The lifestyle of retired adults who travel south to avoid snow has been dubbed snowbirding.

Snowbirds are usually senior citizens who are well off enough to afford to travel, and inventive and organized enough to manage two households or similar situations in order to experience seasonal migration.

Due to baby boomers, increasing numbers enjoy such freedom and adventures.

Where Migrating Seniors Come From

They often hail from the Northeast or Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, or even as far as Ontario.

Most come from places north of the Mason-Dixon line. However, heavy snowfalls found in higher elevations of Appalachian, Smokey, and Rocky Mountains are enough to send these retirees on the road south.

Where Snowbird Seniors Go

Many can be seen in Florida or South Texas, but some head more westerly for New Mexico and Arizona.

Some have even been found in Nevada, South Carolina, and even Mexico. Less end up in California as some Snowbirds are known to be careful with their budgets.

The decision about where to land can involve available information about real estate, travel interests, hobbies, scenic preferences, and even location of family or friends.

Some Snowbirds See Family in Either the North or South Regions

A number of migratory seniors live near family members in either the north or south.

During the portion of the year when they have family nearby, they celebrate events of note like holidays and birthdays, etc.

During the time they are away from the family, they tend to establish connections with an adopted community.

They may sing in a choir or participate in community organizations as they would in their original community.

Some use this time to follow particular interests of history, travel, learning, or other adventures to their liking.

What Snowbirds Do with Property while Gone South

Here are some ways to handle the homestead while going south:

  • Property manager
  • Friend or neighbor
  • College student house-sit if very responsible
  • House sitter or house-sitting firm (they have it down to a science)
  • Short-term rental
  • Leave it empty

There are online sources of both ideas and people to help with managing the property of Snowbirds while they are down south.

Advantages of Snowbirding for Seniors

  • The best is no snow to shovel!
  • Developing friendships and social networks in both the north and south
  • Enjoying the best of both worlds
  • Breaking the monotony of staying in one place
  • RVs can be relatively cost-effective
  • Sense of community with other retired snowbirds
  • The lifestyle of a snowbird gives retirees something to look forward to with the change of seasons

Snowbirding can be started as a trial run to see how it fits with a particular person or couple’s individual preferences.

Disadvantages of Being a Snowbird During Retirement

  • Never being completely a permanent part of a community
  • Missing family, friends or holiday activities
  • The organizational obligation of keeping up two domiciles
  • Finding someone to look after the main home while traveling
  • Security and safety issues
  • Possible increase in budget
  • Additional cross-border issues for Canadians

Living That Good Life

These active seniors often have doctors in both locations who know their history since they may spend half of the year in each place.

Especially with online information sharing capabilities, it is quite easy for medical records to be accessed from either domicile.

Caregivers develop resources in each location. One such helpful source is Papa.com where a senior can find an extra hand for errands, socialization, and any other needed tasks, even including help upgrading their computer skills!

A number of older adults find the life of a snowbird to their liking since it lets them enjoy their usual familiar environment, yet leave when the snow falls.

They enjoy warmer climates while their neighbors up north are dealing with cold weather. Many say being a snowbird is the best of both worlds!


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