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Abstract

After a lifetime of working and saving, retirement is a time that an individual can participate in aspirations and activities that were difficult to explore under the constraints of family rearing and full time employment. This newfound freedom allows one to act on her true preferences and alter her lifestyle. One such example is in location decisions. When examining the drivers of migration for retirees versus people still in the work force, one finds that the drivers for the two groups are not synonymous. For those in the labor force, the weight of locational attributes in decision making can be second best to employment opportunities. However, incomes of retirees are often invariant of their location decisions, and their migration decisions are decoupled from job market conditions. Retirees can indulge in specific tastes and preferences such as a preference for natural amenities or access to health care services. This paper examines the question of which attribute is more important when a retiree migrant is deciding between easy medical access versus possibly secluded natural amenities. Retirees appear to consider both attributes, with natural amenities appearing more important drivers of migration decisions.

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