BOSTON (CBS) – Recently while stuck in traffic with my granddaughter we began to count things, trucks, buses, RVs. She, of course, wanted to know where everybody was going. I explained we were watching the migration of the snowbird. She was in awe.
The Red Sox have wrapped up their season, the nights are definitely chillier and there is frost on the pumpkins so the snowbirds have begun to look for warmer weather.
According to a University of Florida study almost 1 million snowbirds flock to Florida, staying five months on average. Massachusetts, New York, and Michigan have the largest numbers of snow birds.
With the colder weather settling in it does sound appealing to be on the move heading south, and by south I mean further than Connecticut. Retirees often want the best weather months wherever they are.
When it’s snowing and blowing with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees in New England they want to be in the desert where it’s dry and pleasant 80 degrees. When Arizona hits 120 degrees in the summer they want to be on the Cape where it’s a pleasant 80 degrees. Can’t fault them there!
But to accomplish this you really need to do some serious planning. If you want to be a snowbird there truly is more to it than just forwarding your mail.
Where do you want your primary residence? Where will you spend more than 6 months? Arizona, Florida, Nevada or Massachusetts? Where do you want to vote? Register your car? Insure your car? Pay state income taxes? Do you want to pay state income taxes?
You can’t be a full time resident of two states. You will be a resident of one state and a visitor to the other. So do you buy a second home? Do you rent? Do you want to live in an RV full time?
Do you only want to leave New England during the worst of the winter? Maybe the worst 2 or 3 months. Some snowbirds stick it out through the holidays and leave the first of the year to return in April for the Red Sox’s season. Others head out as soon as the first frost hits the pumpkins in October coming back when they can plant their geraniums outside.
There are so many decisions to make. I thought we’d spend the week sifting through this stuff.