Mark Fagan's Research on Retirement
Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau
JACKSONVILLE -- June 20, 2001 -- A Jacksonville State University professor has done extensive research on the baby-boomer generation. And he has gained a lot of notoriety for it.
Dr. Mark Fagan, head of the Department of Sociology and Social Work at JSU, has traveled across the country conducting studies of retirement communities and retirees. So when someone needs information about retirees, and especially the baby-boomers, they look to him for answers.
He has served as a consultant to The Retirement Systems of Alabama on the development of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and The Fort McClellan Reuse and Redevelopment Authority. CNN, “Good Morning America,” Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal have all called on Fagan for information.
Recently, Fagan was quoted in a national magazine, Kiplinger’s Retirement Planning. The article dealt with finding the best place for retirees to spend the rest of their lives.
It asked the question of what type of people look for a retirement retreat.
“When you look at the demographics of people who relocate in retirement, it’s people who have had a more mobile lifestyle, who were educated and who were comfortable with moving around,” says Fagan. “Not only are the boomers the most educated and mobile generation in history, there are more of them, so both the percentage and sheer numbers of people relocating in retirement should increase as the boomers age.”
And to where are they relocating? Boomers are looking for an escape from their urban lifestyles. Currently, the Southeast is looking like the hot spot for many retirees.
“[Retirees] are looking for a moderate four-season climate, low cost of living, quality housing at a reasonable price, healthcare, recreational opportunities and cultural attractions,” says Fagan. “Many of them are also looking for part-time employment.”
He believes this is why Alabama has potential to become a retiree’s choice for relocating. And the 2000 Census numbers are already showing that Alabama has grown. However, those numbers will not be broken down by age for a few more years. But Fagan suspects that some of that growth may be due to those baby-boomers.
As these boomers move from large cities to small towns and remote areas, they bring with them their income. This has a positive impact on those communities and thus, says Fagan, creates jobs because they spend their money locally.
Fagan has a large database of information about the aging of America and the economic impact of retirees and the baby-boomer generation. And that base is growing as the Census numbers come in.
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