AARP Study Shows Older Workers Are Florida’s Hidden Economy
A new study recently released by the American Association of Retired Persons shows that Florida’s economy is fueled by workers ages 50 and up. While these workers make up a relatively small portion of the population (38 percent), they have a disproportionately positive impact on the economy as compared to younger workers.
According to the study, this older population makes up over half of Florida’s economic output (54 percent) and works in 58 percent of Florida’s jobs. Additionally, Florida’s older generation pays 67 percent of the state’s taxes, offers 53 percent of employee compensation and represents 58 percent of the state’s total consumer spending.
The AARP Florida state director presented this data at Orlando’s Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum on September 29, 2014. This presentation was meant to underscore a message long-touted by Florida’s AARP and Oxford Economics, which is that this elder portion of the population represents an integral part of Florida’s economy, not a drain, as some have suggested in the past. Senior advocates argue that the state needs to do more to attract this generation to Florida by offering supportive legislation and benefits.
Long considered the natural destination of retirees, Florida is losing its foothold in the retirement market to states such as North Carolina and Tennessee. Some have pointed to the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid benefits as part of the issue affecting and repelling potential retirees. Additionally, AARP officials have noted that the state does little to advertise the benefits of Florida to this population, leaving it instead to the private industry to attract retirees.
While the state’s population still skews older than the national average, it cannot afford to be complacent. Florida’s economy depends on its older generation who both work and spend at above-average rates and continue to represent a significant portion of the entrepreneurial population.
For more information, speak with a Florida elder law attorney at The Charles Law Offices.