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Editorial: Metro area ‘retirement destination’ a win-win

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Much has been made of New Mexico’s drain of human capital, of people not only not moving here but moving away. That loss makes it hard to grow a vibrant, diversified economy.

Now think about a project that creates 3,500 jobs during its build out, brings more than 500 high-income households that pay taxes but don’t utilize expensive public programs and services like Medicaid and schools, and provides a national platform to trumpet the area’s mild climate, rich culture and heritage, diverse recreational opportunities, first-rate medical facilities, major university campus and friendly atmosphere.

That project is coming soon – a front page report by Journal staff writer Richard Metcalf on Saturday featured the announcement of a Del Webb age-restricted community near Interstate 40 and 98th – and it’s an important piece in the area’s evolving economic development model.

Mirehaven, named for an arroyo that runs through the site, will cater to the “55+ active adult” demographic, the core of the baby boomer generation, and is expected to draw “mostly retirees from the Midwest,” according to Garret Price, vice president for land acquisition with the project.

Building attractive homes and emphasizing the area’s natural features constitutes a fiscally sustainable model. And drawing retired professionals from all walks of life promises to help reverse that drain of human capital while lightening the load on public programs and services.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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