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An empirical investigation of retiree relocation decisions with special reference to the role of leisure amenities
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That the elderly population is the fastest growing cohort in the United States is now widely recognized. Interestingly, people are now retiring earlier with larger amounts of discretionary income than has been the case in the past. When the large cohort of middle-class baby boomers reaches an age at which they elect to retire, their substantial incomes will provide great potential for enhancing the economic vitality of communities in which the new retirees choose to live. The purpose of this study was to examine a group of retired relocators in terms of their sociodemographics, lifestyles, place of origin, and decision-making processes. Results should help economic development organizations who are seeking to expand their community's tax base to more effectively attract and recruit these mobile retirees. Surveys were mailed to 951 individuals over the age of 55 who had moved to one of three designated counties in South Texas during the last twelve months. One-hundred and eighty-seven individuals were disqualified from the study and 329 questionnaires were returned, resulting in a 43 % response rate. Most respondents were typical retired relocators, in that they were white, married, educated persons of higher socioeconomic status who had moved to Texas from Snowbird States. Their levels of activity and happiness were also robust, and were found to be positively associated. Eight different types of activities (i.e., Home-based, Cultural/Educational, Informal Social, Organized Social, Travel-related, Family, Sports/Exercise, and, Hobbies) were identified as ones in which respondents participated regularly. Seven push factors (i.e., Personal Health/Health Care Needs, Life Disruptions/Critical Events, Financial Considerations, Housing Needs/Preferences, Neighborhood Concerns, Socioeconomic Status, and, Escape) were found to be influential in instigating the decision to move, with Escape providing the most powerful impetus. Six pull factors (i.e., Availability of Recreation and Park Opportunities, Opportunities for Social/Community Participation, Availability of Support Services, Location of Family, Ambience Factors, and, Climate/Terrain Preferences) were found to be instrumental in attracting retirees to certain relocation destinations once they had decided to move. Climate/Terrain Preferences emerged as the most important pull factor in relocation destination selections.
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Haigood, Traci Lannette (1996). An empirical investigation of retiree relocation decisions with special reference to the role of leisure amenities. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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