Baby Boomers: Home Is Where The Heart Is

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty, Unique Luxury Living 633140

Baby Boomers Find Freedom in Housing | Keeping Current Matters

Within the next five years, Baby Boomers are projected to have the largest household growth of any other generation during that same time period, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard. Let’s take a look at why…

In Merrill Lynch’s latest study“Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices” they surveyed nearly 6,000 adults ages 21 and older about housing.

Crossing the “Freedom Threshold”

Throughout our lives, there are often responsibilities that dictate where we live. Whether being in the best school district for our children, being close to our jobs, or some other factor is preventing a move, the study found that there is a substantial shift that takes place at age 61.

The study refers to this change as “Crossing the Freedom Threshold”. When where you live is no longer determined by responsibilities, but rather a freedom to live wherever you like. (see the chart below)

Crossing The "Freedom Threshold" | Keeping Current Matters

As one participant in the study stated:

“In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.” 

On the Move

According to the study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement.

The top reason to relocate cited was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses”. See the chart below for the top 6 reasons broken down.

Reasons for Moving in Retirement | Keeping Current Matters

Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes

There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with less children at home that they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home.

Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them.

"Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations."

Bottom Line

If your housing needs have changed or are about to change, meet with a local real estate professional in your area who can help with deciding your next step.

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Comments (6)

Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

No doubt the Baby boomers are those seeking changes in their lives.  Some good and some not so good!!  So we need to be there to assist them in their wants for the future... great topic, Allison!!

Sep 18, 2015 06:06 AM
Pat Champion
John Roberts Realty - Eustis, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Baby Boomers are making moves; especially, in our market area I love living in Florida for this reason. Thanks for sharing I hope you have a great afternoon.

Sep 18, 2015 06:10 AM
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Allison,  I talk with many people who have crossed "the Freedom Threshold"  and every reason for moving that you show in the chart is a reason they give to me for considering Latin America.  I did not notice two reasons -- wanting a new lifestyle or moving to a warmer location  and those are two reasons that I hear often.

Sep 18, 2015 09:27 AM
Allison Gaddy
eXp Realty, Unique Luxury Living - Austin, TX
Real Estate Professional, focused on your goals!

You are so right about that Dan Hopper , we definitely need to be there for them!

Sep 18, 2015 10:23 AM
Allison Gaddy
eXp Realty, Unique Luxury Living - Austin, TX
Real Estate Professional, focused on your goals!

Thanks Pat Champion, I love Florida too!

Sep 18, 2015 10:23 AM
Allison Gaddy
eXp Realty, Unique Luxury Living - Austin, TX
Real Estate Professional, focused on your goals!

I definitely agree with you Gary Coles, missed those. Thanks!

Sep 18, 2015 10:25 AM