DemographicsConsumer and Home Design Trends

The Retiree Surge Is Here

Lesley Deutch photo

Lesley Deutch

May 26, 2016

Only 10 years ago, 2.2 million people were turning 65 each year. That number has surged to 3.5 million this year and will grow to 4.2 million in 2025!

Tomorrow’s retirees will completely transform the housing industry. We have done a tremendous amount of research on this group, all of whom were born in the 1950s. We call them the Innovators because they have created so many innovations throughout their lives. They are:

  • Tech savvy, which began with their space race fascination as kids

  • Family-oriented, with almost 50% reporting that they intend to live with their parent or adult child in the near future

  • More affluent than any prior generation of retirees, thanks to:
    • Careers that perfectly coincided with a strong economy
    • A workaholic attitude that led to more double-income households and delayed retirement
    • 80% homeownership, with the majority having no mortgage today
    • 30 years of falling interest rates boosting home values and retirement accounts

All of these factors above will play into the Innovators' next housing move. They will:

  • Innovate “retirement” to be more about health, family, experiences, and continuing to work rather than strictly leisure

  • Move several more times, including selling their home and choosing to rent for a few years in an urban area that is walkable to entertainment

  • Focus more on living near their kids, with huge rewards to the builders who sell multigenerational-living homes that satisfy Innovators’ needs

  • Continue migrating south, but not just to the traditional retirement areas, as they will want to be near their kids and a job

The chart above comes from our upcoming book Big Shifts Ahead: Demographic Clarity for Businesses and shows how dramatic the retirement surge has been recently—and will be in the future.

I manage our consulting operations in Florida, and we are busy analyzing all types of successful projects targeting retirees up and down the state, from family-oriented communities with a retirement component (Del Webb Ponte Vedra and Heritage Isle (Lennar)) to traditional active-adult communities at all price points (Solivita (AV Homes), On Top of the World, and Pelican Preserve (WCI Communities).

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About The Author

Lesley Deutch photo
Lesley Deutch
Managing Principal
Lesley has more than 25 years of experience consulting with executives in the finance and real estate industries throughout North America. She works across a wide spectrum of industries including apartments, for-sale housing, high-rise development, urban projects, single-family rental, building products, and commercial developments.

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