What do boomers want?
A new survey by the Consumer Federation of the Southeast examines what people older than 47 are thinking about as they contemplate retirement planning, what to do and where to live during their retirement years.
Here are the top 10 things this survey found this 78 million-strong population wants the most:
- Top-quality health care -- 96 percent.
- Affordable housing -- 92 percent. Some 59 percent said they'd like to buy a different home.
- A "warm and welcoming climate" -- 86 percent, with 62 percent adding they'd like some cooler months.
- Low state and local taxes -- 81 percent.
- Affordable recreational opportunities -- 80 percent, with 75 percent saying availability of arts and cultural opportunities is especially important.
- Good services for seniors -- 75 percent.
- Small- to medium-size community -- 70 percent.
- Close to an ocean or other big water -- 60 percent.
- Proximity to a university or other lifetime learning opportunity -- 50 percent.
- A community that welcomes diversity -- 50 percent.
About 36 percent of this group say their income in retirement will be a combination of pension, Social Security and savings. So far, their savings accounts don't appear to be very fat, but more than 63 percent of this group are younger than 56, so they have a long way to go before they hang up their work boots.
Here's how much these boomers say they have saved so far:
- Less than $100,000 -- 39 percent.
- $100,000-$249,999 -- 14 percent.
- $250,000-$499,999 -- 7 percent.
- More than $500,000 -- 14 percent.
- Not sure or refused to answer -- 26 percent.
This list reinforces the obvious -- we boomers were born and lived our lives in a crowd. Now we are going to get old in a crowd. There are unlimited business opportunities here for those with the imagination, drive and energy to provide the services we will demand and support.