So I often write about retired and young populations in North Dakota, but thought I would switch it up a bit this week. In particular, I am looking at the age group nearer to retirement, those aged 45 to 64. Why this grouping? Well those above 64 are at or very near retirement age and face relatively easy decisions in terms of finance constraints and other factors. Those younger have a great deal of national attention.
The younger age groups rightly receive a great deal of attention. Theirs is an interesting retirement outlook. The federal budget picture gives little confidence in the long run solvency of the federal government, and therefore any plans it backs. Let me be clear, there will be something done to shore up programs, but the nature of that is far from clear. The retirement doomsday clock continues to tick down with nobody acting as if it matters, except when they are out of control of the budget.
Those in the age group 45 to 64 are, mostly, in a curious place. There is the possibility of short run issues faced in the way of fixes to programs, as well as a low interest rate environment over the last decades of their retirement. This can force reallocations into riskier asset classes that leave them exposed to more losses at a time when it is not possible to recover with later gains.
So how does the state of North Dakota look in terms of the percent of population these categories? Let’s take a look:
So this is pretty interesting actually. The counties with the smallest populations in this grouping are university towns, oil production counties, or hold a significant percentage as Native American. Otherwise it is a bit of a mixed bag for these counties. Perhaps the most interesting outcome is that the larger counties of Cass, Grand Forks, and Ward with such large populations have a low percentage in this age category.
The story here is likely that these low counties are enough of a source of younger population that the older population is not representing a significant percentage, that is, it is the ability to replenish the younger age groups that matters.
The interesting question for this age group is that they start to confront a decision about retiring in place (RIP, I know, dismal scientist people, dismal scientist) or moving out of the area. The state of federal budget issues impacts every area the same essentially (at least in terms of retirement) so there is no relocation that helps with that. The state of their private retirement savings start to become the binding question along with the cost of amenities and other factors.
The typical focus is on the young or current retired. The most interesting questions right now are about those near retirement and the distribution of those people in North Dakota counties is really interesting right now