Deep East Texas Development Association – Retirement Strategy Feasibility Analysis

ChallengeCommunities throughout the nation have benefited from the economic and social impact of an affluent retired population. As the Baby Boom generation — people born between 1946 and 1964 — begins to retire, many communities and some states have established active recruitment campaigns to lure these retirees. TIP Strategies was engaged by the Deep East Texas Development Association (DETDA) to provide East Texas community leaders with information about their region’s suitability as a retirement destination for affluent retirees and to suggest preliminary guidelines for a retirement promotion strategy.

ApproachThe consulting team analyzed data and other information about population and retirement trends, and interviewed business and community leaders in various locations to put a human face on the data. Because many lessons can be learned from those who have already undertaken active retirement promotion, TIP compared Deep East Texas with other regions already recognized as successful retirement communities.

OutcomeThe study found that East Texas is well positioned to become a successful retirement location because it has many of the amenities considered critical by retirees. These include: warm, agreeable climate; natural beauty, particularly lakes and forests; abundant outdoor recreation activities; proximity to a large city (Houston); access to an international airport; good highway transportation; culture and the arts — ranging from museums, art exhibits, and the performing arts to festivals and heritage tourism; an affordable cost of living; public safety, and a strong sense of community. Additionally, a regional focus for marketing already exists through DETDA, giving the area more marketing strength than individual communities or counties can provide.

Since the report was published in 2003, the leadership has implemented a number of recommendations, including changing the name of the organization to help move away from negative connotations the “Deep East Texas” title evokes outside the region. Initially renamed the Pineywoods Economic Partnership, the organization was re-branded as The Texas Forest Country Partnership (TFCP) in 2007.

TIP Contact Tom Stellman

Photo credit Matthew Rutledge

Photo credit James Fleeting

Photo credit Matthew Rutledge