Rethinking Housing, Boomer Style


There’s no question the Boomers are reimagining every aspect of retirement, as we’ve discussed extensively in previous posts. One of the biggest factors is where and how to live, since, unlike prior generations, there’s no assumption that they will simply retire, sit back, and relax in the home they’ve always owned.

According to The Power Years by aging expert Ken Dychtwald, a Del Webb survey indicates nearly two-thirds of Boomers — 59 percent — plan to relocate after leaving their primary careers. Ten percent even plan to purchase a second home. Clearly, many Boomers view retirement as a time to expand, not contract. And they embody a wanderlust that characterized their coming-of-age in the 1960s — a nomadic state of mind which they’ve never lost, and now embrace with fervor.

So in facilitating your younger reverse mortgage prospects with their housing options, release the images of both staying put and of a golf course in Florida or Arizona, advises Dychtwald, now 62 and hardly the image of a “retiree”; while these states still top the list of places to move as Boomers age, many other locations, including Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Maine, hold allure. How to find the best combination of weather, opportunities, affordable housing and leisure? Interactive websites such as Find Your Spot and Best Places allow people to mix a number of criteria, then offer suggestions of the best places to settle in the power years.

Another idea is theme communities. Dychtwald cites examples of one couple who relocated to a horseback riding ranch, and notes that there are also one focused on the arts, fitness, gardening, and ecology. Some people are opting for intergenerational communities in which elders play an active role, but unlike “retirement villages”, such communities are not off-limits to the younger set.

College towns are popular for the mix of culture, walkability and affordable housing they usually provide. If one of your reverse mortgage clients has strong ties to his or her alma mater, this might be an excellent suggestion of a place to seek a primary or secondary residence for their power years.

Some people will not relinquish the city for anything, so if this is your prospect, perhaps they’d like the reverse of typical retirement housing: a primary city residence and a sometime-home in the country, rather than the other way around.

Whatever constitutes your Boomer reverse mortgage prospects’ ideal homestead for the Third Act, supporting their shifting perspective will help cement a sound relationship as you discover how to best serve their evolving needs.


J. Burgess kegan December 18, 2012 at 11:48 am

Amara, I just finished reading your blog and was moved to contact you just to tell you how much I have enjoyed your writing and thoughts. I have read your pieces in the past and look forward to more. Keep up the good work!

Amara Rose December 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Burgess ~

I’m delighted to know these blog posts are serving you! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and enjoy them, and for writing to say you look forward to more. We’re here to help make your work as a reverse mortgage professional as productive as possible!

Blessings and happy holidays,

Bill Danner December 19, 2012 at 7:15 am

Amara, have you considered a compliation of your blogs that could be used as a sales aid?

Amara Rose December 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

Hi Bill,

You mean like an eBook? That’s a great idea! I’ll discuss it with the Reverse Focus team after the holidays.

Thanks for thinking beyond the box, and have a wonderful new year.



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