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February 27, 2007

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mary Lou

I am wanting to relocate to the mainland, but the prices have gone sky high on housing for seniors, so It is cheaper to just stay put. I just wish I did not have such a big yard now.

Lisa Dunn

Mary Lou - I suppose your options are to pay the piper and hire lawn service, or pay extra for housing!

Bob Schmidt

Hmm. Not so sure how significant this trend is. We're only talking about an net out migration of 34,000 over a 4 year period - that's 8,500 per year.

There are more than 17 million residents of Florida, so we're talking small numbers on a percentage basis, acknowledged in the New York Times story that your post is presumably based on (or one of the papers that picked up the story such as this one http://gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070226/WIRE/702260313/-1/news)

And this is not a new phenomenon. According to the story, the exit of 75+ was observed twenty years ago. They called them "half backs". What is claimed to be new is the growth and the dimension.

So how big is it? Here are the numbers. 8% of Florida's population is age 75+. That is 1.4 million. So we're talking about a loss of 8,500 out of almost 1.5 million. That's is hardly noticeable. Miami alone has 200,000 age 75+. You can probably double that for the entire region of Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Boca-Palm Beach. So even if all 8,500 left South Florida every year, there are still plenty of that age group still there.

By comparison, Minnesota with a population of 5 million has 5.6% age 75+, or 280,000. So...even if all 8,500 moved from Florida and decided to settle in Minnesota, it would only represent an annual increase of 3% of MN's 75+ population. Not that that would ever happen (brrr...)

We just are not talking significant numbers here, in part I'll admit, because of the birth dearth during the depression and the low population counts of the current 75+ cohort.

As to the availability of services for seniors in Florida, you have a very valid point. While we have tremendous choices in the active adult community product category, and a fair amount of assisted living and nursing homes, we could definitely use more in the CCRC category. And social services in many parts of Florida pale by comparison to what is available "up north" (way up north, practically Canada in the case of Minnesota.) Ok, I'll quit picking on MN.


Lisa Dunn

Bob, wow! Thank you for the insightful comments. While I agree, I don't think the increase in this trend means buidling developers will be developing entire new villages of senior housing, and it may not be a new trend, I do think it's an eye opener for some who think seniors wouldn't return to Minnesota (brrrr. By the way, we're very excited. It's supposed to hit 40 degrees this weekend).

This cross country move for seniors who may be moving because of a frail spouse or other health needs becomes a special challenge as well. Both the travel and choosing a senior community that will meet immediate and future needs is difficult to do in person, nevermind across the country.

Thank you again!

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