Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers have reached an age in which they are starting to challenge the stereotypes of retirement and what kind of home they are likely to live in as time goes by. Although the oldest members of this category will turn 70 this year, most ‘Boomers’ are still running businesses and keeping extremely active, this is a result of them being much healthier than their forebears, as well as not having enough savings put away to last another 20 or 30 years.
Their need to work is keeping this generation in cities and big towns, and well-located apartments and townhouses are more and more in demand, as are retirement villages. These facilities, for those who can afford them, are in fact also seeing a boost, especially if they have on site healthcare and frail care staff for later in life.
Another trend Baby Boomers are leading is one that includes their extended family. The soaring cost of child-care, as well as the rise in divorce and single-parenthood, is causing grandparents to put aside their retirement plans, or even to move back into the family home, to help out with the care of their grandchildren.
These new living arrangements can be beneficial to everyone in terms of shared expenses, better security and additional social and emotional support, but finding properties that will accommodate these new dynamics can be hard, and developers and designers, need to start addressing these new situations.
This can either be done by redeveloping some of the large older homes in established suburbs into ‘family estates’ with more than one dwelling on the same stand, or by building properties that will suit the entire family’s needs comfortably, while still given each individual privacy when needed.