Archive: December 2007

    by Bill Ness on December 31st, 2007No Comments

    If you ever wonder why the Baby Boomer segment (those born from 1946 to 1964) is of such interest to marketers, consider some of the following eight statistics: 1) There are nearly 80 million boomers in America. If American boomers were a country they would be the 16th largest country in the world. There are more boomers currently in America than there are total people in countries such as France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. 2) Boomers represent about 27 percent of the U.S. total population, but they control 67% of the wealth. 3) 50 percent of boomers plan to buy a new home after retirement (Del Webb survey)

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    by Bill Ness on December 29th, 2007No Comments

    As people approach retirement (and that word means a lot of different things to different people), there are five distinct stages they go through according to a study conducted by Ameriprise Financial (PDF of study report here). These stages include: 1) Imagination, 2) Anticipation, 3) Liberation, 4) Reorientation, and 5) Reconciliation. As the Ameriprise study points out, "retirement is not a single event...it does not take place in a day, or even in a single year. Instead [the] study reveals that people migrate through distinct and predictable states of retirement - each with its own complex emotions and needs."

    by Bill Ness on December 27th, 2007No Comments

    Fox News posted an interesting article today on the depressing outlook regarding the retirement savings plans for many Americans. The article illustrates how many Americans will be caught off guard in retirement by the increase in costs and their lack of retirement savings to offset those costs.

    by Bill Ness on December 22nd, 2007No Comments

    We have all heard the expression that real estate is all about location, location, location. But how do you go about choosing the location for a great retirement community AND home. For most people the process of finding a home in a retirement community first involves settling on a general geographic location followed by visits to the communities in that area. If the communities in that area you like are completely sold out of new construction, your only choice may be a resale home. If the communities in that area have recently started construction, your only option may be a new home. However, what about when you have the option to choose between new and resale?

    by Bill Ness on December 19th, 2007No Comments

    I recently discussed the fact that the Senate Panel is reviewing the practice of reverse mortgages, and I received a number of inquiries from readers asking about more information on reverse mortgages and whether or not they should consider this avenue. While I am not a mortgage expert, I have done some research to help you better understand the reverse mortgage process so you can decide if one is right for you. Reversemortgage.org is a great site for people who want to get more information on this topic, and I have summarized some of their information below.

    by Bill Ness on December 18th, 2007No Comments

    Why move to a retirement community if you're not retired? Simply put, retirement communities are no longer just for retirees, that's why. The term "retirement community" is really a misnomer for many age-restricted developments (see Here for a more detailed explanation). Yes, many of the people who move to adult communities do so when they are nearing or at typical retirement ages, but if you talk to many of the people living in these communities (I have), you will find that for many, the idea of a typical retirement is not in the cards for their future. A study conducted by Merrill Lynch in 2006 found some interesting facts regarding retirement
    On Wednesday, a Senate Special Committee on Aging began reviewing the growing reverse mortgage industry, and the practices of lenders who sell reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages have come under scrutiny as their popularity grows. From 2005 to 2006, the number of reverse mortgages increased nearly 76% from 48,493 to 85,639. Experts say this number could likely continue to rise as Americans look for new ways to finance longer life expectancy after retirement and increases in costs such as healthcare. While reverse mortgages are designed to help people 62 and older receive money from the equity in their home, some say the program preys on unsuspecting seniors and could lead to financial problems.
    As the average price for a home in the Chicago area approaches $300,000, it may seem like the idea of finding a great retirement home for under $200,000 is next to impossible. However, you may be surprised to learn that there are a number of great housing options for budget conscious individuals who seek ownership in 55+ active adult housing developments. Below you will find a list of age-restricted active retirement communities with homes (currently) under $200,000.

    by Bill Ness on December 8th, 2007No Comments

    There are some definite housing trends the real estate market is seeing when it comes to the preferences of empty nesters, baby boomers, retirees and those ages 55+. According to an article at RealEstate.com, four key trends are emerging: * One-level living. Forget the stairs. People in this age group want everything on one level. * Low-maintenance construction and materials. People don't want to waste precious time doing periodic upkeep on their property. They want their homes constructed of materials that will continue looking great without periodic maintenance. * A turnkey lifestyle. This is a mobile group. They want a home and a community that makes it easy to lock the door and go - leaving security and yard work to someone else. * Downsized luxury. Although this age group often downsizes in terms of square footage, they still want fancy kitchens and other luxury amenities.

    by Bill Ness on December 7th, 2007No Comments

    It's a phrase we hear more often these days. "60 is the new 40". This is due to the fact that many of today's baby boomers are making the choice to be active as they grow older. This new generation of boomers is redefining what it means to "retire." Developers are catering to this trend with an ever-increasing array of community amenities that allow residents to pursue an active lifestyle in ways that were not available to previous 55+ generations. Gone are the days when the extent of activity was limited to shuffleboard and horseshoes. Today's retirement communities are offering up top-of-the-line amenities such as state-of-the-art fitness centers, tennis courts and bike trails.

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