Boom, here it comes! The tidal wave of Baby Boomers beginning their retirement is starting. Each one is looking for a new approach to the best part of life and facing the daunting challenges it will bring. In 2006 there are 76.1 million Americans between the ages of 42 and 60, and polling samples tell us they often think about their futures. The Baby Boomers that have shaped so much of America’s culture and economic and social dynamics are reaching and looking beyond their active working years. Facing retirement together they bring a unique demand for new approaches to entering the golden years.
Whether or not you are fond of the name “Baby Boomer,” if you are in this group you are in good company, the same company you have grown up with. There are seemingly endless statistics regarding your generation and the socioeconomic power that goes along with it. The Baby Boomer Generation has more disposable income, control of more investment money, and a greater understanding of what a powerful group they represent than previous generations. At the same time we are told they have less money in direct savings and will be more dependent on pensions and equity in their homes at retirement than any other group. The shear number of people the Baby Boomers represent, and the wealth they control, demands our attention. Here at the beginning of the retirement of so many people, the trends are starting to reveal interesting facts.
As might be expected, most surveyed retirees say they would like to retire to a warm and sunny climate, preferably in close proximity to the beach. They want the conveniences and consumer goods they are used to having at their disposal, and they say they want to be with their own age group. None of this information is particularly new or different from any other retirement group surveyed over the years. What is different, however, is that the ability to find such a place is quickly diminishing. With the real estate boom in the United States feeding much of the equity that the Baby Boomer retirees have, the prices of retirement homes they want are becoming out of reach to many. Our Southern California coastal communities are very nearly built out. With the increasing demand for a sunny ocean view home, ideal locations are becoming few.
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