The two biggest demographic groups are millennials and boomers. Millennials deservedly get the lion’s share of attention – they are the future! But boomers also deserve a look-see because we have historically broken down barriers and approached everything in our lives in unconventional ways. So now, as many approach retirement age, it will be fascinating to see how boomers redefine – and transition to their next lifestage.
As a Boomer, here’s what I’m keeping an eye on:
I have never considered leaving NYC as I got older. And that may be the fault of my good friend, Bruce Bromley (pic upper right), who told me years ago that New York City was the best retirement community in the world. From his (and my) perspective, NYC is perfect because you can live in a building with a doorman, you can have everything delivered, you don’t need a car, doctors and hospitals are nearby and you have easy access to the finest cultural and learning institutions in the world. You also have a much better chance of mingling with a wide network of friends who have diverse interests and span a wide age range – key to happiness for me!
And clearly, Bruce was onto something. We’re seeing more older Americans settling in urban, vibrant neighborhoods e.g. West Asheville vs. retirement subdivisions or homes on golf courses.
Walkability is a huge factor as is easy access to new restaurants, cool shops and cultural and lifelong learning options. This new paradigm is often found in existing neighborhoods from Brooklyn to San Francisco to Reston, Va., to newer developments like The Lofts at McKinley in downtown Phoenix.
Read on below for how start ups are also starting to focus on products for older adults as well as what we can anticipate in America over the next 20 or 30 years as senior citizens begin to outnumber children.
Brookdale, the country’s largest owner of retirement communities, has been inviting entrepreneurs to move in to their facilities for a few days, show off their products and hear what the residents have to say. New products have included specially designed clothing that allows people with disabilities to dress and undress themselves.
NPR tracks the experience of Dayle Rodriguez, 28, who works for SentabTV, which enables older adults who may not be comfortable with computers to access email, video chat and social media using just their televisions and a remote control. What he discovered is that older people are more tech-savvy than his company thought. For example, 93-year old Mary Lou Busch, has a computer and talks to her family on FaceTime. She also has an iPad and a smart phone. So SentabTV was not for her!!
Yikes: We’re Getting So Old – by 2030, senior citizens will begin to outnumber children, this is uncharted territory for America
POLITICO recently invited a group of experts to Washington and asked them to look deep into the future, identifying trends that will challenge or revolutionize health care in coming decades.
Pretty grim outlook with many intractable problems. Worth reading the transcript here.