Publication Date



The purpose of this paper is to consider the proposition that community wellbeing in rural America can be enhanced by regarding youth and retirees as assets. For both age groups, the literature and public attitudes tend to adopt a less than positive view, emphasizing the problems associated with the out-migration of young people on the one hand and the growing numbers of the elderly on the other. This paper points to trends and thinking which suggest that a different, asset-based lens may be helpful in developing community and policy responses. This paper is one of a series focusing on wealthbuilding in rural America.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building

Original Citation

Miller, K. K., & Dabson, B. (2005). Age as asset: The contribution of youth and retirees to rural well-being (CSD Working Paper No. 05-50). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


Wealth Building in Rural America Project


IDA, individual development account, Rural, SAPP