Retirement Communities in Rural America
- Economic and Social Impact
- Attracting Retirees
- Health Care Services
- Community Strategic Planning
- Housing Choices
- Aging In Place
- Assisted Living/Long Term Care
- Cooperative Housing
- Retirement Communities
The source for the image on the right is a USDA photo by Ken Hammond.
Rural retirement is a booming business. Many elderly have always lived in rural environments and others seek to retire in a rural area. Small towns are specifically marketing themselves as appropriate for a quality retirement life at an affordable price. New high-amenity rural retirement communities, particularly along coastal areas and lakes, are being constructed.
This guide focuses on the challenge facing communities to deliver services, especially housing and health care, to rural retirees. The first section includes more than 40 links to full-text resources discussing the economic and social impact of retirees, the economic development strategies utilized by communities to attract retirees, and community strategic planning to provide the needed services.
The second section includes more than 30 links to full-text resources about the various housing options available for retirees including cooperatives, apartments, assisted living facilities, retirement communities, and more. The guide also includes a list of major journals and key associations. Additional information, including statistical information and funding resources, is available on the Rural Information Center's Senior Citizen Resource page at: http://ric.nal.usda.gov/citizens/senior-citizens
This resource guide was revised by Patricia LaCaille John, March 2005.
Rural Information Center Publication Series; no. 65 2005. Beltsville, MD.
Last Modified: April, 2014
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Changes in the Older Population and Implications for Rural Areas, by Carolyn C. Rogers. Rural Development Research
Report Number 90. Washington DC:
Food and Rural Economics Division, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1999. 29 p. http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/RDRR90/
The Changing Face of the Rural West: The Aging of the West. Annbel Kirschner and E. Helen Berry. WRDC Information
Brief, Issue 2. Logan UT: Western Rural Development Center. 2004. 7 p. http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/pub__1157003.pdf (PDF File)
"Communities May Lose Military Retirees Along with Their Bases". Mark Fagan and Richard Reeder. Rural Development
Perspectives, 11, no. 3 (1996): 17-22. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/rdp/rdp696/rdp696c.pdf [PDF File]
The Graying of the Rural Southeast: Shifts in Personal Income Composition. Robert A. Chase. Contractor Paper 99-2.
Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1997. 21 p. http://www.rural.org/publications/Chase99-2.pdf [PDF FIle]
"Growth of the Oldest Old Population and Future Implications for Rural Areas." Carolyn C. Rogers. Rural Development
Perspectives. 14, no. 3 (1999): 22-26. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/rdp/rdpoct99/rdpoct99d.pdf [PDF file]
"How Do U.S. Farmers Plan for Retirement?" Ashok K. Mishra, Ron L. Durst, Hisham S. El-Osta. Amber Waves. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture. Economic Research Service. Vol. 3 Issue 2, April 2005.P. 13-18. http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/April05/Features/FarmRetirement.htm [PDF file]
The Impact of Retirees and Working-Age Families on a Small Rural Region: An Application of the Wisconsin Economic Impact
Modeling System. Martin Shields, Steven C. Deller, and Judith I. Stallmann. Faculty Paper 99-1. College Station: Department
of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, 1998. 27 p. http://agecon.tamu.edu/publications/facultyPapers/1999/fp99-1.pdf [PDF File]
"Older Rural America: Diversity Increases as Population Ages." Rural America. 17, no. 3 (2002) 76 p. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/ruralamerica/ra173/
Rural America's Elderly. Compiled by Patricia LaCaille John. Quick Bibliography Series: QB 93-36 -- 256 citations
in English from AGRICOLA. Beltsville, MD: Rural Information Center, National Agricultural Library, 1993. 56 p.
Attracting the Migratory Retiree. J. Thomas Chestnutt, V.Wilson Lee, and Mark Fagan. CRD-56. Auburn, AL: Auburn
University, 1993. 14 p. http://www.aces.edu/department/crd/publications/CRD-56.html
Chasing the Elderly: Can State and Local Governments Attract Recent Retirees? William Duncombe, Mark Robbins, and
Douglas Wolf. Aging Studies Program Paper No. 22. Syracuse, NY: Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, 2000. 39 p. http://www-cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/agpapser/age22abs.htm
Economic and Fiscal Impact of In-migrating Retirees on Arkansas' Economy. Wayne Miller, Ronald J. Hy, and Cam Romund.
FSCDM4-2M-6-99N. Little Rock: University of Arkansas, Cooperative Extension Service, 1999. 6 p. http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/pdf/FSCDM-4.pdf [PDF file]
Economic Development Efforts: Recruiting Retirees. Stillwater: Oklahoma State University, Cooperative Extension Service, 1994. 6 p. http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1632/F-906web.pdf [PDF File]
An Examination of Homebound Rural Seniors, by Jyotsna M. Kalavar and John Rapano. Harrisburg: Center for Rural Pennsylvania, 2000. 34 p. http://www.rural.palegislature.us/hrs2000.pdf [PDF File]
The Extent Friendship has a Role in Retiree Recruitment and Retention in South Carolina: Survey Results. Kenneth
Backman and Melissa Hawkins. Contractor Paper 99-10. Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1997. 19 p. http://www.rural.org/publications/Backman99-10.pdf [PDF File]
"Is Gray the New Gold?" Douglas Clement. Fedgazette (May 2004): 9-12. http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/pub_display.cfm?id=1648
"Migrants to Oregon in the 1990's: Working Age, Near-Retirees, and Retirees Make Different Destination Choices." Dean H. Judson,
Sue Reynolds-Scanlon, and Carole L. Popoff. Rural Development Perspectives, 14, no. 2 (1999): 24-31. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/rdp/rdpsept99/rdpsept99.pdf [PDF File]
Retiree-Attraction Policies for Rural Development. Richard J. Reeder. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 741. Washington,
DC: Food and Rural Economics Division, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1998. 26 p. http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/AIB741/
Retiree's Choice of Community: The Importance of Recreation and Parks. Kenneth F. Backman and Sheila J. Backman. Revised.
Clemson, SC: Clemson University, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. 1997. 30 p.
http://www.strom.clemson.edu/teams/regdev/RetireesChoice.pdf [PDF File]
Access to Care Among Rural Minorities: Older Adults. Janice C. Probst, and others. Columbia: South Carolina Rural Health
Research Center, 2002. 30 p. http://rhr.sph.sc.edu/report/RHRC%20elders%20report.pdf [PDF File]
Access to Emergency Medical Services in Rural Areas: The Supporting Role of State EMS Agencies. Astrid Knott. Working Paper
Series, no. 38. Minneapolis: Rural Health Research Center, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 2002. 22 p.
Best Practices in Service Delivery to the Rural Elderly. Richard J. Ham, Turner Goins, and David K. Brown.
Morgantown: West Virginia University, Center on Aging, 2003. 172 p. http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/coa/publications/best_practices/best-practices2003.asp
"Do rural elders have limited access to Medicare hospice services?" B. Virnig, I. Moscovice, S. Durham, M. Casey.Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,2004 May;52(5):731-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15086653
Expanding rural elder care options: Models that work. P. Fitzgerald, A. Coburn, & S.K. Dwyer. (Proceedings from the 2008 Rural Long Term Care Access and Options Workshop). Alexandria, VA: National PACE Association and the Rural Long Term Care Workgroup, 2009, June. http://www.ruralcare.org/documents/Rural%20LT%20Care%202008%20FINAL.pdf [PDF File]
Health Insurance Coverage of the Rural and Urban Near Elderly. Erika C. Ziller, Andrew F. Coburn. Working Paper #27. Portland: Maine Rural Health Research Center, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, 2003. 23 p.
http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/Publications/rural/wp27.pdf [PDF File]
"Innovations in the Delivery of Health Care Services to Rural Communities: Telemedicine and Limited-Service Hospitals." Susan M. Capalbo and Christine N. Heggem. Rural Development Perspectives, 14, no. 3 (1999): 8-13. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/rdp/rdpoct99/rdpoct99b.pdf [PDF FIle]
Issue Brief: Chronic Care Network Development in Rural Areas. Laura Himes Iversen and Barbara Vaughan. Bloomington, MN:
National Chronic Care Consortium. 1999. 16 p. http://www.nccconline.org/products/N07599.pdf [PDF FIle]
Rural Health Care Delivery: Connecting Communities Through Technology. Fran Turisco and Jane Metzger. Oakland: California Health Foundation, 2002. 38 p. http://www.chcf.org/documents/hospitals/RuralHealthCareDelivery.pdf [PDF FIle]
"Rural Health Issues for the Older Population." Carolyn C. Rogers. Rural America. 17, no.2 (2002): 30-36.
http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/ruralamerica/ra172/ra172e.pdf [PDF FIle]
Rural Hospital's Ability to Finance Inpatient, Skilled Nursing and Home Health Care. Jeffrey Stensland, Ira Moscovice. Working Paper Series, no. 37. Minneapolis: Rural Health Research Center, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 2001. 19 p. http://www.sph.umn.edu/hpm/rhrc/pdfs/wpaper/working%20paper%20037.pdf [PDF File]
Rural Long Term Care Integration: Developing Service Capacity. Elise J. Bolda and John W. Seavey. Working Paper #22. Portland: Maine Rural Health Research Center, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, 2000. 32 p. http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/Publications/rural/wp22.pdf [PDF File]
Rural Models for Integrating and Managing Acute and Long-Term Care Services. Andrew F. Coburn and others. Working Paper #10. Portland: Maine Rural Health Research Center, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, 1998. 74 p. http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/Publications/rural/wp10.pdf [PDF File]
Social Interaction and the Health Insurance Choices of the Elderly: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study. Elder Beiseitov, Jeffrey D. Kubik, and John R. Moran. CPR Working Paper No. 58. Syracuse, NY: Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, 2004. 30 p. http://www-cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/cprwps/wps58abs.htm
Aging in Sedona: Challenges and Opportunities, by Scott G. Davis. Tucson: University of Arizona, Office of Economic Development, 2000. 86 p.
http://www.verdevalleyforum.org/ElderForumFinal.pdf [PDF FIle]
Baby Boom Migration and Its Impact on Rural America. John Cromartie and Peter Nelson. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Economic Research Report No. (ERR-79) 36 pp, August 2009. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err79/
"Impact of Retirement Populations on Local Jobs and Wages". Karen L. Hamilton. Economic Development Quarterly. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, February 4, 2010 http://edq.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0891242409357340v1
Local Planning For an Aging Population in Ontario: Two Case Studies. Lynda M. Hayward. SEDAP Research Paper No. 47. Hamilton, Ontario: McMaster University, 2001. 41 p. http://ideas.repec.org/p/mcm/sedapp/47.html
Rural Retirees in Michigan: Issues and Opportunities -- Findings From Focus Groups Meetings. Colletta H. Moser and Paul D. Wessen, and others. Staff Paper No. 2000-56. East Lansing: Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University, 2000. 13 p. http://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/midasp/11659.html
Strategic Plan for an Aging California Population: Getting California Ready for the "Baby Boomers". Sacramento: California Health and Human Services Agency, 2003. 110 p. http://www.ccoa.ca.gov/pdf/population.pdf [PDF File]
Federal Programs and Local Organizations: Meeting the Housing Needs of Rural Seniors. Lance George and Christopher Holden. Washington DC: Housing Assistance Council, 2001. 50 p. http://www.ruralhome.org/storage/documents/seniorsneeds.pdf [PDF File]
"Homes" for Later Years. Jill Eversole Nolan. SS-144-98. Columbus: Ohio State University Extension, 1998. 4 p.
Relocation-Housing Alternatives for Later Years. C. Sue Miles. WL 175. Morgantown: Extension Service, West Virginia University, 2002. 2 p.
http://www.wvu.edu/~exten/infores/pubs/fypubs/175.wl.pdf [PDF FIle]
Rural Seniors & Their Homes. Lance George, Jennifer Pinder, and Amy L. Rose. Washington DC: Housing Assistance Council, 2003. 42 p.
http://www.ruralhome.org/storage/documents/ruralseniors.pdf [PDF File]
When Seniors Relocate. Lynda K. Fowler. SS-143-98. Columbus: Ohio State University Extension, 1998. 3 p.
Aging In Place. Columbia, MD: The Horizon Foundation, May 2001. 12 p.http://www.thehorizonfoundation.org/ht/d/sp/i/1154/pid/1154
Aging In Place: Coordinating Housing and Health Care Provision for America's Growing Elderly Population. Kathryn Lawler. Cambridge, MA: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University; Washington, DC: Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation. 2001. 55 p.
http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/publications/seniors/lawler_w01-13.pdf [PDF File]
Creating Accessible Homes. Marilyn Bode. MF-2213. Manhattan: Kansas State University, Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, 1996. 4 p. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/HOUS2/MF2213.pdf [PDF File]
Assisted Living in Rural America: Results From A National Survey. Project Officer: Joan Van Nostrand. Bryan, TX: Southwest Rural Health Research Center, 2003. 38 p. http://www.srph.tamhsc.edu/centers/srhrc/PDF/ruralalfpdf.pdf [PDF FIle]
Creating Affordable Rural Housing With Service: Options and Strategies. Elise J. Bolda, and others. Working Paper #19. Portland: Maine Rural Health Research Center, Institute for Health Policy, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, 2000. 72 p. http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/ihp/ruralhealth/pdf/wp19.pdf [PDF File]
Developing Affordable Non-Medical Residential Care in Rural Communities: Barriers and Opportunities. Elise J. Bolda, and others. Working Paper #18. Portland: Maine Rural Health Research Center, Institute for Health Policy, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, 2001. 25 p.
http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/Publications/rural/wp18.pdf [PDF File]
Living Options For Adults Needing Assistance. Pamela B. Teaster and Karen A. Roberto. 350-254. Blacksburg: Virginia Cooperative Extension, 1999. 4 p.
Examination of the Quality of Life Among Older Adults Living in Rural Cooperative Housing. Dissertation. Jill Eversole Nolan. Columbus: The Ohio State University. 1997. http://www.seniorcoops.org/intro.html
"Rural Cooperative Housing for Older Adults: An Emerging Challenge for Extension Educators." Jill Eversole Nolan, Thomas W. Blaine. Journal of Extension, 39, no. 2 (2001) http://www.joe.org/joe/2001april/a3.html
"Senior Cooperative Housing: A Choice For Active Adults." Terry W. McKinley. Seniors' Housing News. Fall 2002: 10-11.
http://www.seniorcoops.org/nahb.pdf [PDF File]
Back to School: University-Linked Retirement Communities and Institutional Integration. Thesis. Bonnie K. Snyder. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, Graduate School, College of Education, 2002. 201 p. http://etda.libraries.psu.edu/theses/approved/WorldWideFiles/ETD-220/Snyderthesis.pdf [PDF File]
Economic and Social Impact of Bristol Village in Southern Ohio. Jessica Esch and Rosemary Gliem. Piketon: Ohio Cooperative Development Center, 2004. 28 p. http://ocdc.osu.edu/pdf/bristol%20village%20economic%20impact%20study.pdf [PDF File]
"Grandparents Are Returning to College, to Retire." Karen Alexander. The New York Times. May 12 [sic 11] 2003. http://www.globalaging.org/elderrights/us/collegecommunity.htm
"Senior Homecoming." Ellen Chrismer. UC Davis Magazine, 19, no. 2 (2002). http://www-ucdmag.ucdavis.edu/issues/win02/feature_2.html
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Where to Retire
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