Hot Topics: Economy Forces Americans to Stay Put
Hard times are stopping many people from moving for retirement or work, according to Census Bureau data and a new Associated Press/LifeGoesStrong.com poll. The current mobility level, or how many Americans move each year, is the lowest since 1948, when the Census Bureau started tracking the data.
The unsteady economy exacerbated a trend toward fewer moves that had been gaining ground for several decades due to more two-income families that find it harder to relocate for work and an aging population that's less mobile, according to the Associated Press.
In the past year, 11.6 percent of the U.S. population, or 35.1 million people, moved to a new home, down from 12.5 percent in the previous year and 11.9 percent in 2008, when the country was still deep in the recession.
With the current jobless rates and continued economic uncertainties, the freeze on moving could continue several more years, and many retirees may stay put for good, according to the report.
The Associated Press/LifeGoesStrong.com poll found that more than half of baby boomers say they're unlikely to move in retirement, and about four in 10 say they plan to remain in their current home.
Such sentiments have slowed the population growth of retirement destinations in Florida, Arizona and other Sun Belt states; the growth rate in those areas is nearly half of what it was in 2000 to 2007, according to census data. Some of the cities with the biggest population gains: Raleigh, N.C., Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and in Texas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston.
Big Blue Names Woman CEO: IBM, for years the epitome of the male-dominated technology business, this week tapped sales chief Virginia Rometty, 54, as its next chief executive officer. The appointment makes IBM the largest U.S. company by value to be headed by a woman, according to Reuters. In a Fortune Q&A, Rometty talks about what she learned from IBM's outgoing CEO, Sam Palmisanoas: "'Don't accept inevitable.' That means you've got to keep reinventing." IBM is the second technology giant in as many months to install a woman in the top job. In September, HP hired former eBay CEO Meg Whitman to replace Leo Apotheker, who was let go after only 11 months. This week, Whitman reversed previously announced plans for HP to spin off its PC business. (Previously at SecondAct: The Most Powerful Women Leaders of 2011.)
Blue Nights: After Joan Didion's husband, John Gregory Dunne, died unexpectedly in 2003, she chronicled her grief in The Year of Magical Thinking, which won a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. Didion's new book, Blue Nights, is out Nov. 1 and is equally tragic. Didion writes about her 39-year-old daughter Quintana Roo, who died of multiple acute and chronic illnesses just 18 months after Dunne's passing. To coincide with the book's publication, the Los Angeles Review of Books, a new literary website, devotes a week's worth of posts to Blue Nights reviews from writers such as Amy Ephron and Susan Straight.
Fitness Initiative: The National Institutes of Health is launching a fitness campaign called Go4Life that's aimed at people 50 and older. According to the NIH, only a third of people 45 to 64 engage in any kind of leisure-time physical activity. The agency is working with businesses, insurance companies, health-care providers and nonprofits to promote community activities and events. The Go4Life website includes information on exercises, success stories and virtual coaches.
Don't Stress Out: Looks like Bobby McFerrin had it right when he sang, "Don't Worry, Be Happy." Oregon State University researchers found that men with chronic moderate or high levels of stress were about 50 percent more likely to die prematurely than men who had or perceived they had less stress. The study, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and published in the Journal of Aging Research, looked at almost 1,000 middle- and working-class men. It's the first to show a direct link between long-term stress and mortality, according to the Oregonian. One surprising finding: While older people may deal with declining health and loss of loved ones, stress appears to decline with age, with people more likely to put things into perspective and not sweat the small stuff.
Website of the Week: In honor of Halloween, the GypsyNester boomer travel blog shares 6 Places That Will Scare the Snot Out of You. Check out their photos and videos of a Czech Republic church decorated with bones, ghost lights in Marfa, Texas, a Voodoo Queen's grave in New Orleans, and more.
Last Word: "If I could handle that pressure, I realized I could go ahead and live my life as I wanted. I could do anything." -- Julia Chase-Brand, 69, in The New York Times, on her ground-breaking long-distance run in the Manchester (Conn.) Road Race on Thanksgiving Day 50 years ago; she helped pave the way for other women runners in the United States.
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