Economist Mike Walden: Retirees are Boosting Mountain Economies

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at retirees boosting mountain economies.  Mike, when we think of North Carolina’s economy, most people point to the booming growth in our metropolitan areas, especially the Triangle and Charlotte.  But I understand there’s another region that may be rivaling those metros.  What is that region, and what’s happening and why?

  1. It’s our mountains, which is experiencing a big influx of retirees
  2. Since 2010 – after the recession – net in-migration to the mountains of NC, Georgia, and Tennessee has increased 169%
  3. Is helping the local real estate market, retailers, and local tax revenues
  4. But interesting, the leaders in this retirement influx aren’t people coming from the north, but they are retirees coming from the south – particularly Florida
  5. May be relocating permanently, or spending cooler summers in the mountains
  6. Either way, retirement-led growth in the mountains is picking up where it left off prior to the Great Recession