For many in the baby boomer generation, kids have already flown the coop. They've moved on to college or into the workforce, often leaving parents with a big house in the suburbs. What made a great home for a growing family, however, doesn't necessarily make an ideal place for mature adults. Baby boomers are finding that their needs and interests are changing, and that means rightsizing for the next stage in their lives.
Pocket neighborhoods with quaint cottages and apartment communities are becoming more and more popular for baby boomers. People in their 50s, 60s, and older are looking for homes that are not only easy to maintain, but also provide a tight-knit sense of community.
The Trouble With Too Much Space
One of the reasons boomers are looking for a change is to simplify their lives. When they were having children or caring for other family members or pets, a big house with lots of yard space seemed ideal, even if it meant a long commute to work or the grocery store. But when children grow and other family members move on, that large house and rolling lawn can become a burden. Of course, there is the hassle of cleaning and maintaining a lot of unused space, but couples can also be paying more in property taxes, mortgages, and utilities for a big property they don't really want or need.
Many boomers have become keenly aware of how important manageable living space is as they help take care of their aging parents. Sprawling living spaces aren't often conducive to hassle-free living later in life and can actually become a serious problem if an older adult has an illness or reduced mobility over time. According to MetLife study, a quarter of adult children primarily baby boomers are providing personal care or financial assistance to their parents. These experiences are educating boomers about what changes they need to make in their own lives for a comfortable future.
Sense of Community
The homes in pocket neighborhoods and active retirement communities seem to be ideal for baby boomers because they offer private, functional living spaces in settings that promote relationships with neighbors. These communities frequently feature cottages or condos connected by sidewalks and shared yards. Many boomers find the atmosphere, where people know and look out for one another, to be similar to the close-knit neighborhoods where they grew up.
Some of these communities are being developed as new housing enclaves near city centers, while others are already established neighborhoods where boomers are moving in. Many of them offer the convenience of being close to business districts. While baby boomers were willing to commute to the grocery store or pharmacy when they lived in the suburbs, many find they prefer being within a short drive or walking distance to stores, parks, and the library when it comes to choosing a new home.
Nestled in the cultural city of Oberlin, Ohio, Kendal at Oberlin offers baby boomers active retirement living and that tight-knit sense of community they desire. See why Oberlin Ohio is such a great place for older adults to call home in this free guide!