The “leading edge” of the Baby Boomers—40 million Americans born between 1946 and 1956—are beginning to turn 65. And they’re not alone. The leading edge are part of a 74-million-strong group born in the 18 years between 1946 and 1964. As this population ages, the way we think about senior housing will change. A new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) looks at the opportunities and challenges faced by the baby boomers and the American public as we attempt to meet the diverse lifestyle needs of this new cohort of seniors.
The good news, according to Mary Catherine Bateson, a cultural anthropologist, is that today’s 65-year-olds are more active than ever. “[They’re] starting new careers or continuing old ones, traveling around the world, and eloping with new loves,” Bateson says of the new seniors. And they’re not looking for quiet retirements, either.
Most seniors who are able to move are choosing to move to urban locations, cities, and suburban town centers, where they can be close to grown children, friends, public transit, and health care. What to expect in the coming years? Substantial growth in the over-65 population in the suburbs is likely, as are more suburban group homes. To accommodate a higher proportion of senior residents, central urban areas will need to make improvements in their infrastructure and accessibility.
When it comes to other areas where baby boomers may like to live, culture and activity are important. College towns offer ready-made activities and education. Co-housing, group living, and multi-generational living are all appealing to the aging baby boomer, as are affinity retirement communities, which bring together seniors with shared interests.
For a full look at the report, visit uli.org.
At AlmaVia of San Francisco, we’re dedicated to providing a varied range of living options for seniors, so they are comfortable and happy as well as secure. For more information, call 415.508.5500 or visit almaviaofsanfrancisco.org.