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The Demographics of Leaving California

The state is seeing an outmigration of residents moving to more affordable places, but it isn’t just wealthy retirees leaving the Golden State.
October 28, 2019, 9am PDT | Camille Fink
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Chuck Wagner

"California homeowners are cashing out, picking up, and moving inland, pushing up prices in other states as they look for more affordable places to live and to retire," writes Patrick Sisson. Many retired baby boomers are heading to low-tax states like Arizona and Nevada. Boise, Idaho, is another popular destination, and housing trends there reflect the influx of new residents.

"A lot of the new construction [Phil Mount is] seeing around towns like Eagle and East Boise could best be described as nice single-level homes—with a few added touches, including low-threshold doors that are easier for owners who are disabled, spacious hallways, wide showers, and maintenance-free features. These are easy-to-live-in homes in neighborhoods with clubhouses and walkable access to stores. They are perfect places for older, wealthier retirees to spend their golden years," says Sisson

But the perception that wealthy California baby boomers are the only ones moving to these places is too simple a picture, notes Sisson. For example, younger workers are moving to Boise as well as people from other parts of the country. And the high cost of housing in California is also pushing middle-class workers and retirees to seek greener pastures. 

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Published on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 in Curbed
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