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. While a majority own their homes, many also indicate renting is in their future. Smart investors are keeping watch on this group, the amenities they favor and the places where they are likely to migrate.

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 percent 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 percent 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

Click here to view a chart from our upcoming book, “The Big Shifts Ahead: Demographic Clarity for Businesses,” that 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)).

Lesley DeutchFor more information, please contact Lesley Deutch at or 561-998-5814.

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