Are Montana Snowbirds Flocking to New Mexico?
Thanks to my poor financial planning, it'll be a significant number of years until I can
comfortably retire. Perhaps never. That hasn't stopped me from thinking about places I might like to check out when I finally say, "That's enough!" of Montana winters.
Many folks in the Treasure State choose to head south when the season gets dark and cold. Some elect to relocate permanently. While Arizona has been (and remains) a popular choice, are more Montanans looking at New Mexico?
A decent tax structure for retirees and a fairly low cost of living.
According to data compiled by the relocation company PODS, New Mexico can be a great alternative to Nevada or Arizona. They note,
New Mexico’s cost of living index is a whopping 88.4, compared to the U.S. average cost of living index of 100. Necessities such as groceries, healthcare, housing, and transportation are well under the U.S. average.
They ranked the best budget-friendly communities in New Mexico for retirement in this order: Las Cruces, Roswell, and Carlsbad.
Extreme weather in New Mexico.
Montanans are quite familiar with extreme weather conditions. Our extreme generally swings to the cold side of the spectrum, whereas summer heat can certainly be an issue in much of New Mexico. It's not all deserts and cacti though. Mountain towns like Red River, NM (elevation 8,750 ft.) are quite similar to Montana in scenery and weather.
Great for alternative construction methods and off-grid living.
Many parts of New Mexico are hubs for interesting home designs and construction, including Earthships, cob homes, straw bale houses, and more. For those looking at going "off the grid", New Mexico might be right up your alley.
Who would your new neighbors be in New Mexico?
Okay, you've packed up your stuff, sold your home in Montana (hopefully for a tidy profit) and you're headed to your new life in New Mexico. Who else is moving into the state with you? According to a 2023 report by news station KRQE, most new transplants to the Land of Enchantment are coming from Texas, California, Colorado, and Arizona. Interestingly, those seem to be the same states that are moving into Montana.
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