Yes, Cary is getting older. The median age of Cary is increasing. But is that due to lack of ability to get young people? NO! Many young people, that is, well under 35, are moving to Cary. We are successful in getting them. It is just that we are more successful in getting "older" people. We get many people in their 40's because Cary is the type of place to raise a family. We get many older people above 55 because of the number of age-restricted and retirement facilities. We are successful at getting young people, but we are more successful at getting older people.
We hear that young people want urban, walkable, downtown neighborhood. Perhaps they a higher percentage of young people than older people want that, but -- The majority of young people do not want urban neighborhoods.
According to the 2011 Community Preference Survey, of 18 - 29 yr olds 31% preferred city (downtown + residential area) vs.42% who preferred suburbs. (11% small town, 14% rural).
By comparison, for the population as a whole 19% prefer city vs. 39% suburb (18% small town, 22% rural).
Post by Peaches Wilson on Apr 23, 2013 7:51:38 GMT -4
The Imagine Cary folks (Cary planning dept. or consultants) published on their web site and on their facebook page that 22% of Cary is above 65 years old. (Of course, that means that 78% are below 65). They also point out that this group is the fasted growing.
Is there any significance to this? What does it mean for planning for Cary?
Old people that are the fastest growing segment of the population will want:
To give up driving by car. This means more public transit and walkable, urban neighborhoods.
Smaller living units, typically condos or apartments without the responsibility of a yard or garden.
Most of Cary is car dependent large yard development where you can't live, eat, work and play without using your car. We now need to be able to live, eat, work and play in one location (within an easy walk).
Post by Peaches Wilson on Apr 24, 2013 13:46:45 GMT -4
By "Smaller living units, typically condos or apartments without the responsibility of a yard or garden." I assume you mean downsizing by "empty nesters". Is this correct? Are there comments from others, particularly from "empty nester" who have or have not downsized?
I am an empty nester and have some comments. First, most peoples youngest kid leaves home well before they are 65. I was 52 when my youngest left for college, 57 when she got married.
After our kids are out of the house for a while we become grandparents. And what grandmother doesn't want occasional, or perhaps frequent, visits from their grandchildren (and, of course, their own children).
Yes, we typically downsize if we decide to move. Many people who have a bigger house than they want don't move, because of simple inertia or because the hassle of buying and selling and moving are just too much.
But some people do downsize to a small condo. However, most of us who are not ready for a nursing home still want a home with at least three bedrooms and a yard. The bedrooms serve as an office or workroom until the kids come. The yards have gardens (retired and with no kids around we have time to garden). So it is very typical for empty nesters to downsize from a 4 or 5 bedroom on 3/4 acre to a 2 or 3 bedroom on 1/4 to 1/2 acre.
For a few years, with the stock market (think 401K's, IRA's, etc.) so low, many people were forced to buy smaller due to economic reasons. Now, with the stock market hitting all time highs, we are able to afford more of what we want. For us retired people, our 401K's, IRA's, and other investments are a large part of our income, so the Dow-Jones directly affects our standard of living.
But one thing about us retirees and empty nesters. We are not that much different from the rest of the population.
Sixteen years ago, after carefully considering every community in the Triangle, we chose to live in Cary precisely because it is suburban with large homes and yards. Had we wanted a more urban environment, we could have bought a home inside the Beltline. If we now wanted a home in Leinberger’s vision of “New Urbanism”, we could move, but we love Cary just the way it is.
We have now been retired for five years, are empty-nesters, and have every intention of staying in our home, with its large yard and garden, for many years to come. They can pry the car keys from my cold dead hand. Reg is quite mistaken..as one of the “old people”, we and none of our friends want a condo, especially one located in a “live, eat, work and play” development.
Cary is an affluent suburb and the "old people" who chose to live here can afford to maintain their independence and lifestyle. Cary is “aging” only because the American population is aging plus there has been overbuilding of age restricted communities like DelWebb and assisted living homes. There are more than enough young families with children still moving to Cary to keep the town a vibrant suburban community. If you were at Spring Daze yesterday, you know there was no shortage of young people, pregnant moms, creative dads, and kids...tons of kids.
It is true that Cary does lag Raleigh and Durham in people in their 20's. However, "shun" is too strong a word. According to a presentation given to the Committee on the Future by the planning department staff, in 2010 10.9% of Cary's population was in their 20's. Based on 2013 population, that is over 15,600. According to the Wake County voter registration statistics, 3559 people 25-29 registered to vote living in Cary. Many of the people in their early 20's are college students and live on or near college campuses.
But... What was not mentioned at the Summit was the fact that we actually lead the rest of the state (including Raleigh), for people 30-49 years old. According to the Cary staff presentation, we lead the state and nation for both 30-39 and 40-49 age groups. And, according to that presentation, we lag in number of people above 60.
It appears that we are doing well attracting "millennials" above college age and doing even better with young people at the age where they have or are planning to start families.