Micro Effects of Aging

Following up on Edward’s entry, I just want to point out that the Washington Post recently reported on a part of the US whose demographics now approximate the national structure in 2025. The newspaper followed a study by professors at Wake Forest University’s business school (Sherry Jarrell and Gary Shoesmith, though the study doesn’t seem to be on the web) to look at the micro effects of an aging population. It’s interesting, and mixed.

The Lakeland [Florida] area is not a retirement community, dotted with shuffleboard courts and senior centers, but the businesses that cluster here reflect the subtle influence of a population that is markedly older than the current national average.

Polk Community College may attract ambitious young students, as college President J. Larry Durrence says, but they’re training to be nurses or respiratory therapists. His wife, an attorney, specializes in “elder law.”

Nearly a third of Maureen Shaw’s florist business comes either from out-of-state children sending flowers to their retired parents or seniors sending condolence bouquets. Keith DeLoach grew up here. After West Point, the Special Forces and combat in Afghanistan, the 32-year-old just moved back to open a financial services firm — largely to help retirees stretch their savings.

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About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

3 thoughts on “Micro Effects of Aging

  1. What you can learn from this type of study, which I think is interesting, is how the structure of demand may change, and what kind of employment structure we will need to answer to that demand structure. What kind of education and training are going to be appropriate to prepare for this. The policy issues are enormous.

    And as old manufacturing sectors close, how we prepare people to transfer to the new employment areas.

  2. There are too many articles by that mad conspiracy theorist Edward on this site. Can we have more diversity again please!

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