The The New York Times has a great explanation of what many boomers want after kids move out.
"The houses that many boomers will be building and buying also reflect a desire to downsize. 'Many boomers are empty-nesters; big houses are all about kids,' said Blanche Evans, the editor of Realty Times. 'There is a tremendous move toward condos and smaller, low-maintenance homes. The boomers want to pursue their own interests. They don’t want to spend time on home maintenance. They don’t want a trophy house. Many have done that already.' Ms. Evans says many decorators are telling her that the boomers want to transform the style of their houses along with their lives, trading in a suburban house for an urban loft, for example."
While journalists love to focus on baby boomers in ideal scenarios with their pick of retirement cities and millions of dollars to work with, the reality is that because of the economy, selling to downsize or relocate is not always an option. Many boomers are reluctant to sell yet, fearing they will lose hard earned value. Atlanta Home Improvement recommends that should you choose the renovation route, to renovate with resale in mind down the line-- starting with any areas or appliances that are over 10 years old. That way if you decide to downsize or relocate later, you'll have improved or maintained the resale value of the home. The New York Times writes that when boomers do move to new cities for retirement, they often favor towns in classic retirement locations like Florida or near Vegas where there are tax incentives, planned communities, and developments marketed at retirees, or college towns with "cultural and educational opportunities" as well as "Towns with strong, diverse economies...favored for the part-time jobs they offer. Also important are recreational opportunities, good restaurants and high-speed Internet connections, especially for those boomers who want to work from home."
Many boomers are even mirroring the trend frequently attributed to millennials for urban living, as well as renting upscale properties. Jon Talton of the Seattle Times explains that just as "Many young people don't want the post-World War II, car-dependent suburban lifestyle. They want the energy and convenience of cities. Most of these will be renters, at least for a time. Empty nest baby boomers are also picking cities, although more of them have the capability to buy." This can be seen in Chattanooga at the WholeLife development on Mountain Creek Road, "Targeted toward baby boomers, the community will have 104 apartments, each with a two-car private garage and access to a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, a game room, a saltwater swimming pool, indoor walking track, a large exercise facility designed by The Cooper Institute, a 24-7 concierge, and on-site medical care and a wellness coach."
|Increasing numbers of adult children are moving home|
|Multi-generational families are increasingly common|
If you are considering your options as an empty nester, and/or future or current retiree, this Bankrate.com article has a great breakdown of some of the financial and emotional considerations, and may help you further contemplate your options.