Excerpts from a recent news article:
Builders urged to pay attention to what Boomers want
by Cecilia Chan - Jun. 6, 2009
The Arizona Republic
Developers of retirement communities will need to adapt to the changing lifestyles of Baby Boomers to continue to attract them in the future, an Arizona State University expert says.
… "One of the issues for the industry is if they keep building these humongous cities with amenities, is this what they want?" Waldron said. "Some researchers show Baby Boomers don't want to be segregated and they want to continue working."
… In the report, local developers and experts note that retirement communities will have to change to draw a new kind of retiree. For example, the report points out that the number of 55-plus people working from home has increased sharply, more than doubling over six years to 13 percent in 2007.
Sounds familiar. Excerpts from my book, originally published in March, 2005:
… Past generations tended to get excited about modern conveniences that would make their lives easier. They would walk into a planned housing unit and exclaim, ‘Look! It’s got this and this and this and this!’ The more features, the better. The more planned, the better. It was time to start a new life. They wanted to be rewarded for all their hard work, and relax.
Not so with Baby Boomers. We take most modern conveniences for granted. We don’t want to start new lives, but continue the lives we already have.
… Baby Boomers will be anticipating a seamless transition. Instead of ‘Look! It has this and this and this’, we’ll be sniffing around for friendly, useful spaces. You will want us to say, ‘Look! There’s a perfect place for my pottery wheel’ or ‘There are plenty of windows and sunlight. My house plants and indoor herb garden will do fine in here’ or ‘Good. I can put up big, deep shelves for my books and CDs’ or ‘Here’s the perfect room for our side business on eBay’ or ‘Here’s a place where I can soundproof a recording studio or have an entertainment center’ or ‘This oversized back door is great because I can get my bicycle in and out without squeezing and jerking it around, and the extra-wide hallway means there’s plenty of room so I can just lean it against the wall and we won’t bang into it every time we walk past it.’
… When developing or molding a community for Baby Boomers, start with the concept of neutral. Do not confuse this with sameness. For example, when designing an indoor community space, do not assume that it will be used mostly for Bingo. Fashion it with flexibility so that it may be used for almost anything.
C H A P T E R F O U R
Give Boomers Room for Choices