Attract seniors to Douglas
November 16, 2011
A recent housing report presented to the Douglas County Planning Commission noted that the senior population of the county had increased from 15.2 percent in 2000 to 20.2 percent in 2010. These statistics were presented as if it were a problem, yet in reality it is the best thing that could have happened to our local economy.
Retirees bring a tremendous amount of outside money into the area in the form of savings, IRA, 401K, Social Security, Medicare and retirement funds. Douglas County also has a relatively large contingency of senior volunteers which has the result of improving the economy, decreasing the cost of the local government and making the area a more desirable place to live.
The actual problem is that since the housing bubble ended, the senior population of Douglas County has slowly declined primarily due to attrition. As a result, the county now has many vacant dwellings that used to be occupied by seniors. Also, many businesses which were dependent upon serving the senior population have had to close. The Planning Commission should present a plan on how to once again attract retirees to our area and restore the senior population. This would be much better than worrying about the nonexistent shortage of affordable housing.