During the working years, people build homes, raise families, and settle down. They go on vacation, remodel, landscape, garden, create home projects that they can be proud of, and share memories. For these reasons and many more, a lot of people are staying put right where they are after they retire. Instead of packing up their belongings and moving to warmer climates like Florida or Arizona, snowbirds are staying home. They want to be with their families, and not miss out on the softball games their grandkids are involved in. Sometimes, it makes more economic sense for them to stay where they have lived for the majority of their lives instead of moving to a new environment where they have to start all over again.
Here is a list with statistics on the aging population, options seniors have in terms of housing, and the latest trends in senior housing.
- According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 77 million infants were born in the United States during 1946 through 1964.
- The oldest baby boomers turned 65 years-old in 2011.
- 47 percent of women aged 75 and over live alone. Older men (17.5 million) are outnumbered by older women (23 million).
- By the year 2050, one out of every five people will be 65 and older.
- The population of people aged 85 and older will increase to 6.6 million by the year 2020.
- Around 80 percent of older adults live in deficient housing.
- Limited options for older fail people, suitable housing, affordable housing, overcrowding, bad housing conditions, and suitability are the six major housing issues older adults face.
- According to studies conducted by MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Association of Home Builders, the majority of baby boomers choose to age where they currently reside
- However, many seniors are making the choice of moving to an independent living community or senior housing that is designed to meet their needs.
- Although most people are happy in the home they currently live in, statistics show that many residents in active-adult, age-restricted communities are more satisfied.
Senior Living Trends
- White women, ages 80 and older, mobile but require assistance with some of their daily living activities, are the typical residents of an assisted living facility.
- By 1996, assisted living accounted for more than half of the construction of senior housing in the U.S.
- The various housing options for older adults include adult housing, enriched homes, assisted living facilities, independent communities, shared housing, and public housing.
- Newly constructed communities for seniors will be developed to be environmentally friendly as a way to cut down on expenses, which allows them to have a more enriching life that they can afford.
- According to a 2010 senior housing Design for Aging study by the American Institute of Architects, retirees preferred housing where they could age in their current place
- Those that are willing to relocate prefer a community that offers holistic wellness, extensive amenities that are handicapped accessible.
- Homes that incorporate a visual or physical connection to nature, have plenty of open space, and provide design features like day-lighting are gaining in popularity.
- The national average of the number of people living in assisted living communities dropped from 63 to 54 percent because seniors preferred more living space.
- If migration patterns continue as they have in the past, the population of people ages 55 through 75 living in rural areas and small towns will increase.
- An Accessory Dwelling Unit or an “in-law apartment” is a great alternative to a nursing facility and still allows seniors their independence.
- Seniors with low incomes can get help paying for housing expenses through state and federal programs.
- Co-housing is another alternative which allows for people to share spaces and they still remain a part of a community.
- 6 percent of seniors anticipate moving into a smaller home within the next 5 years.
- Baby boomers are most concerned with the cost of living more than finding a job which provides benefits during their retirement years.
Other Places of Residency for Retirement
- 32 percent of people preparing for retirement would like to be living within 20 miles from their grandchildren.
- Many retirees choose to relocate to climates warmer such as Florida, the Carolinas, and Arizona.
- As boomers reach retirement age, they prefer places with good restaurants, college courses they can possibly take, and volunteer opportunities, all within walking distance.
- AARP The Magazine named Loveland, Colorado as the number one “place to reinvent your life.”
- More recently, states such as Washington and Maine are seeing an increase in retirees.
- The Empire Center for New York State Policy pointed out that in 2009 there were more people moving from New York to North Carolina then there were people leaving the state and moving to Florida
- Retirees are also choosing to move out of the country since the cost of living and healthcare is much cheaper.