Central Fla.’s The Villages is the nation’s fastest growing metro, and a possible look at the nation’s future if more relocating Southern retirees wield their influence.

NEW YORK – The fastest growing metro area in the country is The Villages retirement community in Central Florida, and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Allison Schrager says that 2020 U.S. Census finding forecasts the nation’s economic and political direction.

The takeaway from the Census’ finding, according to Schrager, is of an increasingly concentrated political and economic power in the South, wielded by older, less dynamic Americans who tend to rely on government benefits.

“An aging population … could mean lower interest rates, at least for a few decades, because older people tend to hold more assets after a lifetime of saving, and they shift some of their assets into bonds to reduce risk in their portfolios,” Schrager suggests.

“America will need those low interest rates because the country will be spending a lot: an older population means more people in the economy collecting benefits and fewer working,” he adds. “And that puts a strain on growth, which means less money will be available to invest in younger Americans and infrastructure.”

Thanks largely to aging baby boomers, retirement is the only category that has seen major growth in terms of relocation, which could signify more retirees moving. If that trend continues, Schrager speculates that entitlements will keep growing, and a lawful expansion of Medicare benefits will boost both the Southern retiree and retiree caretaker populations.

“So a larger share of tax dollars will flow towards states like Arizona and Florida, where retirees live and vote,” Schrager concludes.

Source: Bloomberg Opinion (08/21/21) Schrager, Allison

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