Retirees at Home

From on February 12, 2009 in General Remodel

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Before you jump to the conclusion that this post is about homes for the aged and living on social security checks – it’s not! Retirees are a whole new breed of cat these days, and their needs and desires for things such as remodeling and home improvements are well worth noting.

Who are these folks? Often referred to as the Baby Boomers, they were born between 1946-1964. These people are, for the most part, healthy, active, intelligent, and full of life.

If you stop to think about it, you can probably name a few people who are quite close to you who are retired or will be retiring soon.

Here are some eye-opening facts about Baby Boomers from Third Age Inc., a company dedicated to this dynamic population in a variety of ways:

  • Today there are 112 million people over the age of 45.
  • They comprise nearly 40% of the population and control the majority of the buying power in the U.S.
  • Boomer spending is projected to increase $800 billion to over $4.6 trillion by 2015.
  • The 78 million-strong Baby Boomer segment of the over-45 group controls over 80% of personal financial assets and more than 50% of discretionary spending power.
  • The largest homeowner group – 80% of Boomers (vs. 69% of the general population) own a home and 25% own at least one property in addition to their primary residence.

That’s a lot of go-power for living well. Add to that the fact that when people retire, their lifestyles often undergo huge transitions and the way they use their homes changes, too. These are the ingredients for plenty of remodeling and new additions designed to suit new purposes.

Active Rain, “the world’s largest real estate network,” says that according to an AARP survey completed in May 2000, the overwhelming majority of mid-life and older Americans want to remain living independently in their own homes and communities for as long as they can. While the top 10 home improvements cited in the article do tend to make you “think old,” what’s interesting to note is that mid-lifers – many of whom are retirees – evidence their growing desire to live independently for as long as possible by making related home improvements before they are actually needed.

Retirement Living News, published online by the Retirement Living Information Center, features numerous articles monthly that address the evolving needs of the retiring population. Among the issues addressed, of course, are housing, home ownership, mortgages, and reverse mortgages. There’s a whole section of this online resource devoted to Great Places to Retire and a key parameter for choosing a community to retire in is its proximity to a college. Here’s why: “In the last few years colleges and universities have become increasingly involved in the development of retirement communities on or near their campuses. On the other hand, existing retirement communities have developed relationships with the educational institutions that allow residents to take advantage of a stimulating environment for life-long learning, and enjoy certain campus cultural, entertainment, and sporting activities.”

If you’re thinking of retiring, or are a service professional in the housing industry, you can see that there is a whole new world in store for retirees at home.

Photo credit: seanmcgrath