What Are “Half Back” Retirees?

For decades individuals from the Northeast and Midwest retired to the tropical south. Specifically, regions such as Florida or the Gulf states. And why not? It’s like living your vacation dream! Sunny and warm year-round, easy access to beaches and resorts – what more could a retiree ask for?

But it doesn’t take long to realize it’s not perfect all the time. The cost of living is increasing in these states. You’re living right in the crosshairs of typical hurricane paths. Maybe worst of all, you may be far from family.

What to do? Head halfway home!

That’s what a half back retiree is. Half Back retirees move to midsouth locations like the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia. The 55 and older and 65 and older location is growing rapidly in these states. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) notes that net migration to retirement-destination counties in Appalachian regions increased by 169 percent from 2010 to 2017.

Why the Midsouth?

These areas are quieter, the temperatures are more moderate, and the cost of living is lower. Settling further inland puts retirees out of the range of hurricanes for the most part and avoids the prohibitive costs of insurance in high-risk coastal areas. Some states are also more favorable to retirees from a tax standpoint.

How does this affect the local economy?

The impact is mixed. On the one hand, well-off northerners with substantial nest-eggs in hand can drive up prices of the local housing stock. But on the other, they do increase the tax base and can help drive growth in the building and service trades.

What impact can “half back” have on the hospitality industry?

Hotels and restaurants located in these areas would be wise to cater to this older population, offering fun activities such as golf outings or guided tours. Restaurants can offer local fare or add menu items that may be more familiar to retirees. If you have local specialties, share the origins of the dish, either on the menu or in conversation. Retirees will love to learn about their new hometown.

Partner with a Specialized Hospitality Recruiter

Retirees are a growing sector that hospitality managers and executives would be wise to target. At Horizon Hospitality, our experts can successfully recruit the hotel, restaurant, and senior living leaders with experience in the retiree market.  Contact our hospitality recruiters today to learn more.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *