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June 22, 2006

Retirement boosts

North Carolina continues to be attractive to out-of-state retirees, and N.C. State University economist Mike Walden says they can boost local economies.

"A lot of local communities … love to get retirees to move to their area," says Dr. Walden, a professor of agricultural and resource economics. :Number one, they bring usually with them a pension, social security maybe. So they bring income. If they settle in the community permanently then they are going to spend most of that money locally.

"They also often bring their own health insurance, so they are not going to be a burden on the local health care system in terms of public assistance," he adds.

"And very importantly retirees usually don’t bring children to educate. And, of course, at the local level education -– public education -- is the most expensive local function.

"So attracting retirees has actually become a major economic development tool for many counties -- just as important as perhaps attracting a new factory.

"Now typically retirees have gone to resort areas and metropolitan areas, but what we are seeing now is many rural North Carolina counties that haven’t been in those two categories -- they are attracting retirees. This is exactly what they need."

Posted by deeshore at June 22, 2006 10:50 AM