Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Valley Central just ran a story on how we are is losing our Winter Texans.  The BV did the story in April of 2012.

The fundamental problem has not changed.  The new retirees are on 401K's and not pensions.  They cannot afford two homes with a finite amount of money available for their retirement.  Unlike a pension, when a 401k runs out, you are out of money.  It is really that simple.

But our local leaders do not get it.  Two years ago I wrote about the pending crisis, and our city and county leaders sat and did nothing to address it.

From the Brownsville Voice April 20, 2012.
"On that note, Brownsville is heading down a path of lower tax revenues. I take pride in the fact I live with the people and constantly associate with the people."

"Here is a news flash for the mayor and Brownsville city commission - the retirement parks are looking at financial problems. There are record number of empty retirement homes. I realize the concept of planning (like a 5 year plan) is considered communist, but it is not.

The generation which retired on pensions is dying off real fast. This fact has been in the news for years. There are no longer enough such retirees to support the retirement trailer parks in Brownsville and Cameron county. Many parks are struggling financially. The empty lots mean lower property tax revenues. The lower number of permanent and temporary winter Texans means lower sales tax revenues. The new generation of retirees will be dependent on 401k's or similar retirement plans. These plans mean a finite amount of money which make living in two places at once impossible. It also means it will be harder for people who live up north to just retire elsewhere. Those with money - real money - are retiring outside the US where the cost of retirement is significantly lower in terms of being able to live a comfortable life.
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The BV revisted the issue in February of 2013

"We are losing Winter Texans because the age of pensions is dead.  As the few people with pensions continue to die off, so too will the Winter Texan industry, unless we convince the few who can still afford to retire away from their current homes, Brownsville is a place with a life other than bad Mexican food, and endless corruption.  Yes, Brownsville has the best climate and yes the best beach in Boca Chica.  Again, Boca Chica is a thousand times better than SPI - why Brownsville does not promote this fact is beyond me."

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From Valley Central Aug. 24, 2014

"The number of winter Texans returning to the valley is on the decline and it's costing the local economy millions of dollars in lost revenue.

In the past two years the valley has lost about 30,000 winter Texans and if the region can't attract new retirees to replace them, it could lose hundreds of millions of dollars."

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The solution back in 2012, was not complex anymore so than it is today.  We have to sell Brownsville as a permanent residence.  Retirees need to be told to not give up on their dream of a warmer climate because their 401k does not allow them to have two homes - just make Brownsville your permanent home.

But we all know our leadership - they will do nothing.  In the two years since I first wrote about the problem, the area has lost some 30,000 Winter Texans.  The loss will continue until a crisis level and then someone will say "hey we have a problem."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The main cause is that they are afraid of the border violence, which prevents them crossing the river to save on any number of things, from liquor to medicine. No retiree in their right mind would ever make Brownsville their year round home.