Provision Living’s peek into what Americans want from retirement can provide food for thought for other providers, too.
The St. Louis-based assisted living and memory care community operator, which has locations in four states — Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri — recently asked 2,000 people about their dream retirements. Findings suggest areas for further research and potential action.
1. Operators who are prepared may find success courting younger prospects.
Retirement communities that can appeal to adults at an earlier age may find a larger prospect pool. Baby boomers, who are turning 54 to 72 in 2018, have an average dream retirement age of 64, whereas millennials, turning approximately 14 to 36 to in 2018, said they hoped to retire at age 56.
2. Warmer climates continue to be a draw.
For 78.7% of survey participants, that dream retirement means continuing to live in the United States (but if not, Italy was the top foreign draw).
And perhaps not surprisingly, many respondents said their No. 1 choice of retirement city was someplace sunny and warm. Miami topped the list of retirement destinations, followed by San Diego, Denver, New York City and Orlando, FL. The rest of the top 20? Honolulu; Los Angeles; Portland, OR; San Francisco; Seattle; Dallas; Las Vegas; Austin, TX; Houston; Tampa, FL; Boulder, CO; Charleston, SC; Sarasota, FL; Nashville, TN; and Asheville, NC.
3. Bigger may be better in the future.
When they get there, respondents said their ideal retirement home will be a one-story ranch in a coastal or beach setting. Baby boomers said they would prefer a 1,510-square-foot living space, and millennials said their home’s optimal square footage would be 1,890.
4. More affordable middle-market senior housing may be needed.
That’s because overall, 39% of respondents said they won’t be financially secure enough to live in retirement without Social Security.
Baby boomers told Provision that, ideally, retirement savings should be $574,000, although they said they expected to have saved an average of $276,000 by retirement. Millennials said that ideal retirement savings should be $687,000, although as many as 43% of them have less than $5,000 in their retirement accounts now.
5. Communities must be ready to accommodate residents who work or volunteer.
Overall, 53% of survey respondents said that they plan to work part time when they retire, and 68% said they plan to volunteer, although Provision did not specify for how many years into retirement participants thought they would do so.
Twenty-seven percent of survey participants said they would consider working as dog-walkers through apps such as Wag or Rover in retirement, and 12% said they would consider driving for a ride-hailing service such as Uber or Lyft.
6. The ideal retirement is multifaceted.
When asked how they wanted to spend the majority of their time when they retired, 34.9% said they wanted to travel, 20.8% said they wanted to spend their time with family and 14.3% said they just wanted to relax.
The ideal retirement day, according to respondents, would include seven to eight hours of sleeping, three to four hours of leisure activity, two to three hours of socializing, two to three hours working on hobbies, one to two hours of TV-watching and one to two hours of dining out.
Read more about the survey here.