Today’s retirement looks far different from the retirement of the 70s, 80s, and 90s—and not just because seniors are living longer than ever. By 2021, half of the U.S. population will be over age 50 and will control a whopping 70 percent of the country’s disposable income. And as members of the Greatest Generation pass away, these Baby Boomers may inherit up to $15 trillion dollars between now and 2036.
Baby Boomers are statistically more independent, wealthier, and more selective in their living arrangements than previous generations, and have already begun to impact the structure of retirement community living. Read on to learn more about three of the changes retirement communities have made to accommodate Baby Boomers’ unique interests and desires.
Offering A Wider Array of Options
Baby Boomers helped coin the phrases “40 is the new 30” and “50 is the new 40,” and their commitment to reshaping how society views seniors will only continue. But this active lifestyle means you won’t find Boomers constrained to a traditional assisted living community with activities limited to TV-watching and a monthly Bingo night.
Most seniors want to keep up their current active lifestyles or even add some new hobbies and activities in their golden years. But the upkeep and repair costs associated with homeownership can be a drag on an otherwise freeing time in one’s life. The last thing most retirees want to do is reroute the funds they’ve earmarked for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation toward a new roof or HVAC unit—and having to spend hours each week mowing the yard, scrubbing the bathrooms, and running errands can feel like a repeat of one’s working years.
By downsizing their homes and moving into a senior living apartment seniors can reduce one of the biggest categories of retirement costs—housing and home maintenance—while also freeing up time for new hobbies and retirement pursuits. And living in an active, vibrant community with other Boomers (usually defined as those born between 1946 and 1964) can give seniors the opportunity to make new connections or even find old friends.
Providing Access to Amenities
Boomers are far less likely to choose rural, car-dependent living in their senior years. Instead, they prefer to live in the middle of it all, with easy access to shopping, entertainment, and other modern conveniences.
Many of today’s senior living communities are designed with this in mind. By creating a sort of mini-city within the grounds, retirement communities can allow residents to hit the gym, relax in the spa, visit the doctor for a checkup or to address a concern, commune with nature by taking a walk outdoors, or even pick up a few groceries without having to hop in the car.
And with 24/7 emergency care available just minutes from each resident’s front door, those with chronic health conditions or who are at a higher than average risk for stroke or heart attack don’t need to worry about their ability to summon help when needed. Having both preventive care and emergency care on site, along with exercise facilities and personal trainers, can help seniors better manage ongoing conditions and even take steps to improve their health.
The Sandwich Generation
Some younger Boomers are part of the “sandwich generation”—that is, adults who have had to help care for their aging or invalid parents while also raising a family of their own. Being pulled in two caregiving directions for years can take a physical, emotional, and even financial toll, and this experience can often color Boomers’ opinions on the role they’d like their children to play in their later years.
With many Gen X-ers and Millennials putting off children until their thirties or later, these generations’ Boomer parents may begin needing a bit of extra help with transportation, household tasks, or healthcare decisions right around the time their grandchildren hit their teen years.
As a result, many Boomers are choosing to relocate to retirement living communities to help absorb the burden of managing healthcare and lifestyle decisions.
Choosing a retirement living community can also help you avoid disruption in your daily life and routine. Some older adults who suspect they may be suffering from mental lapses or who know they’re no longer able to physically do certain tasks may avoid asking for help from friends or loved ones.
Those who live in a retirement community will be able to receive assistance with their daily activities while retaining access to the same friends, activities, and recreational facilities. These types of communities can empower Boomers to take charge of their own future and ease any worries they might have of becoming a burden to their adult children.
Life at Cambridge Village of Apex, North Carolina, goes beyond retirement living. By focusing on improving every aspect of our residents’ lives, we create Optimal Living. We aim to make every resident feel welcomed, provide them with opportunities to build friendships, and help them find a niche where they belong. Experience the new retirement at Cambridge Village of Apex, North Carolina. Contact us to schedule a tour of our senior living community or give us a call today (919) 363-2080.