According to Conway’s research, Louisiana’s in-migration was greatly impacted in the post-Katrina period. “We saw a big dropoff in their migration in the five years to follow,” she said. “I would think there would be a similar dropoff after Irma.”
Comparatively, after a series of hurricanes pummeled the Sunshine State in 2004-2005, including Charley and Ivan, there was an uptick in the number of retirees moving to south Georgia, “We saw a shift away from Florida,” said Jon Rork, an economics professor at Reed College who also studies retirement migration.
“Past experience has shown us there will be a short-term blip; the question is how short is short term,” Rork said.
“What we did see after 2004-2005 hurricanes is that property insurance rates went up and it did get more expensive here relative to the Carolinas or Tennessee,” said AARP’s Florida state director, Jeff Johnson.
The impact from this particular storm remains to be seen, Johnson said.
“My hope is, as we rebuild, leaders of the state are thoughtful about how we do it in a way that makes Florida even better for people of all ages — whether you are 8 or 108.”
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