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There are more older Americans than ever before and real estate developers are finding opportunities in crafting a retirement community to meet the ever increasing need of the baby boomer generation.
U.S. Census Bureau statistics show there are currently 76.4 million baby boomers in the United States. Baby boomers are defined as those born between 1946 and 1964. There were an estimated 76 million births during that time, but around 11 million of those died before 2012. Immigrants arriving in the U.S after the Immigration Act of 1965 make up the final number as they are also now aging.
This segment of the population amounts to 25 percent of the U.S population. For those seeking to make money off of changes in their housing needs, this is represents a wealth of opportunity. For seniors, it also results in an array of choices for housing options post retirement.
Most senior citizens – approximately 80 percent – have at least one chronic ailment, according to government data. The most common are diabetes, depression and falls. With an increase of the number of military personnel retiring with medical conditions, there is a growing need for a retirement community for veterans. The average age of Americans today is 78.7 years. These play a role in the type of housing many seniors are desiring to maintain their health and independence as well as provide for safety.
Another fact that plays a part in the decision of building a retirement community is the number of elderly Americans living alone. The Institute on Aging reports that 11.3 of senior citizens live alone with 37 percent of those being women. That is nearly one third of the senior population! This makes offering a safe retirement community for seniors a marketable product.
Beyond that, U.S. Census reports that those 65 years old and older fared better financially than younger adults. Senior citizens were in the lowest rate of poverty, compared to other age groups. Plus, their median income is higher than seniors living 25 years ago. Net worth today, after adjusting for inflation, is 52 percent more than it was in 1989.
Those investing in and building today’s retirement communities are taking all this information into account when they start their project. This makes construction a retirement community for seniors incredibly plausible.
Predictions for the future of retirement communities indicate exponential growth for the next 20 years because of the aging population. Industry numbers suggest a project 3.8 percent revenue jump with an annual rate of 3.6 percent, amounting to $69.4 million dollars.
There are a number of top-rated retirement communities in the United States. Almost all of them are located in the South or West, largely because of favorable weather. The top 10 retirement communities are located in Florida, South Carolina, Nevada, Illinois, California, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas.
Each of these communities have some common factors that put them at the top of seniors’ preferred list. Some of those factors include:
In fact, a retirement community today often looks like vacation resorts. They have multiple giant pools, exercise rooms, saunas, steam rooms and full-service spas. Many offer maid services and also include fine-dining restaurants in their developments. One in New York has both indoor and outdoor pools as well as a classic barbershop. Another offers a more rural setting in Georgia where fishing is one of the many activities available. A larger retirement community Florida has more than 1,000 clubs seniors can join and features its own private golf course. Sun City in Arizona has its own softball field, complete with double-Decker seating and a wireless scoreboard.
Many retirement communities are remaking their brand. Instead of associating their development with words like “senior citizen” and “retirement” they are using phrases like “active adult” and “55+ community.” The fact that these communities are seeking those slightly younger than the retirement age of 65 also allows for more active amenities in the communities.
Most senior citizens worked hard to advance in their careers and sacrificed to raise their kids. Now that the kids are grown, they want to enjoy life and have some luxuries. These new communities go out of their way to provide that including concierge service and high-end facilities typically only found in million-dollar communities. Since most seniors have more disposable income than in previous years, the market for higher-end communities is there.
Studies indicate there will be three primary changes for baby boomers looking for a place to call home after retirements.
The expanding market is prompting new investors to build communities catering to the 55+ crowd. This will mean two things for those looking at buying a home in these communities including 1) there will be many to choose from so you can pick the one that fits your life and 2) the prices will be competitive.
Competition will provide an added bonus because it will mean a retirement community will need to step it up to attract residents. That means more niche communities accommodating people with specific interests, such as sports or art, and a retirement community for seniors adding more luxury services. It could also mean more for our retired military with specific retirement communities for veterans.
Providing services that promote independence is becoming key as many seniors want to have quality of health as they age. Many today are already knowledgeable regarding health, exercise and nutrition, so they are looking for a retirement community offering things like nutrition classes, wellness center and personal trainers.
Those aging in America today do not need to fear about future living arrangements. There are a plethora of places where they can live, play and have the time of their lives!
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