Business was good shoveling snow in northern New York in 1963. Not long after my tenth birthday, I opened a savings account with my newly printed social security card. I doubt the card’s true reason ever entered my head. Fast-forward 56 years and that purpose will be fulfilled when I retire from the Yoakum EDC and City of Yoakum, effective November 1. When our house sells we’ll pack up for our retirement home in central Texas.
In 2016, both my wife and I were impressed with the friendliness of the people of Yoakum. Compared to the politically contentious small town we lived previously, Yoakum is very relaxed. As with all places, a few people like to stir the pot; that’s healthy because it requires people to think. If we had not already made plans, Yoakum would be a great place to retire. It is affordable, has easy access to medical, a growing in-town shopping selection, light traffic, quiet, nice climate, close to the gulf, two hours from four metros, friendly (had I mentioned that?) and it has a beautiful downtown. For these reasons I predict a steady increase in Yoakum’s population over the next 10 years. In Texas’ largest metros ad valorem inflation is driving out many retired citizens. An example: my first home purchase was a basic, two bedroom one bath bungalow in East Dallas built in 1922. I paid $40,000 in 1979 and sold it four years later for a small profit. Today the current owners pay monthly property taxes of $730 (with over 65 exemption) of their retirement income for the privilege of increased congestion and crime. Some folks complain that Yoakum’s off-the-beaten track keeps it from growing. As major metros retirees have discovered, “be careful what you ask for”. Don’t be surprised when more retirees, along with their retirement income, arrive in Yoakum seeking a better life.
It has been my privilege and pleasure serving the Yoakum community. Special thanks go to the City of Yoakum and the board of the Yoakum Economic Development Corporation, a group of seven citizen volunteers dedicated to positive change. I wish you all well.