Baby Boomers are going to make like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz"--those looking for their heart’s desire in retirement plan to look no further than their own backyard.
The Internet is full of top 10 lists on the best and most affordable places to retire around the world. But a new report finds that Baby Boomers are going to make like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” Those looking for their heart’s desire in retirement plan to look no further than their own backyard.
Baby Boomers are projected to account for nearly $1 out of every $4 spent on home purchases and rent in the next five years, but new financial realities following the recession and collapse of the housing market have caused many to rethink retirement plans. “Don’t expect this generation to stick to the script when it comes to retirement and housing decisions,” notes “Baby Boomers & Their Homes: On Their Own Terms,” a report released by the Demand Institute, a non-advocacy, non-profit think tank operated by the Conference Board and Nielsen. Rather than downsize to a condo in Florida or while away the days on the golf course, “most (Baby Boomers) plan to age in place, but many will move into larger homes and take out new mortgages to do so,” the report states.
The report is based on a survey of more than 4,000 Baby Boomers (50-69 year-olds) about their current living situation, moving intentions and housing preferences.
Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of surveyed Baby Boomers do not plan to move. Of these, 62 percent have lived in their current home for a least a decade, while 85 percent report they are in their current home by choice.
Three-fourths of Boomer households surveyed have already suffered a major health incident. Will they be making renovations to their homes to make them more aging-friendly? Perhaps, but that won’t be the primary reason. Of the nearly 40 percent who plan on making major home improvements in the next three years, 78 percent are doing so to increase their home value and because of necessary repairs, while two-thirds cite energy efficiency and a home style makeover as the reasons driving renovation. Only 23 percent said they are doing so for health needs.
Defying conventional wisdom, the nearly four-in-ten (37 percent) of Boomers who are planning to move from their current home are doing so not to downsize, but because they are looking for someplace larger (46 percent). These Baby Boomers, while not aging in place, will be aging in area. Nearly half plan to movie with at least 30 miles of their present home. One-fourth will move to within ten miles. Two-thirds plan to at least stay in state.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.