Baby boomers are increasingly headed to the city instead of the retirement home, according to a new report by the Urban Land Institute.
Still, more than half of those 65 and over live in the ‘burbs, and the sprawl is growing grayer as many older Americans are choosing not to leave and the youth are mostly choosing not to come. But:
Many who are able to move are choosing urban locations — both cities and suburban “town centers” — where they can be close to grown children, friends, work, public transportation, and health care. “Leading-edge boomers will not settle gracefully into quiet retirement and move into traditional seniors housing communities for years, if they ever do,” [says report author and ULI fellow John K. McIlwain].
Instead, more of them are choosing college towns (to “enjoy on-campus activities”) and cohousing.
The report also “suggests ‘greening’ of existing [senior] communities to appeal to younger residents as well as investors, while reducing operational costs.”
But existing communities are so old. Why have old things when we can have new ones? This is America, damnit! So last month U.S. housing construction jumped 15 percent — as if more housing stock were what we needed here. New momentum in the construction of new homes might help meet these new demands, if they weren’t all stuccoed exurban one-story ranches.