World age demographics are changing rapidly, and the senior housing market has been hard pressed to keep up. Today, there are nearly 550 million people over the age of 60 worldwide. By 2050, this number will increase nearly fourfold to about 2 billion. What does that mean for the demand for independent senior housing? Should you invest in a retirement community now, or hope to take advantage of the boom?
The senior housing market has become increasingly competitive, which is both positive and negative for retirees and those on the cusp of retirement. On the upside, there are going to be more facilities than ever to choose from. On the downside, it may become more difficult to get into them due to greater demand.
Among the biggest concerns for organizations building senior housing is to create facilities that improve quality of life while lowering costs. As independent senior housing facilities require that residents self-pay, lowering costs is an especially important challenge. In addition, residents expect improved healthcare services and a wider variety of senior living activities like fitness classes and continuing education courses.
Most senior housing residents today are members of the Silent Generation born between 1920 and 1940. This generation’s needs, wants, and expectations for senior housing are dramatically different from those of the Baby Boom generation. Baby Boomers are able to retire later, in part due to better health, but also lack of retirements savings. Senior housing communities are preparing for this new wave of retirees with renovations, reinvigorated health and fitness programs, and superior meal options.
If it’s been awhile since you last toured a senior housing community, it may be time for a second look. With the demand for senior housing on the rise, it’s best to secure your place now to prepare for the future.