Senior citizens

Florida's population getting older, but state isn't graying without company

Florida's population — already among the oldest in the country — is getting even older, but the rest of the nation is not too far behind.

New census data shows Florida's median population was 40.7 in 2010, two years older than in 2000. The increase reflects both the state's continuing allure for retirees, and the aging of the nation's largest generation: the baby boomers.

Floridians’ Consumer Sentiment falls for third straight month

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer Sentiment among Floridians dropped for a third consecutive month — falling to 68 in April — as the economy struggles because of domestic budget woes, soaring gas prices and international unrest, according to a new University of Florida survey.

Consumer Sentiment unchanged among Floridians in December

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s Consumer Sentiment this month remained unchanged from November’s mark of 71, but there was significant movement among the five components that comprised the index, according to a new University of Florida survey.

Florida’s Consumer Sentiment retains most of last month’s gains

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s Consumer Sentiment dipped only slightly in November to 72 after a large jump in October, portending good news for holiday retailers as higher levels of optimism remained in effect, according to a new University of Florida survey.

Pinellas reports lower unemployment

Unemployment is down in Pinellas County, according to the latest numbers from the Agency for Workforce Innovation, The county’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in October was 11.5 percent, down from 12 percent in September. AWI’s October report showed that 51,386 people were unemployed compared to 53,957 the month before. The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate for October was 11.6 percent. The national rate was 9.0 percent.

1 in 5 Tampa Bay area kids live in poverty, census says

Rising poverty cast its shadow across the Tampa Bay region in 2009, fueled by the ongoing economic downturn.

The latest government estimates, released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau, show the number of people living in poverty has been growing steadily since 2006 in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties.

Children have been hit the hardest in the Bay area, where about one in five people younger than 18 live in poverty, according to census estimates.

Some snowbirds haven't yet flown the coop

Sitting outside his lakefront mobile home, Lake County snowbird Dick Risch relishes the peacefulness around him.

Until recently, Risch's winter community was packed with seasonal residents. But while most part-time residents already have left, unusually chilly temperatures up North kept some snowbirds like Risch, 68, from joining the flock just yet.

For businesses that thrive on the spending of seasonal residents, these snowbird stragglers seeking to stay warm a bit longer are a welcome economic bonus.

Rubio's call to change Social Security puts him in line with experts, if not voters

WASHINGTON — From as far back as Barry Goldwater in 1964, political candidates have risked backlash in Florida for suggesting changes to Social Security. So it was remarkable to see Marco Rubio in a national TV debate with Gov. Charlie Crist call for raising the retirement age.

Blogs and Facebook groups instantly lit up. The consensus was Rubio committed a serious gaffe. Older Americans are among the most reliable voters, and in Florida, 2.4 million of them receive Social Security.

Census estimates reveal growth dynamic in Sumter

THE VILLAGES — Third time was the charm for Fritz and Tina Masur.

Little that they experienced as age-restricted homeowners in Arizona or Illinois compares with the quality of life they found during the past year in The Villages.

The experiences of the Village of Hemingway couple also provide a glimpse into the dynamics of new population estimates that ranked Sumter County last year — largely fueled by growth in The Villages — as the state’s second-fastest growing county in terms of percentage increase.

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