Seniors in Albuquerque are among the most well-prepared for retirement, ranking 19th in a new study by financial technology company SmartAsset.
SmartAsset looked at data for the 100 cities with the largest population of people aged 65 or older. The cities were ranked according to how prepared seniors are for a financially secure retirement based on local metrics, including average senior retirement income; percentage of seniors under the poverty line; percentage who use food stamps or government supplemental nutritional assistance programs; and percentage who own their homes.
The study also considered whether the seniors were housing cost-burdened, spending 30 percent or more of their income on housing.
The Villages, a community in central Florida, took the No. 1 spot on the list, ranking first in four out of six metrics and in the top three in every metric. Rounding out the top five are Phoenix-area city Surprise, Arizona; Anchorage, Alaska; Huntsville, Alabama; and Huntington Beach, California.
Data for the study came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Five-Year American Community Survey.
According to the 2016 U.S. Census, the median household income for an Albuquerque senior was just above $40,000. Some local experts say attracting more 65-plus residents to the area would give the local economy a boost.
New Mexico economic consultant Mark Lautman told Albuquerque Business First in 2015 that the EBER — or Economic Based Equivalent Retiree — can have the same effect on the economy as an economic base job. An economic base job is one where most of the goods or services are exported outside the state, region or country, and bring new money into a state, county or city.
“They start buying groceries, cars, pay taxes on their income,” Lautman said.
John Garcia, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico, told Business First then that Albuquerque should be friendly toward active adults, and said his staff had discussed marketing aimed at seniors from the East Coast.