When it comes to deciding where to relocate to, most Americans over the age of 55 choose destinations that are closer to friends and family. This information, although seemingly obvious, comes from a recent study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders and the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
The study, took a look at the main reasons behind why seniors in America pack it up and move. About 40% of seniors move to be closer to friends and family. This percentage is about twice the amount it was about ten years ago.
Experts suggest that seniors, just like anyone else that might be relocating to a new area, set aside about six months worth of income. This way, when they move they are ready for unexpected projects and expenses – something that comes up quite a bit when moving into a new home. This could however be a challenge for retired seniors that have a fixed income.
Other Reasons Seniors Move
Sure, moving to be closer to friends and family in those golden years makes sense, but what about the other reasons? The same study showed that seniors consider relocation based not only on quality of life but also quality, design, and layout of their current and prospective homes. Just like the rest of us, seniors want to live in a home that is comfortable and has the amenities they want or need.
One thing that may come as a surprise to you is that many seniors don’t move into age-restrictive communities. There seems to be a preconceived notion that seniors want to move into retirement communities, but that simply isn’t true. Though the number is going up, it is only at about 4%. However, as builders and community planners become more aware of what seniors want and their trends in moving, they may become better able to design such retirement communities.
Another thing that comes up when looking at relocation trends in the senior sector – employment. Today, more and more seniors are working well beyond their retirement age and into their 70s. So, when they move, they are often looking for a place that is convenient to where they work – like most of us! Part of this new trend in working past the retirement age may be the economy, but it also might be the fact that many baby boomers just don’t feel old. People are healthier and more active than they have ever been.
Planning for the Future
Although you may not think seniors plan for the future, they do. Perhaps they want to move into their retirement home before they actually retire. Seniors consider how they will likely age in a particular house. For example, they may see one room as a prospective office today but as a guest room five or ten years down the road.