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Boom, baby!


Boomers will want more from their retirement real estate

One of the largest, and arguably most influential population demographics, is about to make a big lifestyle shift. In addition to causing one of the biggest wealth transfer event horizons, the baby boomer generation will also be driving a new kind of real estate demand: retirement living in urban, community-style developments loaded with high-tech amenities.

Between 1990 and 2006, the number of people aged 80 and over in the U.S. increased to 7.5 million from 4.4 million. It’s predicted that this group will more than double by the year 2037. As well, the number of people aged 65 and over grew from 31.2 million in 1990 to 41.2 million in 2010. Any way you look at it, seniors represent a sizeable chunk of the American population. They’re living longer and staying healthier than their predecessors, and they’re demanding more from their retirement years!

In a sort of reverse migration, boomers are now preferring to live in higher-density communities, nearer to urban centers with closer proximity to services and amenities. In addition, they want access to facilities and programs that support active, healthy living, and a built-in community of like-minded seniors. For example, a California senior’s development features art studios, a virtual art gallery and an on-site theater exclusively for residents.

Technology-smart residences a big draw for Boomer buyers

Contrary to what some might assume, the boomer generation is embracing, not rejecting, today’s technology, in order to facilitate the kind of lifestyle they are rightfully demanding as they age in place.

If you’re selling a property that will appeal to downsizing seniors, looking to buy one, or looking for one on behalf of family members, having the latest technology has big advantages. Think about it. Voice-activated devices, on-demand transportation and dining, access to online learning and fitness programming that have made such a huge influx into our day-to-day living recently, are ideally suited for older adults.

Consider that a right-sized residence, with its lesser maintenance demands, has more room for life enjoyment. Having Alexa or one of her competitors report the news and weather, or look up recipes or facts just by asking out loud provides a whole new level of convenience and independence. The absence of large items like pianos and 10-place dining tables leaves space for enhanced, at-home entertainment experiences for older eyes and ears, such as 150-inch retractable screens and ceiling mounted laser projectors that deliver exceptional picture quality and sound. Add in a whole community of nearby people to socialize with, on-site recreation facilities and activities, and we’ve defined an entirely new concept of senior living and the aging experience.

Live long, and prosper

In classic boomer fashion – a generation associated with rebellion and disruption of the establishment – today’s seniors are going to get what they want in their retirement, just how they want it, including medical care.

With large or small screens, on a choice of portable devices, virtual doctor appointments and follow-ups become almost as good as being there, reducing costs and emergency room visits. Monitoring technology and online data sharing allows patients and professionals access to their health information at any time.

The effects of Isolation also became painfully evident over the last year. The ability to “check-in” with physicians, family and friends via video and other voice-activated devices is a huge benefit. Experts say that isolation can lead to an increased risk of dementia, stroke and other serious conditions.

If you or someone you know is seeking a property ideally ‘wired’ for this exciting next phase of living, contact real estate expert Jaime Osborn of Weichert Realtors Benchmark today to explore options. 901-490-3542.