This is the first post in this series exploring the Baby Boomer generation’s retirement trend and its relation to real estate, from Boomer habits and goals, how and where they would like to retire, and the pros and cons of retiring to the Jersey Shore.
Booming into Retirement
Did you know that 8,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day for the next 15 years? We’ll have our second largest population group (the largest are Millenials – aka Boomer children) figuring out where they are retiring to and how they want to spend the next quarter century. These days, that doesn’t necessarily mean heading off to Florida. In general, Boomers are more active and living longer than their parents, meaning their spending habits and market presence will continue to have influence well into their 80s and 90s. It also means that Boomers have more flexibility and choice in when, where, and how they retire. Boomers and their Millennial kin may have a lot more in common than they think – both are looking to buy a certain lifestyle, which means Boomers aren’t sticking with the stereotypical retirement plan of generations past.
Out with the Old
Historically, popular destinations for retirees have been warm-weather and reasonably low cost-of-living havens like Florida, the Carolinas, and Arizona. But these days, Boomers aren’t necessarily retiring to old folks homes or even have the desire to leave their home state.
Many Boomers are moving away from traditional retirement communities in favor of diversity, both in age and culture. Retirees don’t want to be stuck in a retirement community with people their same age and background. It is also important for Boomers to stay close to friends and family, and have a more active and balanced lifestyle, as they know this heavily contributes to their overall happiness and health in the long-term.
Boomer Retirement Trends
One thing Boomers have made clear is that they want to avoid the institutionalized, sterile environment that old folks’ homes have a reputation for. While community is very important for retirement-aged people, they want some diversity too. Some other retirement trends of the Baby Boomer generation include:
- City Mouse/Country Mouse
Many Boomers find it appealing to be close to a city, like Philadelphia. Cities provide a place for retirees to have all the amenities they need in one compact place – great culture, an abundance of activities, restaurants, easy transportation and a relatively inexpensive cost of living. You have what you need at your fingertips!
Many Boomers are also considering their second homes and vacation homes as their full-time retirement plan. Many owners I know at the Jersey Shore plan on using their vacation home as their next retirement destination. An interesting study done in the North Jersey Shore towns saw Millenials leaving shore towns but Boomers moving in more rapidly than ever before. In Ocean County, NJ, the full-time Baby Boomer population increased more than 9% between 2007 and 2013.
- Living Longer/Retiring Later
People are living 7 years longer than they were when the social security age was determined to be 65. This means people are planning for a longer retirement, and aren’t necessarily retiring at 60 or even 65.
- Work Hard/Play Hard
Boomers see themselves retiring in their late-sixties to early-seventies rather than at 60 or 65. Only 65% of people 65 and older have fully retired. And many don’t necessarily think they’ll be 100% retired ever. Many don’t like the idea of fully retiring or working full-time, but instead striking a balance of both that satisfies their lifestyle goals.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit/Getting Creative
Many Boomers don’t plan on relying on government help for their retirement. They are being realistic and cautious, and plan to supplement their income well into retirement – just not with their current job. Boomers are open to other job opportunities into retirement, especially since most women in this generation are very well-educated.
- Lifestyle Trumps All
Above all, Boomers value the lifestyle change that retirement brings. This means spending more time with family, traveling more, being culturally invested, and living an active and healthy lifestyle.
- Continuation of Care is Still Important
Boomers aren’t naïve either – they know they will eventually need the same type of care that their parents are getting in nursing homes. However, this care may be delayed as Boomers are living healthier, longer lives. Coordination of care will continue to be very important for Boomers, but it’s something that will have to be coordinated around their lifestyle.
Part Two of this blog post discusses the Pros and Cons of retiring at the Jersey Shore highlighting some interviews with Boomer shore property owners considering this retirement option.