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Retirees come to Cape in droves

By Staff | May 6, 2016

For those who have retired and are looking for a place to spend their golden years, Cape Coral has become one of the hotspots.

Cape Coral is the No. 2 city in America where retirees are moving, according to a new study done by SmartAsset, a website based in New York City devoted to providing financial information.

Cape Coral has been booming of late and retirees are a big reason. The city added 1,964 seniors from outside the state in 2014, while 523 left for another state, a net migration rate of 1,441.

Cape Coral trailed only Mesa, Ariz., which had a net migration rate of 2,565. The Cape was one of three Florida cities that made the top 10. Jacksonville was No. 5, and Port St. Lucie was No. 10.

Assuming those retirees earn the average Social Security retirement income of $15,528, that’s nearly $22.4 million in income dollars entering the city, not counting whatever other retirement funding they have, such as IRAs or pensions.

City officials welcome the latest “top in the country” designation.

“We’re not Cape Coma anymore. It’s still attractive to people of all ages because of nature and canals, and green spaces are not limited to one age group, so I can see why the city is attractive to retirees,” city Councilmember Jessica Cosden said. “We have affordability and we’re one of the safest cities in the state.”

“Young retirees see Cape Coral as affordable and that it has a night life that’s booming. People can come and celebrate life,” Councilmember Richard Leon said. “We have people who serve in the medical field where people feel safe and like their health and safety will be taken care of.”

SmartAsset analyzed U.S. Census Bureau statistics on the migration patterns of people over the age of 60. It calculated the number of people leaving each state and each of America’s 200 largest cities during 2014, the most recent year for which data is available.

“We were curious where this generation of retirees was going and taking their dollars with them. We looked at the people over 60 leaving each state and moving to another,” said A.J. Smith, media relations specialist with SmartAsset. “It shows it can make a difference in a community with all the money retirees can bring and it can be something that business will take note of and accommodate them.”

For each state and city, they calculated the number of people over 60 moving in during 2014. The difference between these two numbers is each city and state’s net migration rate.

Those who moved intrastate were not included in the study.

Florida is far and away the No. 1 state for where retirees are moving, with a net migration rate of 57,724, more than three times higher than runner-up Arizona.

“We should be No. 1. We have been in Top 10 lists all year long. We’re exploding and a great place to live,” Councilmember Rick Williams said. “We’re family oriented, we have a lot of amenities and with a growing city the amenities will grow with it. The weather’s nice, the air is great. It’s a great place to be.”