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Archive for Thursday, January 14, 2010

Report: City should recruit retirees

‘It looks to me like seniors really could be considered a new industry for Lawrence’

Jill Kleinberg, 64, Lawrence, attends a Tai Chi class Wednesday sponsored by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department at the Lawrence Senior Center. A study by researchers at Kansas University’s School of Social Welfare has concluded that Lawrence has much to gain economically from attracting retirees.

Jill Kleinberg, 64, Lawrence, attends a Tai Chi class Wednesday sponsored by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department at the Lawrence Senior Center. A study by researchers at Kansas University’s School of Social Welfare has concluded that Lawrence has much to gain economically from attracting retirees.

January 14, 2010

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City considering attracting retirees

The city of Lawrence could gain a lot from attracting retirees to the area. The demographic could help the city gain good economic development benefits, if the pursuit is supported. Enlarge video

Big business in Lawrence may mean attracting more people who have retired from it, according to a new report commissioned by an offshoot of Douglas County Senior Services.

Leaders with Douglas County Senior Services and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday unveiled a study that suggests Lawrence may have as much to gain economically from attracting retirees as it does by attracting manufacturers and other industries.

“It looks to me like seniors really could be considered a new industry for Lawrence,” said Eldon Herd, a Lawrence retiree and chairman of the Vantage Pointe Foundation, a private fundraising arm for Douglas County Senior Services and other aging organizations.

The study — conducted by researchers at Kansas University’s School of Social Welfare — will be presented to city and county commissioners to determine whether there is interest in creating a formal program to attract retirees to the community. Among the findings of the study:

• During the next 18 years, it is estimated that at least 400,000 retirees per year will move to a new state. Small cities within driving distance of a metropolitan area are expected to be among the destinations of choice for retirees.

• Nationally, the over-50 age group has annual income of $35,000 per person and possesses 80 percent of all savings deposits in the United States.

• A Georgia study found that in 2005 the state attracted 15,000 people age 65 and over, which added $408 million in income and spending power to the state’s economy. The study estimated that a typical retired couple had the same economic impact to a community as the attraction of 3.4 manufacturing jobs.

John Glassman, director of Douglas County Senior Services, said the benefits of attracting retirees are expected to outweigh any additional strain retirees may place on the area’s health care or social service systems. “Those retirees who are most likely to move often are the healthiest and the wealthiest,” he said.

If city and county commissioners express an interest in moving forward, another study outlining what steps the community would need to take to better position itself as a retirement destination likely would be conducted, Glassman said.

The city’s status as a university community, close to a major metro area with housing costs less than the coastal areas is expected to be a drawing card. But Tom Kern, president and CEO of the chamber, said a formal marketing program would need to be developed, likely with a strong emphasis on attracting KU alumni who may have an interest in retiring to Lawrence.

“I’m not sure people always think about how much income a retiree can bring to a community,” Kern said. “That maybe hasn’t been real high on the radar screen, but maybe it should be.”

Comments

oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 3 months ago

This new retiree influx will help the obituary industry as well. The J/W now charges $250 for a non subscriber and $150 for a subscriber. Otherwise, you get a couple free lines.

That's a welcome mat for sure. I'm still waiting for the retirees who are going to shovel walks and mow lawns as volunteers.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

This looks like a warning. That the city commission will soon be giving away the farm AGAIN aka tax incentives in order to prepare for the onslaught of senior citizens.

The way they are preparing for a Bio Science Tidal Wave and a warehouse industry and a westside retail boom none of which has taken place.

Lots of empty high rise high dollar living awaiting this new industry. So often seniors truly love Florida,South Texas,Arizona and San Diego. And Boulder, Colorado home to progressive green thinkers.

The only thing that has materialized is economic displacement that which retired folks cannot afford because it indicates a mismanaged city controlled by real estate developers. Isn't Lawrence the most expensive place to live in Kansas for newcomers?

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George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

If I understand this article, we want to bring in more middle and upper middle class retirees. Interesting. This set of people would probably settle on the west side of Lawrence. Many live on fixed incomes. I wonder if we will be honest with them. Are we going to tell them about the every escalating taxes? Will we mention our requirement for physical activity despite infirmities? Should we reveal the systemic overvaluation of homes on the west side? Yes, Lawrence does offer attractions for retired seniors. It does not, however, seem to be very considerate of those seniors. Could this just be another effort to attract more people to fleece to support the “downtown”?

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tomatogrower 4 years, 3 months ago

esteshawk (Anonymous) says… Bad idea. Been there, done that. As a refugee from a town that courted retirees, I can say that once they began to arrive, the culture of the place changed. Went from a easy going laid back place to one where anger and grumpy became the norm. Think about it: who is the angriest demographic out there? Also, retirees don't give a dang about schools or working adults trying to raise children. Inherent conflicts about. Even Boulder hasn't courted the Retiree Dollar.

Don't stereotype. I'm almost ready to retire, and I plan to volunteer in schools to help out. And I absolutely do not mind paying taxes for your children to go to school. The generation before me paid for my education and helped pay my children's education, and I plan on taking on my responsibility, unlike some of the selfish people who post on this forum. And as long as they don't step on the flowers, they can come and play in my yard, and I might even bring them cookies and lemonade. And I would even hire the older ones to mow my yard and shovel the drive. I do not want to just live with people my age. I come from a fun generation, but I like diversity. Not all old people want to shirk their responsibilities to the younger generations. I hope that I've tried to always look ahead to the future of society, not just my future.

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barrypenders 4 years, 3 months ago

nudist,

I have a "grumpy" old dad that has lived in Webb's Sun City West for years and years.

Thanks for asking.

Stimulus, Azul Progressive Articulate Disillusionment and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless you

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esteshawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Bad idea. Been there, done that. As a refugee from a town that courted retirees, I can say that once they began to arrive, the culture of the place changed. Went from a easy going laid back place to one where anger and grumpy became the norm. Think about it: who is the angriest demographic out there? Also, retirees don't give a dang about schools or working adults trying to raise children. Inherent conflicts about. Even Boulder hasn't courted the Retiree Dollar.

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nudist 4 years, 3 months ago

Barry,

Do you use the Internet while the staff isn't looking or do they actually give you access to it for a few minutes each day?

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barrypenders 4 years, 3 months ago

Sun City Arizona, is a self-disciplined culture that has been flourishing for years and years. Golf Carts/Green machines have been the preferred method of travel long before Azuls noticed the trend. Living standards and covenents are adhered to. Lawrence populace does not have the self control to create an enviroment similar to Sun City. There are too many liberal disciplines, pell-mell disciplines, helter-skelter disciplines that cannot function in a unified, personally diverse direction.

Stimulus, Pell-Mell Progressive Articulate Disillusionment and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless you all

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YouPeopleAreCrazy 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm sure nbnozzy dutifully compensated them with vanilla ice cream cones for their efforts. Or better yet, he turned it into a profit sharing deal and shared the extra profit with the old folks.....but probably not.

So I'm going to guess that whether you were an punk kid or a distinguished gentlemen, you were probably getting screwed just the same either way.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 3 months ago

want to attract seniors to Lawrence. start off with declaring every property around a closed school, let's say within a 1 mile radius. Exempt every one of those properties from school tax and the occupants have to be 55 and older, with at least one person 55. . Take the closed school and convert it into a community center, use the cafetieria as a restaurant, add silver smithing and jewelry making, etc and etc. This new community would be tax exempt from school taxes, cause no kids in the community. This new community would allow golf carts on the streets. This new community would qualify for the Ks Neighborhood Revitalization Act and therefore improvements partially exempt, houses would get rehabbed. OR allow demoliton asap and a new home would be constructed in the "new" community.

Older areas would be rehabbed and the "new" neighborhood groups would be of like mind and not fret about how many people are living in the houses, because there would be at least one 55 years and no kids.

Lawrence is stuck in the Civil War.

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nbnozzy 4 years, 3 months ago

dudedog12 (Anonymous) says…

yeah, you made more money with them because you didn't pay much …. thats the root of the conversation…

If you're referring to my post let me inform you that this was back in 1997 and the starting rate of pay was $7 an hour. I paid the highest rate of wages in my area for the food service industry.

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Steve Miller 4 years, 3 months ago

yeah, you made more money with them because you didn't pay much .... thats the root of the conversation...

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nbnozzy 4 years, 3 months ago

When I was in management in the fast food industry I preferred to hire seniors because their work ethic was fantastic. My young workers were mostly lazy and took too much time off work. The seniors enjoyed showing up and visiting with customers.

Hire a senior and find out for yourself that they appreciate a job more than the youngsters.

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hitme 4 years, 3 months ago

These people with all the extra time on their hands ought to be out clearing sidewalks, getting exercise, and contributing to society. They don't need to be locked up watching game shows from the '70s, until they die. If they want to do that we should ship them to Florida (They could be picking oranges down there). You know I'm just thinking of them because I care. Give, give, give.

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Tammy Copp-Barta 4 years, 3 months ago

Then they can stay here and fall and break their hip while they are trying to shovel the snow from their sidewalks to prevent a ticket .. think I'd head to a better climate if I had a choice ...

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 3 months ago

Seniors will clamor to move here to engage themselves in shoveling walks and/or getting tickets. They will enjoy the old jail as a Senior Center. There is just so much fun looking forward, buying expensive tickets to KU games and figuring out how to get reasonable transportation from Lawrence to KCI, let alone wading through the paperwork to ride the T Lift. Most cities just simply have a dial a ride program open to all.

This article just makes the opportunity to get the now lowest flight to Phoenix , climb aboard the Super Shuttle and get a good nights rest to take a drive the next day to 91st and Northern and buy some fresh oranges.

Who in Lawrence really think Seniors will move here, really now? It's usually those who want to be near their children or as my deceased father once said several years ago, you better be rich if you are elderly and plan to live in Lawrence, either in your own home or a retirement community.

Round trip to Vegas or Phoenix is now within $225.00. Just a bit over the fine for not shoveling your walks.

Horace Greeley said "go West young man" and folks are still going West, Southwest!

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Steve Miller 4 years, 3 months ago

It's all a catch 22. We all want a better standard of living. This = higer wages. Your local mart and mc's pay low to make more money ( corporate greed). It all calculates into we can no longer afford our past standard of living. Go ahead and ship all of our manufacturing to foreign lands and ship the final product back in to sell "cheap" at the local "mart" but ohh, that = an ellimination of a good paying job here at home that most likely was a quality product. The reaason they all retire is to start drwaing the pension and go get another job that is at "bargain" wages for the "company" mc's or mart, with i might add, no benefits, this is all to keep the price down. How does it feel to prostitue your stabdard of living . Now run down to the local mart and buy some cheap goods and feel good about it .

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YouPeopleAreCrazy 4 years, 3 months ago

beobachter (Anonymous) says… YouPeopleAreCrazy old people would be preferable to the ignorant uneducated rednecks we currently have.

You might want to move out of KS then, or well, most of America, because that's what most of the population is anymore. Idiocracy in real life is what we have now.

Irish: Here, here, and I was just kidding about the Furr's thing, but honestly I'm not sure Applebee's is that much better. At least the food at Furr's had some taste to it.

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 3 months ago

This old woman prefers Applebees.
We need to be concentrating on creating and sustaining jobs that pay a living wage for singles and young families. We also need recreation aimed at those who are too old for the playground and not old enough for the bar scene. Higher wages for the working class would mean that they would save more, be healthier, and of course be able to retire in the style to which we in Lawrence have become accustomed. :-)

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YouPeopleAreCrazy 4 years, 3 months ago

pace (Anonymous) says… Disappointment, I thought someone was being bright enough to consider hiring retired people because they could be great workers.

I'm pretty sure there's a reason they retired, but you should probably look to dudedog12's post. It's really not a new idea and can have drastic effects on wages. Of course businesses would love to employ senior citizens, those people have nothing left to live for and will give every last bit of their life force to the company for pennies on the dollar. This is not a good thing for Lawrence.

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beobachter 4 years, 3 months ago

YouPeopleAreCrazy old people would be preferable to the ignorant uneducated rednecks we currently have.

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Steve Miller 4 years, 3 months ago

Why would a business not recruit the aged work force, they pay them fractions of the youth force, make more money, like mcdonalds does. Kepp it up, wages are at the point now that it is hard to make ends meet.. corporate greed at work...

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YouPeopleAreCrazy 4 years, 3 months ago

Nothing says "progressive" like having a bunch of old people move in. Seriously, we already have enough problems getting across town without a bunch of senior citizens unleashed on the roads. On second thought, though, maybe we should do away with their driver's licenses and make them ride the T. Nobody else does.

In the end, this will never work because we got rid of the Furr's Cafeteria on 23rd street. Where are all the old people going to eat now? Perkins? (shudders)

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equalaccessprivacy 4 years, 3 months ago

This seems like an offensively self-serving article--all about extracting economic benefits by lurin unwittingseniors to Lawrence and nothing about caring about the interests and needs of these people. Ageist to the hilt.

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pace 4 years, 3 months ago

Disappointment, I thought someone was being bright enough to consider hiring retired people because they could be great workers.

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ungone 4 years, 3 months ago

I think the last think Lawrence should do is recruit older residents. We should focus on recruiting the grads from KU, they are the future. Get some up and coming businesses to come to Lawrence. Our future should be young not old.

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe we could make a new senior center out of the old Don's Steak House....Turn the Farmland property into a Nancy Lopez Signature Golf Course....LOL! Just joking...don't be hating.

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Chris Ogle 4 years, 3 months ago

A perfect climate, and wealth management (you want have any living here), make Lawrence a very special place.

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consumer1 4 years, 3 months ago

I can barely afford to live here now. Keep increasing taxes and funding crazy agenda's. It will be a guarentee I won't be able to live here.

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