By Michael P. Sullivan
The Boomer-age generation will be the sweet spot for retirement housing communities for many years. Keying on a number of the following facts in a positive way adds to your reputation in the community and can improve sales.
Here are a few Boomerama facts about those age 45 to 65:
1. Approximately 5,000 Boomers turn 65 every day. Boomers are the largest generation in US and Canadian history. At age 65, Boomers are very focused on their retirement. They are thinking about when and if they will retire, where they will live, what their lifestyle will be like and how they will go about it getting there. Are you helping them make those decisions by the way you present your community?
2. The majority of middle age Boomers has more parents than children. Increases in longevity of older individuals mean that many will have to care for their extended-life parents for a longer period of time than previous generations. The need for housing, financial and other caregiving assistance will remain. Does your retirement housing make it easy for Boomers to live at your facility?
3. Nearly 50% of Boomers are experiencing some form of hearing loss. According to the National Health Institute, one-third of Boomers report they have been tested by audiologists. Many have a high incidence of hearing loss because of their lifelong exposure to loud music and other noises at a younger age. Does your sales and service staff look for signs Boomers and older adults may have difficulty hearing what they say and adjust how they speak with them?
4. Boomers are the first generation for which a majority experienced divorce. Today, the percentage of first-marriage divorce is 51%, according to the Census Department. Second marriages divorce rate is even higher “ 60%, and many late-life divorces occur. Divorce is a painful and stressful event for one or both parties, and can be for retirement communities. Many important decisions need to be made”such as dividing assets (financial, the home, pension plans, personal property, etc.) and figuring out how to make ends meet, sometimes on reduced incomes. Are you prepared to assist residents experiencing divorce?
5. Nearly eight in 10 persons over age 60 are grandparents. Some 82% of all adults age 60 and over, and 50% of adults 45 to 65 are grandparents. Today, its close to 80 million grandparents. They are heavily involved in funding grandchildrens college education. Does your retirement community acknowledge and provide informational programs for grandparents, or make it easy for the grandchildren when they visit?
6. Even well-off Boomers expect to work in retirement. Recent studies indicate that a high number of Boomers “ wealthy or not -- plan to work well into their normal retirement years. You need to understand that working into ones 60s, 70s and 80s can be a sign of vibrancy and a desire to keep contributing to the world. Does your community provide conveniences to make that easy for them to do?
By Michael P. Sullivan
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The Power of Grandparenting to Your Retirement Community
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