You would be wrong to think that horizontal has anything to do with ‘lying down’ for the new breed of retiree. Retirement in the future will have less to do with winding down and more to do with gearing up.
The Silent Generation were happy to sit back and relax, spend more time in the garden or on the golf course and made the move out of the city to the coast or the countryside to enjoy their perfect retirement. But their children, the Baby Boomers have quite a different retirement in mind. Many cannot wait for the magic 65 to come along when they are determined to start ticking off their long list of things to do and places to go. Indeed some retirees will even start a whole new business venture with their newly won freedom from employment.
We may all be living longer, but length of life and quality of life is not the same thing.
The retiree of the future is technology savvy and he, and she, will most certainly retain access to all levels of information channels which have become an integral part of their lives both at work and at play. Fitness trackers and smart apps will not be buried in drawers they will continue to be used and updated. The thirst for information will thrive as more free time is filled with searching out great deals on travel destinations. Whether it’s a short city trip, a month overseas or an off road experience, life is an adventure to be enjoyed.
It is a rule of the market, when the customer changes the product has to change too.
Staying in the family home when one retires may sound attractive but often it is not the preferred option. Maintenance, security, rates and costs associated with appliance renewals put an unpredictable burden on retiree finances. In retirement, the Silent Generation replicated their family home choosing a single story cottage style house, of course with garden, in a retirement area or village. In the Baby Boomer generation the term ‘lock up and go’ cannot be over emphasised, their needs are different, a hassle free, chic apartment in a central location is top of the list and they may well choose small over expansive for a place in their preferred area.
Retirement developments of the future are certain to look very different, indeed in Australia some already do as an increasing number of high rise apartment blocks are being dedicated in part or wholly to retirees, and these are in inner city prime spots. So called Vertical Living is not new, so why should we ponder the solution for retirees? Especially when so many will be using it as a base in early retirement years from which to explore and travel. When travelling becomes less attractive as one ages, vertical retirement living can easily provide just the amenities and services the Baby Boomers and perhaps their children are looking for. Think multi-media, interactive gyms, virtual reality experiences and surround sound cinemas. Apartments in vertical developments can be technically equipped to provide residents with everything from health monitoring to computer generated ‘mind games’, all vital to retain or improve mental fitness.
Horizontal Retirement villages will not fade away, but they too will adapt to the new generation of active residents and could look at redeveloping areas of garden space to build small integrated vertical retirement units.