Lynda Smith is the CEO of 50+ Skills and Refirement Network – a business involved in helping organisations and Individuals 50+ to understand the opportunities and challenges that the future holds for this demographic group. She is an accredited retirement coach in South Africa through Retirement Options USA.
“Longevity gifts us with more years and choices that need to be made around life, work, and family. In our parents’ generation the establishment of “old age” homes and nursing facilities were a choice many made as part of their plan beyond their working life. The next generation, known to many as the baby boomers are now aged 56 to 74. They have many more options and choices. Let’s look at what these may be. In many cases, two generations will be living side by side, but may have quite different needs.
- Current Old Age homes that have large numbers of residents 75-100
- New Life Rights type villages with cottages and apartments.
- New Sectional Title Villages for an Over 50 Market.
- Choosing to stay in an inter-generational community close to family.
- Remaining in your own home and bringing in services as you need them.
- Downsizing from your larger home into something smaller.
This new generation is larger in size and is currently being bombarded with many choices. This generational group has seen the world change greatly over their 56-74 years of life. Each shared cultural moment affected their values, beliefs, and mindsets—creating new generational ideals different from their parents in the Silent Generation. Values like individualism, independence, control, and value define their thinking. Many in this generation are familiar with the concept of “old age” homes as they helped their parents make these decisions and have engaged over the past 20 years in what this model offers. Some of these perceptions may be positive, but many may not be. This can have an impact on sales into this style of living looking to market to the next generation.
Some of the marketing messages that are key for this generation can include the following:
- Health and Wellness facilities
- Reliable Fibre Network Solutions
- Choices around equity and growth of property
- Customized services and personalisation.
- Care services in their homes on demand
- Business services
- Close location to great shopping centres and medical facilities
- Remaining an active part of the larger community
Within this cohort of baby boomers, the needs will differ. The older group may align more easily with some of the current status quo, but the younger group will demand much more as they enter this market. Managing agents and developers need to be prepared for this potential market.
The challenges from the market are also varied and causing other challenges that need to be addressed. The sale of primary homes is taking longer, and prices have dropped. Sadly, this is the most divorced generation ever to enter this season of life and many cannot afford that current offering. Many have not managed to complete work to the age of 65 for a variety of reasons and this presents less money to invest for this season. High levies could also be impacting a sale.
There are challenges on both sides of this opportunity and developers and owners of retirement homes, need to do deep research to ensure that there are a range of possibilities that meet the needs of the current market. Please also ensure that your sales teams are equipped and ready to deal with this new generation coming your way. Individuals need to understand the different opportunities, ask the right questions, and make sound decisions to ensure that this season of life is filled with the best that life has to offer for them.”
The development of retirement villages is a specialist field and Shire consultants complete the standard professional team of developers who are planning or executing new retirement developments. Click here for details of projects that Shire has contributed to.