Are Boomers Eager to Relive Their College Days?
No doubt, many boomers would like to turn back the clock and relive their college years. But there also are boomers who would prefer to be the age they are now and live in a college-affiliated community so they can continue to learn.
In one of the first surveys of its kind, 233 respondents ages 55-75 said that they liked the idea of living on a college campus in their retirement years.
In addition, 58% said they would like to live on or near a small college town campus; 62% said they would be “very interested” in taking courses together with traditional college students; and 46% said they preferred to own their own home in a college-affiliated community.
“In 20 years, there will be 70 million people over age 65 living in the U.S., and retirement lifestyles will be radically different from today,” said Gerard Badler, general manager of Campus Continuum, of Newton, Mass., which conducted the survey. Campus Continuum develops, markets and operates university-branded active adult communities that are integrated with their academic hosts.
Badler said there currently are only about 20 closely integrated campus-based communities across the country. He has spent the past several years crisscrossing the country meeting with college administrators and boards and said that the idea of campus-based communities for active adults was gaining popularity.
According to the survey results:
- 58% of the respondents prefer to live in a small college town, 37% prefer a suburban area and 28% prefer a city. (Note: Respondents were allowed to choose more than one location preference).
- 46% are willing to move more than 100 miles to their preferred college destination. 27% would move more than 500 miles.
- More than a third of the respondents said they would be interested in retiring to a university with which they had no prior affiliation (as an alum, faculty member, donor, etc.).
- 45% said they would want to live in a community that was less than two miles from the main campus; 25% would live 2-5 miles from campus; and 22% would live 5-10 miles away. Only 2% insisted that they would only live in a community that was directly on campus.
- 64% said they were interested in volunteering on campus ― as tutors, mentors, part-time lecturers, museum guides, etc.
- 52% said they were very interested in volunteering off campus — at elementary schools, libraries, hospitals, etc.
- When asked at what age they would seriously consider moving into a college retirement community; 32% said 61-65; 23% said 66-70; and 16% said 56-60.
- 58% of respondents indicated they had a master’s degree or higher level of education.
Find Out What Boomers Want
"Boomers on the Horizon: Housing Preferences of the 55+ Market,” available through BuilderBooks.com, outlines characteristics of 55+ households and will show you the statistically significant differences in their preferences.
You’ll learn the shopping practices, opinions and attitudes of these customers.
Based on a study conducted by the NAHB Economics Department with funding from the Seniors Housing Council, this book provides convincing evifdence that boomers are on the verge of drastically changing the home building industry.
The book is currently on sale, at 50% off.
To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.
Plan to Atend the 50+ Housing Symposium
Mark your calendar for the 2007 50+ Housing Symposium. The 2007 seminar will be held May 30-June 1 in Denver. For more information, visit www.nahb.org/build4boomers.