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Retirees Seen as Southwest Florida Area's Saviors

By Michael Braga
Sarasota Herald Tribune, Feb. 13, 2008

It was the prospect of baby boomers retiring en masse to Florida that fueled the state's real estate boom, and it will be the actual arrival of baby boomers over the next few years that will help the region rebound from its current malaise.

At least that is the way Brad Edmondson, the former editor of American Demographics magazine, sees it.

Speaking at a forum Tuesday that was sponsored by the University of South Florida's Institute for Public Policy and Leadership, Edmondson said there has been some decline in population growth in the area as evidenced by the fact that school enrollment is 2.6 percent below forecasted levels.

But Edmondson predicted that Southwest Florida's population will not decline, and once the current housing correction passes, the region will grow thanks to an influx of retirees.

"The fundamental supply of retirees for this area is about to grow explosively," Edmondson said.

Though only 20 percent of Americans aged 60 and older end up moving across state lines, Edmondson said Sarasota-