January 2014 Newsletter

Jeff Fleming headshot 2012The AARC targets communities. Whether you’re a private developer, a chamber or tourism professional, or a government official, AARC is your information source!  Millions of dollars in wealth will be transferred based on the choices made by boomer retirees with discretion to live where they choose.

A wide range of indicators have been pointing towards an improved housing market, with evidence that prices, sales and construction activity are all continuing to rise after several lean years. Recent data continues to show that housing, which was battered by the 2007-09 recession, is increasingly one of the brighter spots in the economy.

Now is the time to capitalize on your efforts with the current uptick in the market. The AARC continues as your primary vehicle for learning how to reach those retirees looking to relocate and combines the knowledge of many professionals who all have a hand in retiree recruitment. If you are a member, please feel free to use our on-line research and webinars to learn the latest trends.

One of our newest programs in 2014 is a consumer marketing website for Seal of Approval recipients which was established to recognize communities and master-planned developments that possess the resources and amenities to attract today’s relocating retiree. Go to www.RetirementDestinations.org to research unbiased information on retirement communities for buyers and then you will realize how important it is that your community be among this top-notch group. To our members, we truly appreciate your membership and endearing friendship. We are constantly looking for more ways to help you grow with our rebounding economy and to the not-yet-members we sincerely encourage you to get involved so you too can provide insight into this ever-changing segment of the market.


Jeff Fleming, Chair

AARC Members in Ten States Participate in ideal-LIVING’s Retiree Platform

RPI Story.1 - bestplaces 13 cvr_webA 2013 AARC national retiree study revealed that 40% of those planning to retire will move.  Since 1989 hundreds of communities have utilized RPI Media, Inc’s ideal-LIVING (formerly Live South) expos, publications and websites to reach those moving retiree home buyers. AARC members from 10 states, AR, AZ, DE, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN & VA are among these participants.  Former AARC Chair and Retire Tennessee Program Director Ramay Winchester said, “The ideal-LIVING platform puts our communities in touch and face to face with thousands of prospects each year,” “In addition to engaging digital and print editorial messages about the benefits of living in our tax free state, member communities get to meet prospective retirees on their home turf,” “We experience first-hand what motivates them to move, bad weather, traffic and all”.

RPI Story.3AARC BOD Member, past chair and RPI Media Inc., Principal, Dave Robertson
said, “This year extreme cold and snow have stimulated high retiree motivation in the Midwest & Northeastern US, This bodes well for the communities like AARC members who rely on retirees to bring jobs and resources to their area”.  Each retiree household brings four new jobs into the destination community area. High paying jobs in continuing education, construction, medical, finance and real estate sectors are primary beneficiaries. Tourism is the first beneficiary as retirees visit before they decide to buy a new home. They stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and visit area attractions.

Put your community on retirees’ radar with ideal-LIVING.  Join AACR today and arm it to
RPI Story.2capture them when they visit with the AARC Seal of Approval. It is a comprehensive evaluation process for planned developments and municipalities to make sure they are equipped to get their share of the more than 15 million households who will move to retire through 2025. The Summer issue of ideal-LIVING will feature the Best Places to Retire. Communities may opt for a formatted listing that places them among the most popular destinations. Plan for a prosperous 2014 and beyond now. For more information contact info@the-aarc.org.

RPi Story.4


Fear that the housing market’s recovery is stalling has been overdone, say economists at Goldman Sachs in a new report.

By Nick Timiraos

The paper — entitled “Where is the pent-up housing demand?” — suggests that housing demand among the young has been suppressed due to cyclical issues not structural ones.

Homeownership hasn’t fallen out of favor and student-debt levels aren’t the main culprits for lower housing demand among young buyers, write economists Hui Shan and Eli Hackel. Instead, they suggest that the economic downturn is most responsible for muted homeownership gains among younger households, and that the “pent-up” housing demand will improve in step with economic gains.

The bear case on housing goes something like this: the current “recovery” has been driven to an unhealthy degree by low interest rates and investor purchases of homes, particularly by large institutions. Meanwhile, traditional owner-occupant buyers can’t qualify for loans, due to some combination of having too much debt (especially student loans for younger buyers), stagnant incomes and tight credit standards.

Ms. Shan and Mr. Hackel aren’t convinced. “We think the pessimism about the housing recovery is overdone,” they write.

The authors focus on the homeownership rate among those between ages 25 and 44, the largest cohort of first-time buyers and move-up buyers. Compared to the 1985-1994 period (when the overall homeownership rate was mostly flat), homeownership among 25-to-44 year olds was reduced by around 1.1 million owners last year. Most of the shortfall, they conclude, comes from medium-to-high income households. They turn to three reasons that might be the case:

First, could it be that homeownership simply isn’t cool anymore? Not really. Surveys show the vast majority of non-homeowners under age 49 still aspire to homeownership.

Second, could it be that young renters don’t have enough money to make a down payment or enough income to qualify for a mortgage? Not so much, they find. Using data from the 2010 Census, they find that among 25-44 year-old renters with incomes above $50,000, around 40% have at least $25,000 in financial wealth — enough for a 10% down payment on the median priced U.S. house. Nearly half of younger renters with at least $50,000 in income have total debts of less than 5% of their incomes, meaning they should have the capacity to take out a mortgage for a home purchase.

Third, could young households have delayed purchases due to the severe shock that housing and labor markets went through? The authors conclude that this is the most likely explanation. Homeownership rates declined less in states where the job market experienced less stress.

In states where unemployment fell by less than one percentage point below their long-run average, the homeownership rates of younger renters with incomes over $50,000 remained similar in 2012 to their 1985-94 levels. But in states where unemployment rates were more than one percentage point above their long-run average, homeownership rates for younger renters fell by four percentage points compared to their 1985-94 levels.

“As the housing and labor markets gradually recover, we expect to see the homeownership rate in this population normalize,” write Shan and Hackel. Moreover, population growth among the so-called “echo boom” generation of children born to the baby boomers, who are just now beginning to form households, “implies upward pressure on housing demand.”



Dip Into a New Pool of Talent by Employing Seniors 

By Rieva Lesonsky, Small Business Trends

Are you racking your brains looking for a way to hire employees on a tight budget? Perhaps employing-seniors-660x369you’ve even put out want ads for jobs but haven’t found any candidates with the right experience and attitude.  Maybe the problem is that you’re overlooking a huge pool of potential employees: Seniors. (Seriously, we need to come up with a better name for this generation of Americans.)

A study from the University of Michigan found that these days, more “mature” Americans are taking “partial retirement.” Already 20 percent of workers aged 65 to 67 and 15 percent of those aged 60 to 62 are partially retired.  Partial retirement itself is a relatively new trend. In 1960, the study reports, only about 5 percent of workers in the 65 to 67 age range were partially retired and among people age 60 to 62, the concept was virtually nonexistent.

What’s Behind the Growth of Partial Retirement?

The study points to several factors. During tough economic times, older workers are more likely to be laid off or choose to exit the work force. However, many either can’t afford to take full retirement, or don’t want to because they enjoy working. As a result, more and more workers over 60 are taking what the study calls “bridge jobs” – lower-paying jobs intended to tide them over until full retirement as opposed to continuing in, or searching for, “career jobs.”  The growth of partial retirement is good news for small business owners, as it’s creating a new pool of potential workers who have lots of experience but are willing to work for less.

The Pros and Cons of Employing Seniors

Below are some of the issues mentioned in a survey of hiring managers by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Pro: Seniors Tend to Be Good With People

Often, they want to keep working because they enjoy socializing and don’t want to be isolated at home. This makes them natural “relators” who are likely to be patient and friendly. This type of person can be great as a retail employee, customer service rep, greeter (think Wal-Mart) or in another type of role that involves lots of hand-holding.

Pro: Seniors Have Valuable Experience You Couldn’t Afford to Hire Full-Time

I recently needed new carpet in my home and was trying to match old carpet installed 10 years ago. A senior (partially retired) salesman at the company I worked with was able to identify the brand and find a near-perfect match in a matter of minutes due to his decades of industry knowledge. He was also more efficient than many younger, less experienced people might have been.

Pro: Seniors Can Share Their Knowledge with Junior Employees

Having a senior mentor train younger employees is a great way to bring them up to speed on your industry.

Pro: Seniors Possess Useful Networks

Seniors who have spent a long time in the workforce typically have networks of contacts that can be useful to your business.

Pro: Seniors Have More Dedication

Because their children are grown and they may be widows or widowers, seniors are likely to have more dedication to your business than employees who are juggling marriage, children and family life with the demands of their jobs.

Con: Possibly Less Tech Savvy

Seniors are likely to be less tech-savvy than younger generations who’ve grown up with technology. That said, they are typically very willing to learn, and with a majority of people over 65 now online according to Pew data, they have at least some familiarity with social media, email and other essential tools.

Con: Potential Physical Limitations

Seniors will most likely have physical limitations that younger employees won’t. So if the job requires a lot of walking, standing, lifting or other physical labor, it’s probably not ideal for an older individual. The good news is, as part-timers, they won’t need to be on your company’s health insurance so their health issues won’t raise your rates.

How Can You Find Qualified Seniors?

Tap into senior-related resources in your community, let your connections know you’re looking for senior employees, or advertise on senior job boards such as Senior Bank Board or Workforce 50.