Majority of Baby Boomers Plan to Move for Retirement

| March 25, 2014

Contrary to often quoted findings by AARP indicating the vast majority of Americans wish to age in place, the results of a Better Homes and Gardens survey, released this week show 57% of baby boomers plan to move out of their current homes. 

While the respondents, 1,000 Americans aged 49 to 67, said they wish not to be restrained by planned retirement communities, more than a quarter, or 27% said they would most likely move to a traditional retirement community such as a 55+ exclusive neighborhood. 

“With approximately 77 million Boomers in the U.S., it’s quite significant for our industry to see that this population has so much positive anticipation for the home in which they will be retiring—and for the majority, their aspirations involve making a move,” said Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. “Baby Boomers are known for being a hardworking, trailblazing generation. As they have done with every other major life event, they are marching head-on into retirement with big plans and no desire to change pace. Our study shows that Boomers continue to surprise with nuances of what they care about and what they are prioritizing.”

The survey, conducted among 1,000 respondents by third party research firm Wakefield Research also found baby boomers are much more likely to sell their homes today in light of a rising real estate environment, with 31% more reporting they are more likely to want to sell their home now than they were five years ago. 

They are also largely more confident about achieving their ideal retirement lifestyle, Better Homes & Gardens Reports, the top factor for which is haven a retirement lifestyle plan. 

“This mindset shows us that, for Boomers getting ready to retire, there’s more to it than solely saving money in the bank,” said Chris. “To have the utmost confidence in their retirement plan, this generation is actively planning a comprehensive lifestyle plan, taking into account the type of home and community they want to live in, as well as the option of continuing to work or taking advantage of travel and entertainment opportunities.”

Additional findings of the survey showed 46% of baby boomers plan to work part time in retirement, 42% said low maintenance home features topped the list of considerations for their next move, and 72% say they wish to retire in the same state in which they live currently. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker


Category: Retirement, Senior Housing, Senior Living, Skilled Nursing

Comments (3)

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  1. This article is half right. Boomers may move for lifestyle. That is a choice.
    Aging in Place is about not being forced to move because of a health change. To pull that off we need right design in our homes homes and a dynamic flow services available when we need them economically. That needs to be a choice too.

  2. Christopher Murray says:

    AARP data is more nuanced. Many Boomers recognize the home in which they have raised a family no longer suits. It's too big; maintenance is problematic; and for the most part inaccessible after knee surgery – not to mention age related mobility issues. But most Boomers want to Age in Community amongst informal support systems built over years. They may move out of their current home, true, but it's more likely a move across town, than it is a move across the country.

  3. Maryann Shalitta says:

    It is about many things, including need, convince and perception. Lifestyle comes in to play for the more independently active and social types. The ideal situation for boomers would be to make the move before there is a need so they can make the transition and get involved socially if they choose to I agree that since the value of real estate is now rising it would have more of an influence on boomers considering or agreeing to make a move. As Louis stated recognizing that "aging in place" can be the most desirable situation and homes can be modified but as Christopher stated "size and maintenance" are still issues further down the road. Wanting to be nearer to family members can prompt those out of state moves as well. Lets face it everyone deserves to be comfortable and happy but adjustments need to be made accordingly as things change or preferably before that. So all the pieces are in place before health issues force the change to happen. Nothing is permanent but today there are so many more choices in the senior living marketplace than ever before .