|Copyright:||(c) 2010 (C) Gannett News Service|
“We sold the farm, bought the RV and hit the road, literally,” Dionne said. Two years ago, they spent the winter in a
Since then, they have spent thousands of dollars on furniture and home improvements.
They recently moved Russell’s mother into a nearby apartment. And they have found several area restaurants they like.
“We don’t have much else to spend it on,” Dionne said. “We are out entertaining ourselves.”
Consider the economic impact of the county’s current retirees:
– Brevardians received
– They also were paid
The impact of the money brought in by retirees is vital to some industries in the county – industries that employ thousands of people. For example, direct
The retirees also are lucrative customers for banks and financial advisers. And seniors make up a large portion of the customer base for a variety of retail businesses, ranging from restaurants to clothing stores.
Retirees also tend to volunteer and participate in civic activities, adding non-economic bonuses.
“Retirees are often active, vibrant people who would like to invest their time, money and talent to benefit the entire community,” wrote
The first wave
Beginning in the 20th century, the rise of middle class, company pensions and
By 2000, fewer than 20 percent were. No longer tied to factories, farms or family – and with the advent of automobiles and modern highways, retirees began relocating to
The trend accelerated after World War II as the Interstate Highway System made
Those amenities all came in the 1960s as
An exodus of space workers left a glut of low-priced homes that lured out-of-state retirees and those nearing retirement to the
In some ways, the end of the shuttle program replicates some of those same conditions as baby boomers are starting to think about retirement. But this time,
As recently as 1980, 25 percent of all retirees who moved to another state came to
Owens said that has declined to about 12 percent, still more than any other state.
“You’re still the big gorilla in the room,” he said.
Some of the recent decrease can be attributed to the hurricanes that ripped across the state in 2004 and resulting skyrocketing insurance costs. Escalating housing costs also helped drive retirees elsewhere before the bust.
On the rebound?
Memories of the hurricanes have faded and home prices have receded to pre-boom levels, but that doesn’t mean
Communities around the country have realized that retirees can be an economic windfall and have started a variety of efforts aimed at luring retiring baby boomers.
In some cases, these efforts have drawn people who already had retired to
“There has been a whole movement and a whole strategy to get
He said baby boomers won’t necessarily be looking for the same type of retirement communities as their parents or grandparents. A reasonably priced home on a golf course might no longer be the enticement it once was.
In fact, Owens said, surveys find the No.1 amenity retirees now want is walking trails.
He said surveys also have shown that up to 20 percent of baby boomers plan to move to another state when they retire.
But, he added, that doesn’t necessarily mean doing so at 65, especially given the economic setbacks that many suffered in recent years. And the biggest chunk of boomers won’t start turning 65 for another five years or so.
“The big-time flow of buyers has not started,” he said.
Already having a sizeable retiree population is in itself an attraction, said
He compared his first year of retirement in
“There is nobody that comes out and plays with you,” he said, laughing. “We had to come down here to find somebody to play with.”