, “you don’t have to shovel heat”.

marinelife's avatar

Old people also don’t handle temperature changes or cold well. Their thermostats are off.

JLeslie's avatar

Because the retirement communities in FL are fantastic. It’s like living in a resort, pool, social director, tennis, gym, groups that meet for dinner, cards, movies, even a Bronx club where my in-laws live, entertainment. Joy Bejar was the featured comedian when the sister community of my inlaws had the welcoming party for new residents in the community. People who live in other places don’t know what you are missing. Vacation 365 days a year. Also, the houses are built with nice size living spaces and not so many bedrooms for the retiree. Where I live now, if you want a smaller home you wind up in not as nice a neighborhood possibly, or a nice neighborhood where there are tons of young families and young children. In FL you can get a 2 or 3 bedroom smaller home in a fantastic community, and maintenance will take care of your lawn.

Also, FL may be hot in the summer, but there is about 6 months of springlike weather. Probably the only other part of the US that has that is San Diego, and it is a fortune to live there.

JLeslie's avatar

I thought of more. Florida has much less outdoor allergy problems, so people who have suffered their whole life can get some relief. Florida also has less dust, because the weather is more humid. And everyone above is correct that the elderly have trouble with cold weather typically. And the shoveling snow is a good reason too, although when you retire, you don’t have to worry about shoveling to get to work on time.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

According to our retired aunt and uncle, who left NY for FL, so that they can play golf any time of the year.

JLeslie's avatar

The golf, I forgot the golf.

JLeslie's avatar

By the way, you don’t have to wait to retire to live in those states. I’m missing FL right now, can you tell?

Brian1946's avatar

There are retirees who have lived in snowy climates for most of their lives, and I can see why they’d want to go to an opposite climate.

I’m retired and I now live in the Los Angeles area, which generally has less inclement weather than most of Florida. Our winters usually aren’t any colder, we get much less rain, and in the 55+ years that I’ve been living here, we’ve never had a hurricane.
I think we get an F1 or F2 tornado once every few years, and we had what might have been an F3 in early 1983.
The F3 hit about 4 or 5 miles from where I live, and that’s the closest any of them have ever been to me.

However, since I’ve been living in a climate that’s uncomfortably warm for me for all but 8 of my 63+ years, I’d really like to retire to a substantially cooler climate, like somewhere between the coastal range and the Cascade mountains in the Pacific northwest,

BoBo1946's avatar

Most that retire where it’s hot are golfers.

Cannot wait to get back on the course and hit that golf ball. Dang, i miss it.

Deja_vu's avatar

Yes, golf! How can I forget?

Austinlad's avatar

Does anyone find this a bit of a generalization? I’ve lived all my life in hot climates and I’m sick of it. Frail bones and muscles nowithstanding, I’d love to retire somewhere it’s cool/cold.

chyna's avatar

^^Go north young man!

Deja_vu's avatar

Remeber the Golden Girls lived in Boca. lol

wilma's avatar

@Austinlad Cooler yes, especially in the summer months, The intense heat and humidity can be hard on a person too. Try a winter where it is cold. You might decide that cool is OK, cold is not.
I think that is why so many people travel with the change of seasons.

JLeslie's avatar

@Deja_vu no, the Golden Girls were on Miami Beach.

Deja_vu's avatar

@JLeslie well they should have been in Boca cause that’s no Miami beach!

JLeslie's avatar

@Austinlad I think you should go north ASAP, cause there is a good chance you might want to at least half back eventually to a more moderate climate that still has season change. Or is that what you meant to begin with? Going to NC or something similar?

JLeslie's avatar

@Deja_vu Yeah, I kind of agree with you, Boca would have made more sense. Parts of Miami Beach still are like that though, but it has changed drastically. And remember, they aren’t talking South Beach. Although when I lived on South Beach the Lido spa was right next door, well, it is was the Venetian Islands, and all of the alter cockers came down from the Northeast. Haha. Not sure if that place is still there.

Blackberry's avatar

It just shows you that deep down we really do hate cold weather. It causes too much trouble, and when you’re older, you don’t want to keep dealing with it.

wundayatta's avatar

Apparently, census data shows that a significant portion of those who retired to Florida are coming back home. Urban living, people speculate, is what attracts them. Florida turns out not to be for everyone.

It’s interesting. Pennsylvania, where I live, has the highest percentage of elderly people after Florida. I haven’t looked at this in a while, but that’s what I heard. Why would this be? PA is a pretty cold state. It has real winter in some places, and where it doesn’t have real winter it still can get blizzards.

I think that people often don’t appreciate the value of the ties they have to their community when they head off to Florida. There might be a lot of retirement stuff to do in Florida, but I’ll be there’s a lot of isolation, too. There is no there in Florida. It’s just housing and low-rise apartment complexes everywhere. Without a there, it’s hard to find a place to congregate that is central to the community. There is no real community. It’s just a lot of old people—and landscapers.

And what is there to do? Play golf all the time? Golf??? Or those card games or karaoke. Where’s the culture? Does anyone ever go hang out on the ocean? Go swimming or ride bikes? I’m sure some must, but it just seems deadly dull to me. I might crack my hip on a street, but you’re not going to find me down in Florida. If I do go someplace warm it will only be for a month or two per year.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta You bring up a really good point. My friends in Michigan seem to stay in Michigan because of family ties. It is not only the seniors, but also the young people do not move away after high school or college. It’s easier to move to FL when you retire, when your adult children have moved away to a different state to begin with. I think some of it is family ties, some of it cultural, and some of it is job opportunity, specific job industries.

Some of these states that are now magnets for retires provide built in social networks practically, and since moving there is more commonplace it kind of feeds on itself. When my grandma or parents used to visit me in FL they had a few friends to visit too, if they had moved to FL they had people to spend time with from day 1.

Many people are snowbirds first, coming down for a few months in the winter, build social connections, and then finally move permanently.

wilma's avatar

I would never want to live in the south permanently, but for January and February it sounds like a good plan.
I wouldn’t want to miss, spring, summer, autumn and December in the north.

everephebe's avatar

Well answered all.

downtide's avatar

Warm weather is gentle to arthritic joints.

DominicX's avatar

People pretty much already covered it.

Interestingly enough, my grandfather sold his house in Las Vegas and moved into a condo in…downtown Las Vegas. And it doesn’t get much hotter than there. But he’s lived there all his life and wants to remain there.

YARNLADY's avatar

My In Laws moved from NYC to San Diego because that’s where their son and daughter moved. They have helped raise all of their grandkids, and Mom is now enjoying her great grandkids.

Jabe73's avatar

Great question. I always wondered the same. I would rather shovel snow than deal with 90+ degree F heat and oppressive dewpoints above 70 degrees F (which means really sticky). I do not know how people in the south deal with this every summer. I can barely handle my own northern summers. I guess I’m one of the few that would retire to Alaska or Montana if I ever had the chance to. I wouldn’t mind visiting a warmer state or tropical destination but I would never want to live there. I love fall/winter and my seasons. I could do without the humidity however.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

@wundayatta I’m surprised at PA! They get tons of snow. How do the old people there deal with it?

wundayatta's avatar

@Aesthetic_Mess Interesting question. I’ve wondered about that. One idea is that they can’t afford to leave. Another is that they are aware of the value of being surrounded by people you know, not to mention your family. Maybe they just don’t like Florida or Arizona and can’t afford Southern California. I’m not aware of any studies on the subject, so all this is pure speculation.

JLeslie's avatar

A woman I worked with in FL moved to PA several years ago to be with her children and grandchildren. She must be in her 60’s now. She talks about moving back. In fact the majority of the people I know who moved north after living several years in FL, always wound up moving back to FL.

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