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Boomers Don't Settle, but Do They Want to Age in Place?

Kimberly Fowler
By Kimberly FowlerJanuary 23, 2017

For the silent generation (born before 1945), aging in place — or staying in the family home — is extremely important. Whether it’s being close to where they raised their children, the desire to stay in the neighborhood that they’re familiar with, or simply an aversion to change, data shows that 90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age.

However, not all seniors are alike. Learn more about the baby boomer generation and how they are changing the senior living industry as they age.

Boomers Want to Make the Move to a Better Home

With 76.4 million baby boomers in the United States, “the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly 24% from 15%,” the Population Reference Bureau reports.

As more and more baby boomers turn 65, our preconceptions about seniors in America must change, because the baby boomer and silent generation are not at all alike.

Unlike their grandparents and parents, baby boomers don’t necessarily want to age in place and they are keeping the senior living industry busy as a result. “Boomers, who are active, independent and expect more for their money, are finding great retirement options in luxury senior living and high rise communities, particularly in urban centers,” senior living expert Gerard Gravallese told The Senior List.

“In these communities, seniors enjoy concierge services, on-call transportation and technology (such as video games and wearable devices) designed to keep residents active and independent.”

Although making a move to a senior living community has been thought of as a difficult conversation to broach with members of the silent generation, baby boomers are much more open to making a move — as long as the move is for something better. “Boomers don’t settle … settle down or settle for less,” Kolter Homes new home communities Marketing VP John Manrique told Forbes contributor Steve Olenski.

In fact, studies show that almost three-quarters of baby boomers want to move into a better home. “70% of baby boomers think their current home is not the best they can get. They want to be out on their own, in a more luxurious place,” Olenski reports. “Instead of retiring to rocking chairs on the front porch, they are actively looking for newly constructed homes where they can continue to pursue an active lifestyle surrounded by the latest amenities.”

Boomers Can Front the Money for Better Senior Living

Baby boomers have lived in the suburbs and continue to own their homes, so when it comes to having the finances to fund the move to a more luxurious home, they’ve got that covered. In fact, baby boomers currently:

Knowing that baby boomers want to upgrade their homes — and have the money to do so — means that there will certainly be a shift in the housing market as new home builders and senior living communities compete to create lifestyle and luxury geared homes that meet the high demands of the baby boomer population.

What Will the Future Hold for Senior Living?

Although it’s impossible to predict the future, as baby boomers have begun to retire we’ve already seen shifts in senior living communities.

These communities, which have health-care covered, are now moving their focus to providing a lifestyle that promotes physical, mental and spiritual health while also meeting the high expectations of their baby boomer residents.

These communities are offering five-star, luxury:

  • Access to leisure and hobbies
  • Dementia and memory care
  • Dining options
  • Educational opportunities and access to higher learning institutions
  • Fitness communities, personal training and specialized physical therapies
  • Group travel options
  • Healthcare including access to primary and specialized physicians and nursing staff
  • Social activities

As baby boomers continue to weigh-in on what they need from senior living communities there’s no doubt that they will have a huge impact on the architectural style of newly built homes, the layout of suburban communities, and the way that senior living communities are built and run.

What trends do you expect to see in new home and senior living communities as builders try to meet the high expectations of the baby boomer generation?

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Kimberly Fowler
Kimberly Fowler
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