Increase the amount of money retirees spend locally on goods and services – Insure that products, services, and amenities sought by retirees are available locally. Promote local spending and discourage shopping outside the local economy. Recruit, expand, retain, and start businesses that provide products, services, and amenities sought by retirees (medical services, shopping, dining out, groceries, cars, light trucks, SUVs, RVs, boats, sporting goods, etc.). Fill gaps in the availability of products, services, and amenities.
The most common downfall of retiree-based economic development strategies is to not insure that the services and products retirees want to purchase are available locally. As a result, a stream of retirement income is created, but it is countered by an equal stream of money leaving for purchases outside the local economy. Also, as retirees age, they are inclined to drive less and to look for goods and services closer to home. If unavailable, they may be forced to move.
Insure that older residents retire in the local community – Similar to business retention, sometimes it is easier to retain a retiree than recruit a new one. Not all retirees are looking for the same things in retirement. If a community has many of the things retirees are looking for in a retirement community, and retirees are part of the community’s economic development strategy, keeping retirees in the community can support prosperity goals. If residents approaching retirement pack up and move to the beach when they are in their late 50s or early 60s communities can lose 20 or 30 years of retirement income and related spending benefits.