If Bay Area baby boomers are echoing national demographics, they are either already enjoying retirement or are preparing for it. But for soon-to-be seniors, that word retirement has taken on some new connotations. Today’s seniors may be headed to a retirement with some major differences.
Taken as a whole, boomers remain a markedly active group — one less likely to consider a 65th birthday the end marker for their working life. Yet for those buying a home in Santa Cruz that will make their senior years as comfortable as possible, their choices are bound to differ greatly from those they’ve made in years past. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the 76-million-strong boomer generation is already registering some new preferences:
Semi-retired is the new retired. Instead of giving up on work completely, many retirement-age homeowners choose to start small home-based businesses to supplement their income (or follow up on their passions). The home office is also a fine command center for researching vacation ideas, running household affairs — or whipping up the next Great American Novel.
Big windows and superior lighting not only bring home a cheery look, but that light makes everything easier to see and navigate around. Accidental fall prevention may not be the top priority for a member of the 55-plus group who’s buying a home in Santa Cruz, but if the health statistics are correct, it ought to be a major consideration.
Chances are increasingly good that a typical boomer will live a long time, but that also means arthritis and age will come into the picture, as well. Buying a home with wider doorways and halls mean buying a home that’s potentially wheelchair-friendly!
Future retirees have an increasingly sophisticated relationship with technology, so in addition to Internet access, remote-controlled lighting and alarm systems are becoming more commonplace.