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NYSNYS NEWS: AARP says exodus of residents 50 and older is draining NYS economy.
NYSNYS News
NYSNYS NEWS: AARP says exodus of residents 50 and older is draining NYS economy.

By Kyle Hughes
NYSNYS News


COLONIE, N.Y. (October 15) – The senior advocacy group AARP warned Wednesday that an exodus of people older than 50 is draining billions of dollars from New York's economy.

The group blamed high property taxes and rents, the second highest utility bills nationally, and other factors for giving New York the distinction of having more older residents move out than any other state. At the same time, AARP say surveys consistently show residents would rather stay here than move to North Carolina, Florida or other locations with lower living costs.

"People want to age in place … what can we all do to come up with solutions to help people age in their communities which they want and which we as a society want," said Beth Finkel, the state director of the New York chapter of AARP.

"This is really going to be a longevity society now, not just a longevity economy."

AARP is holding forums around the state to draw attention to what it calls "Boomer Flight," and met with other advocates and local senior services officials Wednesday at a hotel here. The group said for Albany area:

• "In Albany County, working Boomers would contribute nearly $2.6 billion annually to the economy if they stay - but if two thirds leave, as AARP’s survey of the region found they might, those Boomers would take with them nearly $1.7 billion a year."

• "In Rensselaer County, working Boomers would contribute nearly $1.4 billion in their retirement; those who say they’ll leave to retire would take over $900 million a year."

• "In Saratoga County, the Boomer retirement contribution would reach nearly $2 billion a year; if two thirds flee to retire, they’ll take nearly $1.3 billion a year with them."

• "In Schenectady County, Boomers would contribute nearly $1.4 billion; if those who say they plan to leave do, they’ll take $900 million with them."

The Albany area counties are among selected counties around the state where AARP has conducted surveys. They have released results already for New York City and Erie, Monroe and Onondaga counties. They are next scheduled to release survey results for Dutchess County on Thursday and Long Island later in October.

Last month, the group released a report that found "Baby Boomers in New York State’s workforce are set to deliver a whopping $179 billion a year to the state’s economy in their retirement."

The report said that more than half of the retirees could be relocating out of state, taking away $105 billion a year in wealth. "Faced with age discrimination, caregiving for loved ones, affordability concerns and a lack of retirement savings, many 50-plus New Yorkers see a future where they will never be able to retire," the report said. "For those who can retire, a majority say they are likely to leave New York, taking their retirement incomes with them."

New York has about 6.8 million residents 50 and older, but only about 40 percent of those who are working say they are confident they will be able to retire.

"Based on an AARP analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, over 500 New York State residents are expected to turn 65 every day in the coming years," the report said. "In 2010, one in seven people were aged 65 and over; by 2035 it’s projected to be nearly one in five."

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