A feature article in Marketwatch describes a future for retirement communities that look more like WeWork than the golf course-adjacent exurban communities of the 20th century.
Rachel Koning Beals writes a feature-length article on the evolving priorities of aging seniors exploring the housing market for new kinds of retirement community options.
The current generation of aging Baby Boomers is set to completely redefine the market for retirement communities. Not all of the potential for change for happy reasons, many are facing "financial burdens associated with living longer than prior generations did," according to Beals—a reality "that challenges a U.S. formula for senior housing that hadn’t changed much in decades."
yet, there are reasons for optimism that a new approach to retirement could see benefits for the aging generation. Beals explains:
Yet if the demanding, savvy-consumer baby boomers taking over where their Depression-era parents left off have their say on where and how they live as they age — and geriatrics experts say they do — the era of grin-and-bear-it acquiescence is no more.
Many of today’s best available senior-housing options are really a nod to the past: higher-density locales, homes suited for multiple generations, and community support and stimulation that keeps retirees active and healthy.
Beals notes that many surveys and real estate trends show a back-to-the-city movement for aging seniors, mimicking the preferences of Millennials and Generation Z, but perhaps for different reasons.
Technology is also enabling freedom to live in urban environments like never before: "Technology, especially leveraging the sharing economy, can help satisfy boomers who want to age in place or are rightfully demanding more from their assisted-living options. (Think of services spanning Uber or Lyft rides to in-home wellness programming.)"
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