Retirement States Gain in 2010 Census

Retirement States Gain in Population

Some of the results of the 2010 Census was released today and one thing I noticed is the the best retirement states are the ones to gain in population.  So job transfers is not the driver these days, it’s gain from those retirees moving to a new retirement destination.

Overall the US population grew 9.7% in the last ten years.  That is down from a 13.2% gain in the previous 2000 census, but still a respectable gain.  By region the biggest gainers in population are the South at 14.3% and the Southwest at 13.8%.  By comparison the gain in the Northeast was only 3. 2%.

By state Arizona had 24.6%, Nevada 35.1%, Georgia 17.3%, Florida 17.6%,  South Carolina 15.3% gain in population the last 10 years.  These also happen to be the states that are popular retirement destinations.  Some have speculated that people are not moving for retirement anymore, however these numbers do not bear that out.

Small Towns

Small Town by John Mellencamp

Small Town Lyrics – John Mellencamp

Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Prob’ly die in a small town
Oh, those small communities

All my friends are so small town
My parents live in the same small town
My job is so small town
Provides little opportunity

Educated in a small town
Taught to fear Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another born romantic that’s me

But I’ve seen it all in a small town
Had myself a ball in a small town
Married an L.A. doll and brought her to this small town
Now she’s small town just like me
[ From:]

No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be

Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who’s in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that’s good enough for me

Well I was born in a small town
And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
And that’s prob’ly where they’ll bury me

Retirement Jobs

Being Fired May Bring Opportunities

Time for a Retirement Job?

I read an article about how to handle being fired and it rightly pointed out to maintain a positive attitude.  Being mad and resentful does not improve your situation.  Move on and look ahead is your best bet.

In my career I was fired a few times.  Well in the recession of the early 1970s it was that I was laid off, kind of like what is happening today.  Then in 1987 I was laid off as an real estate asset manager because tax reform gutted the apartment tax shelters.  In both of those cases, I moved on and got a better job.  In 1991 I was a Senior Property Manager for six years with a company and loved it, but the owner took me out to lunch on Jan 2 and told me a personal agency said I was being paid too much, and cut my modest salary back.  This lunch was at a Chinese restaurant and my fortune cookie that day read “Adversity brings opportunity”.  I put that fortune slip in my wallet and began planning to start my own business, which I did exactly one year later.   This motivated me to make an uncertain change.  My barber said starting a business is like wading in to a lake, you never know where the drop off is and you may go under at any time.  A family friend advised me not to started a business, “it is just too risky” she said.  But my wife supported me and I took the plunge, being well prepared with a years saving.  By the second or third year I was making money and soon thereafter was making 4 times what I did being employed.   So for me this negative event of cutting of my salary proved to be the best thing to happen to me.  I was the steady conservative type and just don’t think I would have started my business without this event.  Thank you Mr. Boss man, I really appreciate what you did for me. Sincerely.

In this economy it may be different when you are fired, especially if you are age 50+, which I understand is the group having the hardest time finding employment. Some of these Boomers may use this time to reflect on what they really want to do to have a more satisfying, let’s say retirement job.  One with less pressure.  How about a job you really enjoy.  This type of retirement job will be good for your health. So take break, take inventory of your life and see if you can discover a new passion, or an old one you never perused.  Most of us in the Boomer generation plan to keep working for as long as we can.  Maybe it’s time for a whole new chapter, something different, maybe an encore career doing something totally different, something you like and have a passion for. You have to search for this new passion of yours and it could be difficult, but certainly worth it.  Don’t let what others think you should do or not do weight too much on your decisions.  Do what you enjoy and have fun doing and you will be happier, healthier and possibly wealthier too.

Retirement Jobs for Boomers

Senior Living

When is it Time to Put the Brakes on Elderly Driving?

Family Conversations with Older Drivers

senior driving

Our nearby senior community, Somerby of Alpharetta, invited me to a seminar they were giving titled “We need to talk… Family Conversations with Older Drivers” one of several excellent seminars they were giving. This is a good service they are doing and the meeting room was full. Didn’t hurt they included dinner, but the seminar was very professional and included speakers Thomas Corrigan who is a Geriatric Consultant, Mr. Jim Swain an elder care attorney, an Alpharetta police officer, and Ms Deann Young the Somerby representative.

The stop driving seminar was excellent and here are some of the highlights from my notes.

Ms. Young pointed out age alone is not sufficient to make the decision to stop driving.  Their is a post man in Birmingham Al who is over age 90 and still drives his postal route and has never had an accident. Many elderly drives are fine despite the jokes about old drivers.

There was a resident of Somerby who got up to talk about his decision to stop driving.  He and his wife had been living up at Big Canoe when he started having mini seizes, just going blank a couple of seconds.  He got better, then off on on he might have one.  He said he always had a practice throughout his life of arriving early for an appointment and to do that, he had to leave early. So in his mind he certainly didn’t want to hurt or injury anyone, and although he might could continue to drive until something happen, he would stop now. It was not about him, but about other people and their children.  Just like leaving early to keep his appointments, he would stop driving now, maybe early but the safe route.

Elderly Driving

Mr. Swain pointed out most people have been driving longer than they have been married, or longer than their career. It is difficult decision for them to make, to stop driving.

Some facts were presented.  You can’t say when a safe time of time to drive is, accidents happen all the time. An elderly driver has a 66% chance of dying in a vehicle crash. When you are young you can bounce back, but vehicle crashes are more serious to older people.

Age related conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts can interfere with driving.  Your field of vision really goes down hill fast after age 75. Medical factors which impact driving include diminished eyesight and hearing, prescription medications, decreased reaction time, physical flexibility, impaired judgment, dementia and memory loss, increase use of alcohol or OTC medications.

So how do you being a conversation with an older person about whether it is time to stop driving?  Begin collecting information.  Take a ride with the driver. Ask yourself would you let your 5 year old grandchild be in the car with them?  Get a driving evaluation (cost $300-$500)that will test cognition, reflexes, vision, flexibility, and visual attention. Has the Senior been in “close calls” or got lost while driving. Take a walk around their vehicle and look for dents and scrapes. Seniors have may difficulty turning to check over their shoulder while backing up or changing lanes. Has the Senior received multiple traffic tickets or warnings from law enforcement offers? All of these could be warning sign tells about driving problems.

It was pointed out that Seniors are a tough generation and don’t know quit, stop or give up. Later Officer Howard offers that you should talk with Seniors about Retiring from driving -not quitting.

Discussion About Driving

It is good to have the whole family on board before having conversations with the Senior about not driving. Discuss in a private setting. Then maybe the least confrontational relative or friend should begin the conversation about it maybe time to stop driving. Try to be non-confrontational. Encourage the Senior to express their concerns about their driving. Realize but remove the emotion from conversation. Then the whole family could reinforce the conversation.

Maybe give the Senior socially acceptable reasons that they could tell their friends why they stopped driving, like a hip replacement or medications for example. They need to explain why they stopped driving.

Offer up solutions

Other options for getting around could include take a taxi, using senior center vans, home care agency, senior service agencies, public transportation, and family members or neighbors and friends.

New Activities

Some new routines for the Senior that do not include driving may be gardening, spending time with grandchildren, travel, senior centers, family activities.

Positive steps Loved Ones Can Take
Schedule an eye exam with an Ophthalmologist, ask physician if there are assistive devices which could help with driving, have senior undergo a complete physical examination, consider neuropsychological testing if dementia is a concern, review all medications and side effects which could affect driving, arrange for the Senior to take a driver education refresher course through AAA or AARP, offer to pay for a comprehensive driving evaluation.

Professional Help

Doctors can help but it was pointed out they are not going to tell the Senior they can’t drive anymore.  Geriatric Care Manager can assisted as well as counseling professionals, Senior Realtors and certified driving instructor.

Hope this points help if you are concerned about a Senior continuing to drive.

Senior Community Guide



Atlanta Zoo
MLK Tomb
MLK Tomb
Oval Office at Carter Presidential Center

Retirement Activities in Your Own City

Many times we boomers travel and discover the attractions of other cities in the US and around the world, most often during our short vacations in our working years.  We just want to get away for a few days and do something different. We visit remarkable museums and landmarks and wonder what it would be like to live in other places.

In retirement I have noticed that I can experience some of these discoveries right here in my own city, during most any mid week day for very little money but get the same thrill and pleasure of visiting some new places.  Most people do not take in the sights in their own city when they are working as they do not have the time or can’t get away for many reasons.  But every city has attractions enjoyed by out of town visitors but not fully enjoyed by the city’s own residents.

For example last weekend I visited the Atlanta Zoo with my wife, our nephew and his wife and two kids.  Beautiful fall day with blue skies and made a day of it, ending up with dinner in the trendy Virginia Highlands neighborhood.  Got the senior discount at the zoo.  Took plenty of pictures. It has been 23 years since I last visited the Atlanta Zoo, so this was like a new trip for me.

Woke up today a few days later, with another beautiful Fall day with powder blue skies and decided to go two places that I have never visited before and always wanted to: Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.

I researched on the Internet and then headed down GA 400 to visit the Martin Luther King , Jr, National Historic Site.  It is a short block off I-75 in downtown Atlanta.  Plenty of free parking and walked over to the King Center and toured the museum (free admission) before walking over to Dr. King’s Tomb and Eternal Fame. A film crew was filming. A couple of doors down is the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary which is being renovated for a 2011 opening.

Next back in the car for a short 1.5 mile trip down Freedom Parkway to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.  Wow, this is a large complex with the Carter Center (not open to visitors) and then the library and museum.  After paying the $8 senior admission fee I toured a very interesting museum.  Man the stuff the other nations give our Presidents as gifts is amazing!  Had lunch right there with fried chicken and two sides for $5.50.  Enjoyed the nice grounds and the lovely Koi pond.

Back home this afternoon thinking this was really something and wondering why I haven’t visited these two huge attractions after living here most of my life. But this week confirms to me that a large benefit of being retired is the ability and interest to get out and see and do things in my own backyard that maybe I didn’t do earlier.

– Robert Fowler


Charlottesville Virginia – Check It Out!

Rotunda – The University of Virginia

When one makes a trip to spend a few days in an area you have never visited and discovers it’s an attractive area, sometimes it turns in to a “Let’s move here” idea. I could see how that could happen in Charlottesville Virgina after spending 3 days there this week.

We just wanted a getaway and picked Charlottesville off the map. Having never been there, we did a little research and found it’s a good place to visit and to live.

Charlottesville Trip Report

Day one we flew to Richmond Va and took our rental car for an easy drive over to Charlottesville via I-64. Takes a little over an hour with stop an a visitors center on the way.

Seeing one of the big attractions is visit to Thomas Jefferson home (Monticello) we exited I-64 and followed the signs. We first came upon historic Michie Tavern cir 1784 which offered a buffet lunch which we were about ready for and then a tour of the tavern by ladies in period dress. We went ahead and got the Presidential tour package which includes Monticello, Michie Tavern, James Monroe home and James Madison’s home at Montpelier. After eating we took the Michie Tavern tour with a nice lady as guide. This got us in the right frame of mind for the next stop.

So about 2pm we arrvied at Monticello which is right up the road from Michie Tavern. This is a popular place and lots of people were coming in from the parking lots. We stopped by the ticket office and immediately got on the bus for the next tour of the home. The bus takes you up to the top of the hill to Monticello. Their is a guided tour of several rooms of the home and it has a lot of the items owned by Mr. Jefferson and other period pieces to look just like it did when he lived there. Thomas Jefferson worked on Monticello for 30 years and made it his unique home. Afterwards we joined a tour of the grounds and made a day of it. I think Monticello was the highlight of our trip.

Day two we take the short drive down to the University of Virginia to find the Rotunda designed by Thomas Jefferson. We park at The Corner, a popular place for students, and just follow them up the hill, over looking grounds framed by historic buildings. Every hour there is a tour by a student guide starting at the Rotunda. We visited several rooms inside the Rotunda and hear about it’s amazing history, then go out in to the academic village for more of the tour. After wards we stop by a student hangout at The Corner for a coke.

Next it’s a short drive to the downtown mall, which is an area several blocks long with the main street closed to auto traffic. Side walk cafes all around and we try on out for a delicious lunch. For the afternoon, we drive out to tour the farm of James Monroe which was part of the Presidential homes ticket.

Day three we drive out to Montpelier James Madison’s huge home and farm. It is a about 15 miles north of Charlottesville, right off the path to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we would be visiting that afternoon. We pass many farms on the way. This property has been restored by the National Trust, and they have done an excellent first class job. There is a large visitors center where we watch a short movie about James Monroe, the father of the US Constitution. Next we tour the large home and walk the grounds.

It getting around noon so we head East to the Shenandoah Park. Ticket is $15 but since I am 62, I am offered the Senior Pass for $10 and it is good the rest of your life. What a deal! We get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and about 9 miles along stop at the Big Meadows Lodge for a nice lunch in their dining room. We enjoyed he views and head back to Charlottesville where we dine that evening at the Boat House, the best new restaurant of the year.

It was an amazing trip and to see so many things in such a short period of time! Charlottesville is a college town with history and everything you would want, without the traffic of a large city. If you have never visited Charlottesville you need to. You just might want to move there.