Boomers Plan to Move in Retirement as Housing Market Stabilizes

As home prices recover, baby boomers say they are more likely now than in the past five years to sell their homes and move in retirement, and many plan to move in retirement anyway, according to a Better Homes and Gardens survey of the 49 to 67 population.  

The findings are somewhat contrary to often quoted research from AARP indicating the majority of Americans wish to age in place, as the results show 57% of baby boomers plan to move out of their current homes. 

While the respondents, 1,000 Americans aged 49 to 67, said they wish not to be restrained by planned retirement communities, more than a quarter, or 27% said they would most likely move to a traditional retirement community such as a 55+ exclusive neighborhood. 


“With approximately 77 million Boomers in the U.S., it’s quite significant for our industry to see that this population has so much positive anticipation for the home in which they will be retiring—and for the majority, their aspirations involve making a move,” said Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. “Baby Boomers are known for being a hardworking, trailblazing generation. As they have done with every other major life event, they are marching head-on into retirement with big plans and no desire to change pace. Our study shows that Boomers continue to surprise with nuances of what they care about and what they are prioritizing.”

The survey also found baby boomers are much more likely to sell their homes today in light of a rising real estate environment, with 31% more reporting they are more likely to want to sell their home now than they were five years ago. 

 They are also largely more confident about achieving their ideal retirement lifestyle, Better Homes & Gardens Reports, the top factor for which is haven a retirement lifestyle plan. 

“This mindset shows us that, for Boomers getting ready to retire, there’s more to it than solely saving money in the bank,” said Chris. “To have the utmost confidence in their retirement plan, this generation is actively planning a comprehensive lifestyle plan, taking into account the type of home and community they want to live in, as well as the option of continuing to work or taking advantage of travel and entertainment opportunities.”

Additional findings of the survey showed 46% of baby boomers plan to work part time in retirement, 42% said low maintenance home features topped the list of considerations for their next move, and 72% say they wish to retire in the same state in which they live currently. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • The inane idea that the purpose of the HECM is to age in place is further exposed above. As stated in a previous comment, the general assumption of all mortgages except bridge mortgages is that the homeowner will live in the home for a significant period of time. So either a HECM is a typical mortgage with that expectation or it is not.

    However, a more important issue is when will we stop hearing this excuse and that excuse for why H4Ps have done so poorly over the last five years? Last year the reasoning was that the past is the past and has no bearing on the future. So now that we are in the future, it seems historical trends once again proved out with less than 2,100 H4P endorsements for either fiscal or calendar year 2013.

    A new HECM mortgagee recently declared that they would be in the top 3 in the industry by early 2016 and one of key ingredients in their secret sauce would be their emphasis on H4Ps. One industry vet mocked that prediction saying he had marked that date on his calendar and then went on to say that others entering our industry had claimed such goals with similar hubris only to find they did not understand the HECM marketplace.

    If the new HECM mortgagee expects to get into the top 3 HECM endorsers by 2016 with a high emphasis on H4Ps, they are doomed to failure. To date H4P endorsements are an industry-wide embarrassment. H4Ps have yet to reach even 4% of total endorsements for any fiscal or calendar year and yet the last five years have been a time of greatly suppressed HECM endorsements. Will H4Ps reach 2,500 this year? Not the way this year is starting out.
    There is a high probability H4Ps will not reach even 2,000 endorsements this fiscal year.

    I hope some of the H4P ultra optimists respond. I need something to laugh about in this dismal market. Most of us are looking to 2015 as a year out of transition and into significant growth, although….

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