Boomers Headed for Retirement Communities

A growing number of Baby Boomers plan to move to retirement communities, according to a new survey.

A news release said the poll by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the MetLife Mature Market Institute (MMI) found more than 1.2 million households are headed for elder care facilities. While most consumers age 55 and up prefer to stay in their homes as they age, a slightly increasing number (3%, compared to 2.2% in 2001) will opt for age-restricted communities.

The report also showed that the new homes offered to 55-and-older buyers and renters grew in size from 2001 through 2007 from an average of about 1,800 square feet to about 2,300.

“The Baby Boomers’ influence on housing choices has been profound, and will have a huge impact on trends in housing for the mature market as that age group continues to move toward retirement,” said Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, in the news release. “Some findings, such as the tendency for buyers in 55+ communities to continue to work in greater numbers and for longer periods of time, show us that this group is redefining the traditional notion of retirement.”

The report also found that of the Baby Boomers close to 65 years old, many are not yet planning to retire, and are looking for a community close to their place of employment, or one that allows them to transition into a work-from-home situation. The number of people who chose a community close to work increased from 11.4% in 2001 to 16.6% in 2007, according to the report.

The report is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey from 2001 through 2007. The report is available here.