“Let us be lovers we’ll marry our fortunes together…..I’ve got some real estate here in my bag. So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner’s pies…and we walked off to look for America.” This unusual lyric (note: it does not rhyme) begins the song “America” by Simon and Garfunkel.
Written in 1968, it described the whimsical nature of the boomer generation that had set out in search of a more fulfilling and meaningful life. The lyric suggests, for many, there was no real roadmap or anticipated destination.
There are now approximately 76 million baby boomers now trying to chart the rest of their lives, mostly empty nesters and retired or semi-retired. Interestingly, many polls have discovered this generation in many ways is still confused as they were growing up.
They are almost statistically equally divided when it comes to deciding which retirement lifestyle they want to pursue. Half are anxious to abandon the empty nest and head for urban condominiums (me). They are attracted by the opportunities to be within walking or biking distance to special events, farmers markets, entertainment, dining and the arts. Additional urban attractions include access to healthcare facilities and other services.
While half are looking to enjoy an urban lifestyle, the other half (my wife) longs for a more relaxed, suburban or rural lifestyle with a little land, garden and room to run the dog. They have deferred their dream homes while the kids have gone to school and now they are faced with important choices about how they will live going forward.
By 2030 20% of all Americans will be over the age of 65. These boomers will be on the move facing difficult choices about where to live and how they will live. And the good news is…..you will be there to help them make these important decisions. As they go searching for their dream home destination, buy them a Mrs. Wagner pie and help our baby boomers find their “America”.
John C. Little, Jr.
Community Affairs Director
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