NORCs on the Loose

Sep 14, 2011

Norcs on the LooseThe changing U.S. economy continues to impact how people work and live. Smart Money magazine recently covered the trend of NORCs (naturally-occurring retirement communities).

The article notes: “… a report by the Congressional Research Service says [NORCs are] ‘communities with a large proportion of older persons [typically 55 to 65 and up] residing within a specified geographic area,’ which could mean anything from a zip code to an apartment building.”

The benefits of NORCs (and the similar concept of villages), the article notes, include the ability to access resources on a group basis, buying power, and, well, strength in numbers.

As you look around where you live and work, you’ll find NORC-like communities if you look closely. Maybe you even insure homeowners and tenants who live in such communities. Where I live and work in New York City, Long Island and Connecticut, the NORCs are centered around apartment buildings, churches, synagogues, fraternal organizations, community centers, and other community organizations.

Social networking has given rise to another type of “naturally occurring” community: A group of people who work together and like each other so much that they stay in touch over the years. I’ve seen these communities sprout and grow over the years at such insurance industry events as ACT (Agents Council for Technology), Big I national and state events, NetVU conference, ASCnet TENcon, insurance company conventions, ACORD conferences, and the like.

The ability to connect through insurance industry events over the years has been enhanced and extended by the creation of e-mail in the 1990s, by social networking tools in 2007-8, and by the widespread use of Webinars over the past several years.

Not only is it good to live in community, it’s good to work in community.


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