JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Guidebook Published for Attracting Retirees for Economic Development

JACKSONVILLE -- July 24, 2002 -- Attracting retirees as visitors and new residents may be the first and best route for certain communities seeking positive and long-term economic development. Retirement Development: A How-To Guidebook, newly published by the Jacksonville State University (Alabama) Center for Economic Development, presents detailed research on the opportunity, case histories on communities that have successfully attracted retirees as visitors and new residents, and program recommendations for considering and launching such a regional program.

The guidebook is the result of 10 years of research, travel, seminars, lecturing and writing by its author, Mark Fagan, DSW, department head for Sociology and Social Work at Jacksonville State University. He has taught at the university for 21 years. Dr. Fagan’s enterprise and work in the field have been recognized with awards and features in major and professional media.

“Retirees are no longer tied to the communities where they lived in order to work,” stated Dr. Fagan. “We found that the retirees sought a better life from where they had been living and they desired safer communities, better quality of life, less congestion, lower cost of living, more recreational and educational opportunities, and neighborhoods where they could be involved and contribute.

“For smaller communities, in particular, attracting retirees is better, easier, and far more beneficial than trying to lure another factory for economic development.” Each in-migrating retiree couple produces the economic benefit to a community equal to that of 3.7 factory jobs. “And mature adults don’t put kids into schools, cause crime, or drain on social services,” advised Dr. Fagan.

Retirement Development: A How-To Guidebook provides a step-by-step program for any community or region to research its potential for attracting retirees as visitors and/or new residents," stated Pat Shaddix, executive director of the university’s center for economic development. “Our office also serves as executive director and operations center for the American Association of Retirement Communities, and we see firsthand the positive economic and community benefits of attracting retirees. This publication may be considered the nation’s first textbook on why-to and how-to attract retirees.”

“I have watched Dr. Fagan’s work, interviewed him and have written many features for national media for 10 years, and am delighted to see that his expertise, research and recommendations are now captured and presented in a single and easily usable book,” said Leonard J. Hansen, journalist and author who has specialized in writing to, for and about mature adults since 1973.

Retirement Development is published in large format, 177 pages, and is priced at $25 per copy.

The publication was developed in cooperation with the U. S. Economic Development Administration.

For information, contact Dr. Fagan at www.jsu.edu/depart/sowk or call (256) 782-5354. You can contact Mr. Pat Shaddix at 256-782-5349. Copies of the publication are available by accessing www.the-aarc.org.


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