The start of a new year may be the perfect time to put your active retirement community under a microscope, as you target Boomer residents.
This market is robust, and growing! The future is bright. Fifty percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations will be 50 years and older within three years. Retirement is on their minds. The news media is helping out with many stories about retirement living.
Historically, Boomers have redefined every stage of life as they passed through it. Now they are redefining the way they look at retirement living; lifestyle is important to them. Clearly, they are different. They want to spend retirement time doing the things they enjoy most. Critical to them is staying engaged and purposeful during retirement.
Aging is no longer viewed by many as a time of inevitable decline but one that is rich with possibilities. Their interests differ from the generations before them. The Boomer generation will retire in a way that is distinctively different than their parents’ retirement, and may set the standard for generations to come.
How should your active adult retirement community respond to the challenge? Here are four challenging questions to increase your success with the Boomer generation:
- Does your community provide holistic health and wellness programs that salute a life of balance? Studies show that there is a correlation between better health and participation in meaningful activities. You might consider programs that include monthly celebrations that engage the body, mind and spirit; wellness centers; massage therapy; on-site fitness or rehab spaces and indoor/outdoor connections to nature.
- Is yours an environmentally-sound community? Many active adult communities are placing heavy emphasis on creating a lighter footprint, recognizing the importance of the issue to Boomer in the place where they choose to age. These include maximizing natural lighting; energy efficiency appliances; solar design and green energy.
- Does your community foster educational opportunities that challenge residents in intellectual ways? Are you creating life-long learning opportunities; continuing education courses and other back-to-college experiences and “cultural immersion” travel-and-learn programs.
- Does your community provide for the technological needs of Boomers on-site? They’ve been characterized as “information junkies,” because of their reliance on all sorts of technologies. That point is especially true with educated, affluent Boomers, which well may be the best market for you. They have learned that discovery and continuing to learn supports their “living well” needs. Consider adding high-tech computer labs with on-site part-time technical professionals; Wi-Fi hotspots and on-line tech classes from distant locations sponsored by your community.
Consider Bob Dylan’s prophetic song lyrics, “The Times They Are A-Changin ” – A recent article, “Will Your Retirement Home Have a Liquor License?” (Forbes magazine) suggests that they are.