Fully 88% of Americans age 55+ want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Roughly half of these homeowners are are also "open" to "sharing" their homes (that is renting rooms). (Silvernest)
NH: We often write about Boomers’ aversion to institutional living. Instead of settling down in large-scale retirement communities, many prefer to “age in place.” (See "The Death of Senior Housing.")
Now a Silvernest survey of homeowners ages 55-85 puts numbers to this trend.
What did the survey find? 79% of respondents are actively planning to remain in their homes as they age. And only 36% are considering moving to a retirement home.
Unfortunately, Silvernest does not give change over time comparisons. But it's clear "aging in place" is vastly more popular than retirement communities.
The survey also found that 44% of respondents were open to home-sharing. 80% believe extra income would be the most significant advantage.
However, only 10% have actually "lived in a home-sharing situation." IMO, this is a trend that could catch on with Boomers. It allows them to earn extra money, gain companionship, and receive help with chores.
Retailers are certainly responding to this "aging in place" phenomenon. Lowe’s (LOW) has recently joined forces with AARP for the “Lowe’s Livable Home” campaign. The initiative aims to help seniors outfit their houses with everything from wheelchair ramps to shower handrails.
And as we have written in the past, Boomers have turned home improvement into a hot market over the last decade. This momentum is unlikely to fade anytime soon. (See "Why Americans Are Spending More On Home Improvement.")
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ABOUT NEIL HOWE
Neil Howe is a renowned authority on generations and social change in America. An acclaimed bestselling author and speaker, he is the nation's leading thinker on today's generations—who they are, what motivates them, and how they will shape America's future.
A historian, economist, and demographer, Howe is also a recognized authority on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migration. He is a senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., where he helps direct the CSIS Global Aging Initiative.
Howe has written over a dozen books on generations, demographic change, and fiscal policy, many of them with William Strauss. Howe and Strauss' first book, Generations is a history of America told as a sequence of generational biographies. Vice President Al Gore called it "the most stimulating book on American history that I have ever read" and sent a copy to every member of Congress. Newt Gingrich called it "an intellectual tour de force." Of their book, The Fourth Turning, The Boston Globe wrote, "If Howe and Strauss are right, they will take their place among the great American prophets."
Howe and Strauss originally coined the term "Millennial Generation" in 1991, and wrote the pioneering book on this generation, Millennials Rising. His work has been featured frequently in the media, including USA Today, CNN, the New York Times, and CBS' 60 Minutes.
Previously, with Peter G. Peterson, Howe co-authored On Borrowed Time, a pioneering call for budgetary reform and The Graying of the Great Powers with Richard Jackson.
Howe received his B.A. at U.C. Berkeley and later earned graduate degrees in economics and history from Yale University.