The majority of boomers would prefer to age in their current home, but a new report finds that the biggest factor that could sway their decision to uproot would be finding a home that better fosters independent living.
AARP recently concluded its comprehensive “Livability for All: The 2016 AARP Age-Friendly Community Survey” report, which surveyed residents age 50 and older in 11 metros across the country about the features of their current housing, the importance of community features, and the need gaps between present conditions and preferences. The survey drills down into “eight domains of livability” the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified as being key to the quality of life of older adults, and to help cities “prepare for the rapid aging of populations and the increase in urbanization” as droves of baby boomers retire in the coming years.”
We’ll be highlighting different portions of the survey results for a total of 14 metros, but note that three of those metros (Philadelphia, Washington County, and West Sacramento) surveyed residents age 45 and older, thus dipping into the Gen X population.
There is a clear dichotomy between what the boomer heart wants and what the boomer heart needs in terms of housing. In every market, 80% or more of all survey respondents considered it important to stay in their own home as they age. Boomers living in Houston, Texas; Lansing, Mich.; and Tallahassee, Fla.; are most adamant about aging-in-place, with the highest share of respondents (87%) preferring the option than any other market. When asked if they would be “unlikely to move to a different home in the same community,” or “unlikely to move to a different home in a different community,” the share of respondents that are completely adverse to the idea varies greatly, even within one state. The majority of residents surveyed (higher than 60%) in both Dallas and Fort Worth don’t think it’s likely they’ll be moving to a different home any time soon–within their current community or in a different community. In contrast, boomers surveyed in San Antonio and Brownsville are much more open to the idea of moving in general, with 10% of the population reporting a move “unlikely” within their current or a different community.