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Climate Change Has Some Retirees Rethinking Where to Live


These health-related dangers are certain to extend as rising sea levels coincide with the growing elderly population along the coasts, Dr. Hauer said.

In an evaluation of all coastal counties in the USA, Dr. Hauer predicted that the proportion of individuals over 65 who lived in coastal communities would steadily rise, to about 37 percent of the population in 2100, compared with 16 percent today. That population would comprise older people moving in and younger people remaining into their later years.

“Two trends we all know are happening — the impact of climate change at the identical time the world is aging,” Dr. Hauer said. “Those two trends, I’m afraid, will crash head-on, and we are going to see more catastrophic impacts than if either one had happened.”

The Hoaglands said their stress was mounting because the climate risks on each coasts grew.

They moved to Florida in 1992 to lift their 4 children and practice medicine (Melissa, 64, as a pathologist and Guy, 65, as an internist). In 2011, they bought a house within the Bay Area, where Melissa had gone to medical school and had at all times dreamed of returning. They retired early, living in California within the summers and Florida within the winters.

Over time, in Florida, hurricanes and storm surges up the Indian River threatened their home on a barrier island near Melbourne. During one storm, water jumped over a road inside several feet of their house.

“Drainage was an issue on the roads,” Guy said. “I noticed the localized flooding was higher than it ever was.”

At the identical time, wildfires, which were becoming more frequent, were spreading smoke within the Bay Area. An avid hiker, Guy began carrying an inhaler to assist with exercise-induced asthma.

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