Boomers Want to Stay Home - Senior Housing Now Faces Budding Glut, Ep # 202 

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By Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® and Benjamin Brandt CFP®. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

What do you think about senior living communities? Would you want to move to one? According to a recent WSJ article, occupancy in senior housing is on the decline despite the fact that baby boomers are aging and more of these communities are springing up all over the country. In the retirement headlines segment, we’ll take a look at the reasons for this phenomenon.

But before we get to the retirement headlines I also want to share a conversation I had with a client about how to plan sales of his company stock. Make sure to listen in if you have a significant amount of stock in your company. You’ll want to hear what you should consider before selling.

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:22] Identify you pain threshold when selling company stock
  • [5:58] Boomers want to stay home
  • [10:38] Who will win?
  • [11:40] How does long-term care insurance play into this equation?
  • [13:03] Don’t forget to answer our annual listener survey!
Boomers want to stay home

It may not be a surprise to you that seniors want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. A recent WSJ article investigates these low occupancy rates in senior housing developments. People born during the Depression and World War II are moving into senior housing, but baby boomers plan to stay in their homes longer. Even though boomers would like to age in place, the oldest of this generation will start reaching their mid-80s within the next decade which is the age when many people start moving into senior housing.

Why are senior housing occupancy rates falling?

There are a couple of reasons that senior housing occupancy rates are in decline. One reason is that improved health has led to people entering senior housing later in life than in years past. People are not only living longer, but they are also staying healthier longer.

Another reason for the senior residency decline is technology. There are several new technologies that can help the elderly stay in their homes longer than in the past. Seniors can remain independent for an extended period with technologies like Uber, self-driving cars, and grocery delivery services.

The article also mentions more innovative examples of how technology can help the elderly. One example is LifePod Solutions, a voice remote monitoring platform that can identify seniors' needs and send care when needed. An architectural design firm, Gensler is using technology to redesign senior-friendly homes that can adapt to the elderly’s changing needs. Tolent Construction in the U.K. has designed a mixed-use development that includes senior-friendly homes which will allow the elderly to age in place longer. Innovation is responding to demand and creating myriad ways to help the elderly stay in their communities with friends and family for as long as possible.

Who will win?

The commercial real estate market has been betting big on the idea that aging baby boomers will be needing senior housing, but improved technology that can help the elderly stay home longer may change this reality. The beauty of capitalism is that competition will drive the best solution. I see a very bright technology-enabled future for our aging population.

How will long-term care insurance play into this equation?

With all of these improvements in technology, will our aging populous still need long-term care insurance? Or will long-term care insurance legislation need to change? One way this insurance could adapt is to allow policies to pay for home upgrades that use technology-based solutions that allow elderly homeowners to age in place. Only time will tell how the technology, real estate, and insurance industries will adapt to baby boomers’ needs.

Before you go, be sure to chime in on what you think of Retirement Starts Today by filling out our annual listener survey. I produce this show with your needs in mind and want to ensure that I am addressing the issues that you find most important. Any changes in the coming year will be based on the results of this survey, so make sure your voice is heard!

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