New Hampshire, Colorado and Maine are among the best states for retirees based on cost of living, weather and quality of healthcare services, according to a recent survey by Bankrate. Alaska, West Virginia and Arkansas are among the worst.
While older adults typically move within their communities when downsizing, Bankrate found that 47% of Americans would weigh the option of moving, with higher-income households the most likely to actually do so.
The top priorities that factored into respondents' decisions to move were: cost of living (70%), healthcare quality (68%) and crime rate (67%). Those polled also considered culture and social atmosphere (54%), weather (49%), taxes (47%) and retiree population (10%).
Bankrate's report aligns with a recent trend toward increased development in the active-adult housing sector. Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies found recently that, through 2035, more than 800,000 older-adult households are forecast to move into new owned homes while another 1.6 million will likely move into rental units annually.
Highlighting this trend, the National Association of Builders' 55+ Housing Market Index rose during the fourth quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, as the baby boomer generation ages, its members are looking for smaller and more accessible units along with amenities that put social, entertainment, transportation and other resources nearby.
Developers like Minto Communities are tapping that market with projects like its new Jimmy Buffett–themed active-adult community line, which will launch in Daytona Beach, FL. It is expected to deliver roughly 7,000 homes, alongside amenities such as a resort pool, fitness center and indoor and outdoor dining.
Homebuilder D.R. Horton developed and launched its Freedom Homes line of active-adult properties after it found that the buyer segment was purchasing a sizeable portion of its entry-level inventory for want of smaller floor plans.
Still, research shows most boomers don't want to move. According to a 2014 AARP Public Policy Institute report, 87% of homeowners ages 65 and older would opt to stay in their existing home while 71% of those ages 50 to 64 said they would do the same. Similarly, a report from the Demand Institute found that just one in five boomers surveyed want to move to senior or active-adult communities.
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