Watch out, Florida! Texas has emerged as the No. 2 retirement mecca in the country. The Lone Star State has vaulted over Arizona and California and is gaining on the Sunshine State.

The North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement, which is nationally known for tracking retirement migration trends, studied 2005 data from the U.S. Census Bureau on the number of Americans who move out of state to enjoy their golden years. "Older Americans who are looking to relocate upon retirement continue to move to sunny climes, but Texas has gained an edge over other Sun Belt states," said Bill Haas, the study's author. "Texas' lower living costs give it a distinct advantage."

Texas' economy is among the better state economies in the country. In fact, Houston is No. 3 Business-Friendly City in the Nation. It has benefitted from the State's pro-growth policies, including no state income tax. Texas' natural attributes also appeal to boomers who plan to move when their first careers are over. Boomers are looking for warmer climates that complement their active lifestyle, and Texas has an abundance of those places – from the Gulf Coast to the Hill Country to the Piney Woods to the expanse of West Texas. Boomers are selling their houses in their home states, coming to Texas and paying cash for a house here, and then investing the rest. Some are investing in second careers and going into business for themselves. This energetic boomer generation doesn't retire quietly.

This is one of the reasons that where Baby Boomer retirees settle down is becoming a matter of keen interest among economic development officials who see gold in the silver-haired generation. The study said the Texas economy is reaping an additional $751 million annually from older migrants who bring their investments, pensions and Social Security payments. Retirees can be an economic engine. The money they're spending and investing is creating jobs in their new communities.