Thomasville Recruits Retirees

Thomas County officials have an eye on a particular segment of the population, they say will bring an economic boost to the area. New plans to recruit retirees are on the table.

Vangie Norris retired in Thomasville from Monticello, Florida six years ago, and says she wouldn't have chosen any other town in which to reside.

"It's a small town but it has, for the children, it has a good, a real good recreation department, there's different activities it's a historical town," says Vangie.

Over the next few years 76 million Americans are expected to retire and the number of retirees with an average household income of $100,000 or more is expected to increase. This makes attracting that population to the Thomasville area a wise economic decision.

Don Sims, Chamber of Commerce President, says, "We are working with Warren and Associates out of Arizona they are specialties in recruitment of retirees. We are developing a strategic look at our market."

The president of the Chamber of Commerce says while recruiting retirees, the county also wants to retain those who are already here. He says the perception of higher taxes in Georgia drives folks to north Florida.

"I haven't been here long enough to do much comparison but I know property taxes for instance in Leon County and Tallahassee are much higher than here," says Connie Conner, who retired in Thomasville from Tallahassee.

Norris says the friendly atmosphere, great schools and nice weather makes Thomasville an ideal place for families and officials say those same qualities can be used to reel in baby boomers as they approach retirement.

A similar program called "triple crown hometown" is already in place in Lowndes, Brooks and Thomas Counties, but this new program puts greater emphasis on Thomas County.