When it comes to houses, retiring baby boomers aren't ready to settle. They might not want a big house, but they still want a home with plenty of bells and whistles -- and they don't want to share -- according to a couple of recent surveys. One survey comes from major developer Pulte Homes, which builds Del Webb's over-55 communities, and another comes from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.
Better Homes and Gardens asked baby boomers between the ages of 49 and 67 if their retirement planning included moving to a different home, and 57 percent said yes. Of those, 39 percent said they preferred a rural community for their retirement residence. A traditional over-55 retirement community was the second choice, with 27 percent making that pick. Almost as many, 26 percent, said they wanted to live in or near a city. Only 8 percent picked lifestyle communities like those built around a golf course. Some 25 percent plan to own two homes in retirement.
Pulte says 28 percent of people between the ages of 55 and 59 think the next time they buy a house, it will be much smaller than their current one and all on one floor. In 2013, the average price that boomer buyers paid Del Webb for their 2,200-square-foot "smaller" two-bedroom, two-bath, den and two-car-garage homes was $302,000, with buyer options and luxury upgrades representing 20 percent of the total. This isn't grandma's retirement home -- at least, not my grandma's.
Despite frequently published lists of great places to retire, most boomers don't plan to move very far. Of those who told Better Homes and Gardens they planned to move at all, some 72 percent said they don't expect to leave the state where they live now.
But that doesn't mean they want the kids living in the basement. About 83 percent said other generations of their family aren't welcome to move into their new, smaller, but plush, retirement palaces.
We read frequently about boomers who are worried about their ability to retire, but some clearly don't have those concerns.