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: July, 2013
The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this publication (or page) is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the United States Department of Agriculture or the Agricultural Research Service of any product or service to the exclusion of others that maybe suitable.
For more information about National Agricultural Library Policy and Disclaimers
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.
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.
"Communities May Lose Military Retirees Along with Their Bases". Mark Fagan and Richard Reeder. Rural Development
Perspectives, 11, no. 3 (1996): 17-22.
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.
"Growth of the Oldest Old Population and Future Implications for Rural Areas." Carolyn C. Rogers. Rural Development
Perspectives. 14, no. 3 (1999): 22-26.
"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
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
"Is Gray the New Gold?" Douglas Clement. Fedgazette (May 2004): 9-12.
"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.
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.
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.
Access to Care Among Rural Minorities: Older Adults. Janice C. Probst, and others. Columbia: South Carolina Rural Health
Research Center, 2002. 30 p.
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.
"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
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.
"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.
Issue Brief: Chronic Care Network Development in Rural Areas. Laura Himes Iversen and Barbara Vaughan. Bloomington, MN:
National Chronic Care Consortium. 1999. 16 p.
Rural Health Care Delivery: Connecting Communities Through Technology. Fran Turisco and Jane Metzger. Oakland: California Health Foundation, 2002. 38 p.
"Rural Health Issues for the Older Population." Carolyn C. Rogers. Rural America. 17, no.2 (2002): 30-36.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aging in Sedona: Challenges and Opportunities, by Scott G. Davis. Tucson: University of Arizona, Office of Economic Development, 2000. 86 p.
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.
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.
Strategic Plan for an Aging California Population: Getting California Ready for the "Baby Boomers". Sacramento: California Health and Human Services Agency, 2003. 110 p.
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.
"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.
Rural Seniors & Their Homes. Lance George, Jennifer Pinder, and Amy L. Rose. Washington DC: Housing Assistance Council, 2003. 42 p.
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.
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.
Creating Accessible Homes. Marilyn Bode. MF-2213. Manhattan: Kansas State University, Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, 1996. 4 p.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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)
"Senior Cooperative Housing: A Choice For Active Adults." Terry W. McKinley. Seniors' Housing News. Fall 2002: 10-11.
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.
Economic and Social Impact of Bristol Village in Southern Ohio. Jessica Esch and Rosemary Gliem. Piketon: Ohio Cooperative Development Center, 2004. 28 p.
"Grandparents Are Returning to College, to Retire." Karen Alexander. The New York Times. May 12 [sic 11] 2003.
"Senior Homecoming." Ellen Chrismer. UC Davis Magazine, 19, no. 2 (2002).
AARP - The Magazine
601 E St., NW
Washington, DC 20049
Ageing and Society
Cambridge University Press
100 Brook Hill Drive
West Nyack, NY 10994-2133
Aging News Alert
8204 Fenton St.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Taylor & Francis, Inc
325 Chestnut Street, Suite 800
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Jounral of the American Society on Aging
833 Market St., Suite 511
San Francisco, CA 94103-1824
Journal of The Gerontological Society of America
1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20005-1503
Housing for Seniors Report
8204 Fenton St.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Journal of Aging & Social Policy
Haworth Press, Inc.
10 Alice St.
Binghamton, NY 13904
Journal of Housing for the Elderly
Haworth Press, Inc.
10 Alice St.
Binghamton, NY 13904
Research on Aging
2455 Teller Rd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Where to Retire
Where to Retire
5851 San Felipe Street, Suite 500
Houston, TX 77057
Action for Older Persons (AOP)
30 W State St.
Binghamton, NY 13901-2332
American Association of Homes and
Services for the Aging (AAHSA)
2519 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
601 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20049
American Geriatrics Society (AGS)
The Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 801
New York, NY 10118
American Society on Aging (ASA)
833 Market Street, Suite 511
San Francisco, CA 94103
Association of Retired Americans (ARA)
6505 E 82nd St., #130
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
1030 15th St. NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20005
Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc (MEOC)
P.O. Box 888
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA)
1201 15th Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20005
National Council on the Aging (NCOA)
300 D Street, SW, Suite 801
Washington, DC 20024
Older Women's League (OWL)
1750 New York Ave, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20006
Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc (SMHA)
3602 Old Jeanerette Rd.
New Iberia, LA 70563
Supportive Older Women's Network (SOWN)
2805 N 47th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19131