How To Stay Surrounded with Activity for Active Adults

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Baby Boomers have changed everything. Now, as they enter or near retirement, they hold the promise of further altering the already changing perspective of what it means to be retired-a project that today’s seniors began years ago. Together, young seniors and Baby Boomers are carefully crafting an image that could be called the “anti-senior.”

Seniors are seeking more active lifestyles throughout retirement. Many have no plans to retire at 55 or even at 65, and even more will continue to work part-time. Others see retirement as a time to fully explore heretofore neglected hobbies, interests, and second (or third or fourth) careers.

Destination retirements are becoming increasingly popular with individuals seeking warmer climates, lower costs of living, or a return to an area that holds nostalgic ties. Remaining close to family and friends is vital to other retirees who may want to move to a newer or smaller home but who are not willing to leave their immediate community.

Active adult communities seek to meet the needs of younger seniors and Baby Boomers by providing environments in which individuals can enjoy the many amenities of a community lifestyle. Communities are often adjacent to golf courses or other recreational facilities. Tennis courts, spas, swimming pools, hiking trails, biking and jogging paths, and fitness centers are among the many features generally available in active adult communities.

Homes in these communities are constructed of low-maintenance building materials and feature virtually maintenance-free yards. The principles of universal design are followed in the construction of the properties. Universally designed homes provide open and barrier-free living spaces that are easily accessible. Open floor plans allow individuals to age comfortably in place and make life easier and safer for even the most able.

Having changed every phase of life as they passed through it, it is not surprising that Baby Boomers are set to alter the very meaning of retirement. Active Adult communities promise to play a major role in this reinvention of retirement. Because of the many amenities and features they provide, active adult communities are becoming a lifestyle choice for Boomers who want to relocate from their family homes.

The desire to move during retirement is strong according to the 2005 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey, which states, “Among younger Boomers, ages 41-49, 59% of respondents plan to buy a new retirement home, while 50% of those older Boomers ages 50-59 intend to do likewise.” The survey goes on to note that 66% of older Boomers indicate that they would be willing to move to enjoy a better community lifestyle. 54% were seeking warmer climates.

However, survey participants seemed reluctant to stray too far. Staying within three hours of family members was a primary consideration for those seeking to move during retirement.

The amenities offered at active adult communities will be particularly appealing to Boomers, who, according to a study completed by Del Webb, are more excited about retirement and motivated to make the most of it. One of the primary reasons for this excitement is a desire to pursue other interests. The study found that 62% of Boomers are looking forward to traveling, 42% want to spend more time with friends and loved ones, and the same number are planning to exercise more. 37% of Boomers plan to spend their time volunteering. In addition, of those surveyed, 33% look forward to taking up a hobby, 29% are seeking the opportunity to acquire new skills, and 25% intend to take classes.

As the Boomers’ retirement to do list grows, they are looking for communities that can serve their changing needs. Active adult communities offer a carefree lifestyle and a long list of amenities for Boomers and young seniors who are busy re-visioning retirement; they see nothing but possibilities.

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