RECOGNIZING THE PURCHASING POWER of the Baby Boom generation and the positive implications that could have on the Texas economy, state lawmakers have passed HB 1982, a certified retirement community program. The program, which will be administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture, will evaluate communities against certain criteria such as area crime statistics, tax information, recreational opportunities, and proximity to medical facilities to determine their qualification as a state-endorsed retirement and tourist destination. The qualifying communities will be eligible for marketing and advertising support.

Richard Dix, a spokesperson for Pulte's Del Webb division in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, says “It's a wonderful move for the state and will continue to foster the growth of the area [as a top retirement spot].”

Texas is especially attractive to retirees these days now that prices in Florida are inching up. The state also boasts a temperate climate and no state income tax. Sensing the trend, Pulte's Del Webb brand is beefing up operations in the Lone Star state. Adding to its Sun City Texas development in Georgetown, the division is opening Frisco Lakes by Del Webb in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in early 2006, only to be followed up by the Hill Country Retreat by Del Webb in San Antonio later that year.

However, Dix doubts the legislation will have any direct effect on Pulte's Del Webb business. He says that the home builder is investing in communities that well exceed state certification requirements. Yet, he says the legislation will serve as a “great guide for consumers” and “validate all the things we're doing correct already.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Dallas, TX.