Retirement in the Face of an Industrial Evolution

08/01/2019 - Blog

Building for Baby Boomers, the changing face of retirement.

Over the last couple of posts we have explored trends in the use of real estate in this Industrial Evolution; an evolution in how people interact and engage with real estate as we progress past the Internet age.

One trend influencing the Industrial Evolution in a big way is our aging population. Indeed, Baby Boomers will change the face of retirement, much as they have fundamentally changed society in their time. While many Boomers plan to remain in traditional housing, many more will transition into some sort of active adult retirement community.

QuoteSenior housing types and locations will be driven by the ability for seniors to have access to:

  • Better quality accommodations
  • More amenities and recreation, and
  • More choice in cost levels and services

In other words, lifestyle.

How do you design an active adult retirement community that will appeal to Baby Boomers? Let’s look at key ways senior housing differs from traditional retirement homes.

1. Better quality accommodations

Attention to detail is much more important with a senior housing community than your standard multifamily project. Boomers know what they want and appreciate quality in fittings and fixtures.

Using special touches like rounded edges on counter tops and increased lighting levels will help meet their needs and keep them safe. These finishes are not more expensive, but are often left out by designers more familiar with traditional multifamily projects.

2. More amenities and activities

Amenities are another way evolving senior housing differs from traditional retirement homes. Cafeterias are OUT! Retiring Boomers will not tolerate cafeterias or bland and calming designs. Today’s retirees want access to stimulating activities, preventive healthcare, and quality nutritional options that improve their lives.

Although designing larger amenity and wellness spaces helps attract residents, they also drive up costs and reduce the amount of space for rentable units. A balance must be struck that will appeal to lenders as well as potential residents.

3. More choice in cost levels and services

While many active adult retirement communities come with premium prices, there is a very real need to provide choice in costs and levels of services for an aging middle class. The market is changing, moving away from offering only bundled services, where accommodation, activities, transport, and meals are all included in the rent. More communities are allowing residents to choose what they want to pay for. This helps residents get what they want while addressing any financial limitations.


Although the Baby Boomer generation desires independence above nearly all other factors, a growing number will look to active adult retirement communities to transition to the next stage of their lives. Rather than sterile, nondescript retirement homes, today’s retirees want an active and engaged lifestyle. They want opportunities to grow and learn as they transition from active employment into an active retirement.

This generation of retirees want:

  • Better quality accommodations
  • More amenities and recreation
  • More choice in cost levels and services

According to Robert Kramer of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care, “The scale and scope of potential change for housing an aging population is breathtaking.”

With services running the gamut, including architecture and design, engineering, property condition assessments, and construction loan monitoring, EBI Consulting can help you adapt to the newest wave of retirees. We work with you to understand your needs and create customized scopes of work that fit your goals for your retirement community.

Be part of the change! Contact EBI Consulting today to find out how we can help you with your active adult retirement community!


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