As the latest census numbers  roll in, some trends are already becoming clear. Writing for the Associated Press, Hope Yen points out that population growth in the U.S. South and West has slowed significantly. People are no longer moving to Las Vegas , Orlando, Phoenix or Atlanta. What’s behind this change?

Analysts trace the migration slowdown to the economic slowdown. And this lack of mobility may be with us for some time to come. “It remains to be seen when and where a turnaround in the nation’s unforeseen migration patterns will take place,” says William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution.

Specifically, older consumers have decided to continue working instead of retiring. The 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) indicates that 24% of consumers plan to work up to the age of 70. Another 9% say they’ll never retire. This compares to 50% of consumers who were retired by age 65 in 1991. Reasons given for this big shift include:

  • Poor economy 29%
  • Change in employment situation 22%
  • Finances 16%
  • Need to make up losses in stock market 12%

In addition, only 25% of current workers believe that their spending levels will be much lower in retirement. These concerns make it easy to see why fewer consumers are deciding to sell everything and move to a sunbelt retirement mecca. These changes mean marketers must adjust their messages and consider the audiences they are selling products to. Whether it’s apparel, footwear, or a new cars, today’s 65+ consumer may stay in a life stage that requires them to maintain a higher-than-planned spending level for years to come.

[Sources: Yen, Hope. “As boomers delay retirement big cities feel the shift.” Philly.com. 6 May 2010. Web 17 May 2010; Changing Expectations About Retirement. Employee Benefits Research Institute. 2010. Web. 17 May 2010]