Planning and Promoting Opportunities for Lifelong Communities

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Marilyn BRUIN, University of Minnesota - Housing Studies, USA
One hundred and forty-five baby boomers completed on-line surveys. Ninety-four percent were homeowners, 65% were married, 18% had a child in the home, and 22% lived alone; median time the neighborhood was 22 years. Fifty-four percent had household incomes over $90,000 and 32% over $120,000. Seventy-two percent worked. Among those working, 68% expected to retire by age 68. Sixty-three percent had a pension or retirement account, 62% IRAs, 47% real estate investments, and 54% other retirement savings. A large majority (92%) were satisfied with their housing. Eighty-eight percent wanted to remain in their neighborhood. Concerns about aging-in-place included accessibility and maintenance. Thirteen percent reported chronic conditions that might affect housing; 55% said their current home needed modification to facilitate aging-in-place. Mentioned modifications included ramps, grab bars, and main floor bedroom, bath, and laundry. Sixty-five percent 65% mention another reason to move - less maintenance. Suitable future senior housing options varied between condominiums (25%), single-family houses (24%), townhouses (20%), independent senior community (16%), affordable apartments (4%), a duplex or four-plex (4%), luxury rental (3%), and assisted living (1%). No one said nursing home. This group of urban baby boomers with financial resources and access to housing options realized they might need to make changes to their current housing or move as they aged. They did not think beyond common home modifications; perhaps they were unfamiliar with the wealth of technological options available to facilitate independence and safety. The diversity in their expectations for future senior housing options was amazing. The findings suggested the need for more educational outreach on home modification and a need to develop condominiums, townhouses, and rental units as well as independent and assisted living communities.