Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Retiring Baby Boomers Provide Opportunity to Communities
Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan
The Michigan Prosperity Agenda is a monthly radio show that challenges listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play by creating vibrant and prosperous local communities. It has aired on News/Talk 760 WJR at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month since 2010.
OUR NEXT SHOW airs at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 on News/Talk 760 WJR, but you can listen now by clicking the links below. We’ll discuss retiring baby boomers and the unprecedented opportunity they bring to cities and downtowns ready to accommodate them. Several Michigan communities are already recognized for meeting this challenge and becoming thriving environments for retirees.
Listen to Dan explain what this show is about: (1:01)
Natalie Burg, Co-host
Natalie Burg Vial is a writer and owner of Vial Half Full Communications. She is news editor for Lansing’s Capital Gains and a regular contributor to the Ann Arbor Observer, Metromode and Ann Arbor’s Concentrate. She has written extensively about the growing demand for urban lifestyle living and reports that Baby Boomers are fueling this trend, not just millennials.
Listen to Natalie explain how she is a millennial but says reporters like her need to write about Baby Boomers because they are the "bull in the China shop.": 7:11)
Bill Vajda, Marquette city manager
Bill Vajda says serving as the City Manager of Marquette is his “dream job,” and he is proud of the opportunity to serve his hometown. Marquette – a city that averages 141 inches of snow per year – has consistently been ranked as one of the top places to retire in the nation. Vajda talks about how this community is accommodating those considering retiring there.
Listen to Bill explain how building a strong community for people of all ages is much easier to do when you have people passionate about their city. Not all retirees head to Florida to be snow birds: (9:57)
Barbara Spreitzer-Berent, volunteer state coordinator for Health and Supportive Services
Barbara Spreitzer-Berent is an urban planner and gerontologist who serves as Volunteer State Coordinator for Health and Supportive Services for AARP Michigan. AARP and the World Health Organization launched a network to help communities create initiatives to make neighborhoods age-friendly in seven states including Michigan. She talks about the results of this project and about AARP Michigan’s Age Friendly Communities Conference in February.
Listen to Barbara explain why many Baby Boomers want to remain in the places where they raised their families and what that means for communities: (10:02)
Joe Borgstrom, director of the Downtown and Community Services Division
Michigan State Housing and Development Authority (MSHDA)
Joe Borgstrom, Director of the Downtown and Community Services Division for the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority (MSHDA), talks about a 2012 statewide study conducted by the organization about seniors and there reasons for staying in Michigan for retirement. He discusses MSHDA’s response to that survey.
Listen to Joe explain why millennials and Baby Boomers really want the same things - walkable communities with cultural activities and transit: (9:40)