Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Group seeking to attract retirees to Lawrence, Douglas County needs volunteers

October 12, 2011


Attracting retirees to Lawrence is going to be a job in itself.

Lawrence and Douglas County’s Retiree Attraction Task Force met for the first time Wednesday and made its first order of business to seek more volunteers who want to help the community become a retirement hot spot.

“We want to assess our strengths and weaknesses and really determine what we need to do to be able to promote Lawrence as a premiere retirement destination community,” said City Commissioner Hugh Carter, who is co-chairing the task force with Douglas County Commissioner Jim Flory.

To do that, though, will take a lot of study and more people. The 12-member task force created four subcommittees that will study various aspects of the city’s retiree attraction efforts. The task force is seeking residents who have expertise to offer to the subcommittees, which are:

• Medical services, social services, healthy lifestyles and volunteer opportunities.

• Financial, legal and transportation issues.

• Kansas University, education, cultural entertainment activities.

• Housing.

The task force expects to work through May to develop a report for city and county commissioners. The group also will develop a comprehensive strategy spelling out how the community can promote itself as a retirement destination, including an attraction packet to send to retirees thinking about making a move.

Tapping into KU alumni is a significant part of the effort.

“Manhattan has put together a Retire to the Flint Hills program, and the leaders there have told us to really focus on the university,” said Cynthia Wagner, an assistant city manager working with the task force. “They said that is what will have the most success in bringing people back.”

The task force also will make recommendations about who should manage the community’s efforts to attract retirees, and how the marketing and other activities should be funded. Carter said he is hopeful that any funding needed to sustain the effort can come largely from private-sector businesses that will benefit attracting more retirees.

The city has become interested in attracting more retirees after studies have shown that retirees — especially young retirees who may still be 15 to 20 years away from needed assisted living care — inject a large amount of wealth into a community. For example, one study the city has relied upon estimates 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.

“What we’re talking about here is economic development and the potential for green economic development,” Carter said.

People interested in serving on one of the task force’s sub-committees can contact Wagner at City Hall, at 832-3400 or


JerryStubbs 6 years, 8 months ago

Seems like they just now fixed the weather...for now. Waiting for the weather to fix itself all the time has some drawbacks, ( it doesn't stay fixed).

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

THINK attracting more and more healthy cyclists that do not need expensive health care!!! Cyclists have money too!

Think walkable/bikeable/jogging/swimming community with good public transportation. Not geriatric wards.

Then THINK buildling more and more safe cycling /walking/jogging paths.

Thinking massive numbers of senior seniors will be attracted to Lawrence is based on pure speculation = zero substance. Cold Kansas winters and hot humid Kansas summers are not exactly the ideal situation. Lawrence does not have the Flint Hills.

Lawrence,Kansas is the most expensive community in Kansas. With taxes and user fees constantly increasing. The high tax dollar sprawling bedroom community has effectively shot Lawrence,Kansas in the foot.

What this LJW article says to me is the real estate/developer industry wants to continue building more retirement units to further flood Lawrence markets = there is no real demand for such activity yet will continue to drain our wallets and increase taxes. Miles and miles of new infrastructure will require more and more of our tax dollars. This approach is an established pattern.

Think walkable/bikeable/jogging/swimming community with good public transportation.

Lawrence,Kansas is geared for younger people and/or college people. Let's realize this.

Again think walkable/bikeable/jogging/swimming community with good public transportation. Not geriatric wards.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 8 months ago

How about trying to attract PAYING part-time jobs for seniors who have retired (or been forced out) and discovered that the social security the Republicans are trying to destroy is no great shakes. Lawrence has always been a lousey job town, go look at the lines of traffic going to Topeka and the Kansas City area each morning. The elected so-called leaders elected by 20% of the community that bothers to vote are incompetant, clueless, disassociated, plagued with their own prejudices and agendas, and virtully ignorant of the difficulties faced in Lawrence by persons out of work and needing a job.

equalaccessprivacy 6 years, 8 months ago

Boo Lawrence! Southern manners blow! It would take a cruel and unethical volunteer to promote a backwoods place like KS. Don't scam the elderly.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree with equal-whatever. This town is a black hole on the road to hell for people who are still working. Water bills creep up every month. The state government has it in for "liberal Lawrence" and Governer Glory-Hal-Lay-Loo-Yah wants to take away the SRS offices that provide needed services for several sectors of the population. The weather statements above are not anything that can be changed (Although I am sure Governer Glory would pray for it for you). The local no growth consortium has it's hooks in the city government and the ciry commission is a crude and cruel joke. If I had it to do over, I would never have moved here, and I would have gotten out of here years ago if I had any sense.

verity 6 years, 8 months ago

The State of Kansas is making itself less desirable for retirees by trying to lower income taxes while it makes polices and laws that will almost certainly raise property and other local taxes. Many people have planned and invested in ways that will lower their income taxes when they retire. Low income taxes and high property and other local taxes are not going to entice them to come to any place in Kansas.

And it's not like the weather will ever be a positive.

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