Even if you realize the U.S. population is aging rapidly, statistics like this might still surprise you: About 10,000 people each day turn 651 and, by 2035, there will be more adults 65 years old and older than children - 78 million compared to 76.4 million.2
Today's older generations have more wealth than previous generations at this point in their lives, with baby boomers - who range from about 57 to 75 years old - holding 53%3 of the total wealth in the U.S. This means they can likely afford to purchase a new home in a 55-plus community that allows them to retire in comfort, if not luxury. In fact, a large, upscale 55-plus development in Florida was the fastest-growing metro area4 in the U.S. over the last 10 years.
Renting as an Option
Some 55-plus consumers might feel as though they've outgrown their previous home. Instead of paying for taxes and upkeep5 on a home that no longer meets their needs, they'd rather spend their money elsewhere. Renting allows them to focus on doing what they love - not maintaining a home.6 When choosing a home to rent, however, they need the right amenities.
One of the most desired features amongst 55-plus buyers7 is a modern kitchen that has new, stainless steel appliances. The WhirlpoolⓇ Fingerprint Resistant Dishwasher with 3rd Rack & Large Capacity, for example, has a beautiful stainless steel finish, and lets you load more and run less. Plus, it's fingerprint resistant to help support a low-maintenance lifestyle.
Upsizing Instead of Downsizing
The pandemic sparked more retirements from younger boomers and older Gen Xers: 2 million more people than expected8 have retired throughout the pandemic. While historically many 55-plus consumers have moved to smaller homes, many have chosen to upsize instead in recent years. According to a study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave9, 49% of retirees didn't downsize in their last move - 30% actually ended up moving into larger homes, while 19% stayed in the same-sized home.
Why are so many 55-plus buyers choosing to upsize? They're wanting plenty of space10 for family members or friends to visit. When entertaining, these buyers may appreciate amenities that accommodate guests, like a separate undercounter fridge to chill adult beverages for happy hour, or a smart combination oven to help get dinner on the table.
Fewer Children/More Living Alone
According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau11, nearly 1 in 6 adults age 55 and older are childless. Those that are childless may be more likely to live in a single-family residence or townhome in a 55-plus community. They also might be more concerned about finding a new home that's fully equipped with features that are easy to manage as they get older.
- Full bath on the main level
- 3+ feet-wide doorways
- 4+ feet-wide hallways
- Non-slip floor surfaces
- Entrances without steps
Other features that could help improve accessibility for older buyers include wall ovens that prevent users from having to bend over and lift heavy pans or dishes; motion-sensor lights; and touch-controlled drawers and cabinets.