BOSTON (CBS) – If you were out this weekend you are aware of the phenomena that occurs here in the northeast. The RVs are gassed up and beginning to head south. The migration of the snow birds has begun.

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With the cooler weather here heading south has some strong appeal. And by south I mean further than Virginia. 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 the snowbirds want to be somewhere where it’s sunny and a pleasant 75 degrees. When Arizona hits 120 degrees in the summer or Florida’s low temperature for the day will be 95 they want to be on the Cape where it’s a pleasant 75 degrees.

But to accomplish snowbird status 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. It is hard to pack it up and leave for 5 months or more. I have trouble with a 2 week vacation!

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Where do you want your primary residence? Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts? Where do you want to vote? Register your car? Pay state income taxes? Do you want to pay state income taxes? You will need to spend more than 6 months in that state.

Do you only want to leave New England during the worst of the winter? Maybe only January and February? Some snowbirds stick it out through the holidays and leave the first of the year to return in April for Red Sox season. Others head out as soon as the first frost hits the pumpkins in October coming back when they can plant their geraniums outside.

So do you buy a second home? Do you rent? Do you live in an RV for a couple of months and in a house somewhere full time?

There are so many decisions to make. I thought we’d spend the week sifting through this stuff.

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One more thing: Check out Retirementliving.com and the Snow Bird Helper for information on places to retire, senior housing, communities, state taxes, RVs for sale and much more.