Understanding this demographic group’s impact on real estate will be essential.

Baby boomers adjust expectations in order to retireIt’s been slow to  arrive but on January 1, 2011 the first of an estimated 78 million baby boomers will hit the big 6-5.  It’s a birthday traditionally associated with life changes:  retirement or thoughts about retirement, and the beginning of a new phase of life.  The sheer number of baby boomers, an estimated 26% of the US population, has impacted society since their arrival.  What can we expect next?

Like everyone, boomers have been battered by the economy.   Only 38% say they are comfortable enough with their finances to retire whenever they please.  They are worried about the size of their nest eggs as well as health care costs, the dependability of social security, and outliving their income.  They are coping by saving more, hiring experts to help them grow their investments,  and working longer.  Not surprisingly, nearly ¾ plan to keep working at least part-time.

With a median income of $62,300, this is a group less concerned with basic food, clothing and shelter than an expanded necessities list.  Must haves include an internet connection, shopping, pet care and funds for vacationing, weekend getaways, dining out, professional services, and helping the kids and grandkids with education.

Boomers are making a priority list.

  1. Almost half of surveyed boomers (47%) expect to downsize their homes in retirement in order to afford their “necessities”.
  2. One-third plan to move to another city.
  3. One-half of the 1/3 plan to move to another state.  That number is even higher among younger boomers.

Active older adults enjoy the outdoor lifestyle of western north carolinaWith the Carolinas now replacing Florida at the top of the “cool places to retire” lists, WNC can expect to see continued growth. Our area offers what the boomers are looking for: moderate climate, taxes, and cost of living, cultural and recreational opportunities, and good health care as well as a prime geographic location.  We are set to boom with the boomers!

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