Boomers to Occupy 10.7 Million Households Over Next Decade

The aging of the baby-boomer generation over the next decade will increase the number of households aged 65 and over by some 10.7 million, increasing the demand for investments to age in place.

From 2015 to 2025, the number of households aged 70 and older will increase by approximately 8.3 million and account for more than two-thirds of household growth, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University’s latest State of the Nation’s Housing Report. The number of householders aged 60 to 69 is also projected to rise by 3.5 million, adding to the overall aging of the population.

“For those staying in place they’re looking to modify those homes to deal with changes [in mobility],” said Chris Herbert, research director for Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, during a JCHS webinar Thursday.

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Seventy-eight percent of home owners aged 65 and older intend to age in their homes, which points to a growing need for home care and other services, Herbert said.

“We need to find ways to deliver services to people that are affordable,” he said.

Those in their 50s are facing a very different future than those who currently own and have retired in their homes.

Since 2002, the real median annual incomes among households in their 50s — the peak earning years for this group as they look to retire over the coming decade — have fallen by $9,100 among 50 to 54 year-olds and by $5,700 among 55 to 59 year-olds.

“There’s worry about those in their 50s getting to retirement and many have lost homes to foreclosure, or had to refinance to make ends meet — living rent-free for retirement is key for wealth,” Herbert said.

The growing aging population also points to a need for rental units that are single persons or married couples, said Daryl Carter, chairman of the National Multi Housing Council and CEO of Avanath Capital Management.

“The number of baby boomers renting is increasing,” Carter said, adding that occupancy in affordable rental communities among all age groups is around 98%.

Read the full report here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell