Thursday, July 17, 2008

Certified Retirement Communities

On Wednesday, I traveled throughout East Texas to recognize the four newest GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Communities in Texas: Shelby County, Franklin County, Panola County and the city of Pittsburg. There are now 16 certified retirement communities in Texas.

Launched in June 2006, the Texas Department of Agriculture’s CRC initiative helps rural Texas communities attract retirees and potential retirees to reside in their respective locales. The CRC Program also encourages tourism while promoting the state as a desirable retirement destination to current and future retirees across the country.

I extend my most sincere congratulations to the citizens and leaders of the newest certified counties for achieving this notable certification. Not only do retirees have a significant economic impact on retirement areas, but they also bring a wealth of knowledge and energy for community service, employment and business.

Retirees spend an average $36,000 each year in their new communities while also paying $3,000 or more in state and local taxes. Texas is the second most popular retirement state, and native Texans account for one-fifth of retirees returning to Texas.

To become a CRC, communities must complete an application and retirement desirability assessment covering a wide range of topics including demographics, tax structure, local housing availability, safety, employment opportunities, and availability of health care services, public transportation and more. The application also includes support from the community, a marketing plan and a long-term plan. An independent volunteer advisory team representing leaders in business, healthcare, city/state government and retirees review and score the applications.

The CRC Program is open to any community in Texas that wants to showcase itself as a retirement location and a tourist destination. Interested communities should contact TDA’s Rural Economic Development Division toll free at (877) 428-7848 or e-mail

For more information on the GO TEXAN CRC Program, please visit TDA’s Web site. For more information on retiring in Texas, please visit the official CRC Web site at

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