Retirement Communities May Have to Retool to Attract Boomers

April 20, 2012 ( - Boomers pose major challenges for the future of traditional retirement communities, a study found. 

By PLANSPONSOR staff | April 20, 2012
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Baby Boomers want plenty of storage space when they retire, and they’re not giving up their WiFi or their alcohol.

Just as they’ve charged through and transformed nearly every stage of life, the never-shy Boomers are now changing the typical retirement community, according to a study by the communications firm Varsity. Demand for traditional continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) is poised to grow over the next two decades as the Boomers age, and the market will have to accommodate a generation of retirees that is highly vocal about its likes and dislikes.

"Boomers have redefined a number of consumer areas," said John Bassounas, director of client services for Varsity. "Aging and retirement itself are no exceptions. Clearly, they're not going to accept the same community where mom and dad or grandma lived, nor will they be content to sit poolside or play shuffleboard.”

During the housing boom, a glut of high-end independent living products is now decreasing real estate values. The increasing availability of home care and "aging-in-place" have created serious census issues for many traditional communities, which are having a hard time selling to the  Baby Boomers.