Magazine article The Futurist

Baby Boomers' New Retirement Ideas

Magazine article The Futurist

Baby Boomers' New Retirement Ideas

Article excerpt

The first wave of the baby-boom generation--people born between 1946 and 1964--is now pioneering new ways to retire.

Stephen Golant, a noted authority on housing for the aged, says that boomers, healthier and more active than their parents were at retirement age, are generally shunning nursing homes in favor of other housing options. Many are choosing to remain in the same houses they've been living in--a trend prompted not only by improved health but also by delayed retirement tied to rising eligibility ages for Social Security.

"Very little attention has been paid to the younger and more active older adult population for most of the past decade," says Golant, a University of Florida professor appointed by the U.S. Congress to study housing and long-term care needs of older Americans. "Instead, the dominant emphasis has been on the frail and vulnerable elders, who have to deal with declines in their abilities to live independently and who sometimes require group housing options, such as congregate living, assisted living, and continuing-care communities.

"We need a new language to describe where older people live that reflects the much more positive image older people have of themselves--even those with chronic health problems and physical impairments," Golant says. To reflect the changes, Golant proposes several new terms.

* DOUERs (pronounced dooers), or deliberately occupied but unplanned elder residences, are the growing number of townhouses, apartment buildings, subdivisions, neighborhoods, towns, communities, and even small cities that are attracting an increasing share of older Americans. …

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