Baby Boomers and Retirement

Studies have found that a significant number of baby boomers were upgrading to more expensive properties and some were assuming mortgages -unlike previous generations who typically downsized their homes and cashed in their equity as retirement approached. The report says 59 % of Canadian homeowners between 45 & 54 years of age and 35 % of homeowners between 55 & 64 years of age held a mortgage in 1999. In 2001 Stat Canada reported those figures had risen to 61.6% and 39.1 % an increase of 2.6 and 4.1 respectively.

As the first wave of baby boomers head into their retirement years, bigger , better and more expensive homes? Most of us work all of our lives to be mortgage free .But with low interest rates and healthy realestate markets combined with financial security ,have been in part responsible for the shift in current attitudes.The home is part of the overall investment strategy and ultimately the retirement plan.

With Canada's senior population expected to double in the next 20 years-rising to close to 7 million people,this will represent 1/3 of the population.The baby boomers are redefining retirement.

There are a number of factors, that set boomers apart from their predecessors.Today's boomers are living longer and are more active then previous generations.There planning for their golden years but don't plan to go quietly.Many of them have accumulated significant wealth-and inheritance has played a role.When it comes to boomers they are prepared to live life to the fullest and their housing choices are a direct reflection of that.

Baby Boomers the oldest of which are 58 years of age,yearn for the simplistic life.-low maintenance, security, and location are major factors driving activity. Sales in condominiums are on the upswing coast to coast.Baby boomers are going to blow the roof off retirement living.

The sedentary lifestyle, the retirement home, the desire to move all worldly possesions to small rural communities-the time has come and gone for these concepts.

The new retirement will encompass today's active lifestyle, with all future movement driven by preference, not by lifecycle events.

Highlights of the survey:

*Luxury condominiums-golf and adult lifestyle communities, secondary residences,and smaller homes in better areas are attracting this age group.

* Ageing baby boomers are moving into major centres to be close to family, friends, cultural activities and health care services.

* Not surprising bells and whistles are extremely popular a trend most evident in the renovation and restoration boom currently under way.

*Warmer communities ,Victoria, Kelowna, Niagara, and Halifax.

*Investment in the US real estate Florida, California, Arizona, has lost some of it's appeal do to the high cost of health insurance.

My closing thought is in regard to all of the individuals moving into their fifties,many of whom have great childhood memories of afternoons skiing the lake,campfires,summertime friends and spider bites at the cottage.This demograghic tidal wave is starting to have an impact on the cottage real estate market, but the real effect is yet to be felt.

Beebe Cline - Hugh & McKinnon
14007 16th Ave, White Rock, BC, V4A 1P9

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