Quiet in Robert’s Resort as “snowbirds” leave for the summer…Who are these people?

We walked quite a distance to this restaurant in Marrakesh for lunch instead of dinner since it was safer to walk during the day. Tom was reading something on the wall as we sat on a banquette. The food was fantastic.

We often wonder about snowbirds who head south or to other locations during the winter months to escape snow and cold weather in northern locations throughout the world. This phenomenon is not exclusive to retirees when many jobs are mobile and can be performed from anywhere in the world if the still-working snowbirds can afford the cost of having two homes or more.

Many retired snowbirds have paid off their homes and only have the expenses of property taxes, maintenance in their absence, and utilities, making it more affordable to head to a warmer climate during the winter months. See below.

Average temperatures in summer in Arizona
Month Average high Average low
June 106°F 73°F
July 108°F 81°F
August 106°F 81°F
September 100°F 75°F

We’ve especially observed this here in Arizona, as we see not only the family returning to Minnesota in the next three weeks but also the fact that many of the residents of Robert’s Resort have already left to return to homes in the US, Canada, and other locations. Few residents of this RV park stay behind during the heat of Arizona summers, running  as high as

In searching online for statistics to share, I found the following from this site:

“The Migratory Processes of Snowbirds: Where They Come From and End Up

Snowbird Travelers: America’s Seasonal Flock

Each year, flocks of “snowbirds” travel cross-country in search of warmth and respite from cold winter temperatures. These snowbirds, however, are not actual birds of a feather; rather, snowbirds are people who identify as seasonal travelers.

So, who are these snowbirds, where do they come from, and where do they end up? Read on to learn about the migratory patterns of our nation’s seasonal travelers.

Snowbird Origins

The origins of the term “snowbird” do, in fact, tie to a species: the Dark-eyed Junco bird. But in 1923, the word “snowbird” was coined to describe droves of seasonal workers who moved south in the winter in search of additional work and income. Today, these snowbirds and seasonal travelers are largely retirees who migrate annually to warmer climates during the year’s winter months.

Snowbird Demographics: Who Are These Travelers?

The snowbird population consists primarily of baby boomers, adults born in the years following World War II. With the majority of snowbirds between the ages of 50 and 70, this generation is well-educated, financially secure, and active — a solid foundation for the snowbird lifestyle of adventure and migration.

Another snowbird demographic: many are Canadians. While most snowbirds alternate between two destinations within the United States, about 10% of snowbirds reside permanently outside of the United States. Nearly 80% of the international snowbirds actually come from Canada.

Migratory Patterns: Where Are All These Snowbirds Headed?

Despite common beliefs that all snowbirds flock to sunny Florida, snowbirds actually settle all over the United States. Migratory patterns resolve in places including Las Vegas, California, and Hawaii. However, snowbirds do tend to follow two primary trajectories: west coast birds fly to Arizona, and east coast birds sail on towards Florida.

New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania residents escape cold winters by spending three to six months of the year in Florida. Towns like New Smyrna Beach, Florida’s Secret Pearl, is an affordable snowbird destination along Florida’s artsy east coast. Luxurious lakefront homes in New Smyrna, such as this one, are drawing snowbirds with price tags around the $300,000 range.

Upper-left US residents are primarily drawn to Arizona. Tucson, in particular, attracts a large snowbird population each year. Sited at a lower elevation in comparison to other Arizona towns, Tucson boasts warmer (and more predictable) winter temperatures. With a mix of RV parks, long-term condominium rentals, and fully furnished homes, Tucson offers snowbirds a warm respite that balances urban and rural life.

What Drives Snowbird Flight?

Aside from the advantageous weather situation, what draws snowbirds away from their primary homes and established routines? The snowbird lifestyle is more than just a retirement hobby; snowbird living centers on practicality.

As people age, winter weather conditions pose serious concerns: a slip on the ice becomes highly dangerous; maintaining a clear path to a front door in several feet of snow is too straining; and the low-temperature limits outdoor lifestyle and health routines like walking and bike riding. By migrating to a warmer climate, snowbirds avoid harsh winter climates and seek environments where they can avoid injuries and maintain healthy habits.

The community also drives snowbirds to their warmer homes. Early snowbirds often start as vacationers, but most eventually evolve into flocks. Established groups of friends and family band together and find communities with similar ethnic, cultural, or religious groups existing within many snowbird communities. Snowbirds are, in fact, continuing to build life with one another.

Dispelling Snowbird Myths

Younger generations of established community groups may see snowbirds as disruptions to the local economy, as mere tourists, or as another form of inconvenience. But it’s time to dispel these myths.

Snowbirds are trying new places on a whim: Wrong. Visits turn into established patterns, and each visit requires careful planning and thought: winterizing your primary home, packing and securing insurance documents, resisting a change of address, ordering long-term medications… the list goes on!

Snowbirds are burdens on the local economy: False. If anything, snowbirds are major contributors to the local economy. Look at Palm Beach County as an example: in addition to the county’s standing 1,335,415 residents, annual snowbirds bring an additional 143,837 residents with an estimated financial impact in the billions.

Snowbirds, Take Flight!

Whether or not you’re in a stage of life where being a snowbird is a realistic pattern for you, snowbird migration offers health, community, and economic benefits to people and areas across the country. Is snowbird migration in your future? Visit a warmer state this winter, listen to those who have made the journey, and who knows, before you know it, homes.com could help you find your winter home.”

There’s no doubt that had we not traveled the world, we surely would have become snowbirds. There was no way we would have been interested in staying in Minnesota during the winter months when the temperatures can get as low as -20F, with many feet of snow covering the ground at any given time. Summers can be hot and humid with vast amounts of mosquitoes.

What brings snowbirds back to states like Minnesota when the summers aren’t ideal either? Mainly to be with family and also to enjoy outdoor activities, especially because Minnesota has over 14,000 lakes, drawing many people to partake in fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor adventures.

In any case, we love the life we’ve been living over the past 11½ years, and hopefully, we’ll be able to continue traveling in times to come.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 17, 2014:

Tom was getting his haircut in the barbershop in the souk in Marrakesh, Morocco. For more photos, please click here.