2019 United Van Lines Report: New Mexico “leads” on retirees as percent of inbound movers

We missed it at the start of 2019 but here is a link to the United Van Lines Mover’s Study. The map produced for the study is below.

The study itself was written up by Fox Business News in a report mentioning that of the people moving to New Mexico, the highest proportion (43%) are moving here for retirement. This is accurate, but it does not mean New Mexico is an especially popular retirement destination. It just means that of the people coming to NM, the highest proportion of any state are coming for retirement.

More importantly (in our view) is the fact that nearly 2 New Mexicans are moving out of state to find a job for every one who is coming here for work.

It’s not ALL bad for New Mexico. The State is not among the 10 states seeing the most people moving out (nor is it among the top destinations (for United Van Lines). Of course, this data is from one company. United Van Lines does not necessarily reflect the “average” person moving from state to state. It is interesting to look at and the fact that retirees form a large portion of those moving into New Mexico only reinforces what we already know….that New Mexico is not particularly attractive to the young, but is relatively attractive for older people.

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7 Replies to “2019 United Van Lines Report: New Mexico “leads” on retirees as percent of inbound movers”

  1. Retirees are profitable for New Mexico: We spend money, don’t demand decent schools and create jobs for unskilled caregivers and landscapers. While most measures to build the economy are off the table politically, attracting retirees is a matter of spending promotional dollars with no threat to established interests.

    There’s also an opportunity for New Mexico to attract more military retirees by joining the majority of states that do not tax military pensions.

    1. Agree with both items. Just really want to point out again that the United Van Lines data don’t show that retirees are “flocking” to NM. Rather, the main group of people coming here are retirees.

  2. New Mexico still has some cheaper housing and that was why we came here back in 2005 from CA. We both decided to work even though we had already retired from our careers. Now we are just enjoying our free time and safe climate down here in Roswell.

    The last mass ascension on Roswell by seniors occurred over 20 years ago and that batch has pretty much moved on to their last destination. The seniors with extra discretionary money really don’t spend it here in NM because they like to travel.

    NM needs new business other than O&G, farming and the film industry. One opportunity would be to invite Holtec International to expand down here in Carlsbad.

    Here is a recent letter to the editor that I wrote about that opportunity:

    Billion dollar decommissioning industry:

    For those that don’t track nuclear energy development like I do, might be getting mixed signals about the future of nuclear power plants (NPP) in the United States. The US hasn’t been building NPP’s for the last 40 years and only has two reactors under construction at an existing NPP site. Several US utility companies are decommissioning older NPP’s because of overhead cost created by cheaper electricity generation with Natural Gas.

    There is a multi-billion dollar NPP decommissioning industry being developed by Holtec International Decommissioning Division. When a utility company can not justify operating loses from their NPP, they have to make a decision to protect their share holders and employee investments.

    One of those ways is to sell off assets that are losing money and replace it with a more profitable energy source. Natural gas has become that cheaper energy source. Another option is to ask state governments for subsidies to help cover the cost of operation. New York State has decided not to save their perfectly good NPP’s and Holtec International has decided to seize the moment for pennies on the dollar.

    Holtec has reached an agreement with the Entergy Company to acquire Indian Point Energy Center (a NPP) after the last of the three reactors shuts down in 2021. The sale includes the transfer of the licenses, spent fuel, decommissioning liabilities, and Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts (NDT) for the three units. There are billions of dollar in those trust paid by customers over the decades that will cover the cost of the NPP decommissioning and the storage of unused nuclear fuel rods.

    In addition to Indian Point NY, Holtec has already acquired and started closure on two other request for license transfer; the ongoing Oyster Creek (NJ) and Pilgrim (MA) License Transfer Applications (LTAs), which are moving smoothly through the NRC agency, with anticipated approvals. The infamous Three Mile Island plant is also in the decommissioning queue.

    All the spent nuclear fuel rods have to be removed and stored at an interim storage facility. Holtec International is the company that has proposed the HI-STORE CISF project in partnership with Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA) for the interim storage of unused nuclear fuel rods here in New Mexico near WIPP.

    1. Agree with everything you say. Low cost of living, good weather, and some unique cultural amenities drive retirees to NM.

  3. Paul:

    One thing that’s clear from this data is that people are migrating from high-tax states (IL, NJ, NY, CN) to low-tax western states. As the US population ages, mature people realize that retirement means a fixed income and wealth-preservation becomes paramount. A couple living in suburban Chicago, for instance, could give themselves a $20,000 annual “raise” by heading west. Alot more would probably do it if they could get the equity out of their homes. Winters are milder as well which is very important to retirees.

    Here in Santa Fe probably 90+% of my “high-ticket” HVAC customers relocated here in the last few years.


    1. I agree with you 100%. The thing that we do our best to account for is to differentiate between people who move for economic reasons and those who move for weather-related reasons. New Mexico has great weather but terrible policy (overall). We are surrounded by much faster-growing and economically-freer states most of which have good weather although arguably New Mexico has the BEST weather in the Southwest. Anyway, as United Van Lines correctly notes retirees are moving to New Mexico. Young people are leaving.

  4. Alas…isn’t enticing “Retirees” here (for their money) a push of some local politico, whose name I forget per my “Los Anos”? As such, I think it a cruel scam given they tend to be more vulnerable to crime* and per the shortage of healthcare providers as recently “exposed” by the ABQ Journal especially in fields of rheumatology and oncology, which might be the most needed of resources?
    *Shouldn’t our State “motto” be The Seesaw State…. Bottom per http://tinyurl.com/y4dbg4t4, last in education, child health, child poverty, etc. while Tops in Crime, Stolen Cars, DUIs, http://tinyurl.com/y63ammhy yada yada yada? At the least, sanity prevailed as we didn’t follow the Piper Ortiz y Pino by marijuanizing!!!!

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