The largest generation is now reaching the beautiful age of retirement, and they’re challenging the traditional views on what that means. Baby boomers have hardly been typical in their housing preferences and their choice of best places in the U.S. to retire is certainly a topic of interest. So to where is this generation moving now?
A recent study by apartment search website RentCafé found baby boomers’ destinations for retirement by analyzing Census data in the 250 largest U.S. cities. The report found which zip codes are the most popular with seniors, by share, raw numbers, and 5-year increase in this specific demographic.
The Most Popular Zip Codes for Baby Boomers
The top 20 zip codes with the largest baby boomer population are dominated by New York, as Brooklyn’s 11234 lands the first position with a population of 19,450 baby boomers. Other Brooklyn zip codes take the second and fourth place and many other entries in the top. Manhattan’s 10025 appears third on the podium with 18,277 boomers.
The 1.4 million baby boomers living in NYC are almost a third of the baby boomer population in the entire state of Florida, which busts the myth that Florida is one of the best places in the U.S. for retirement. Other than these NYC zip codes, some other destinations with large populations of seniors are in Texas, specifically El Paso, Houston, and Grand Prairie.
When looking at the highest share of baby boomers, the sunnier destinations top the list. Scottsdale, AZ has a 35% share of its population made up of this demographic. It is followed by zip codes where seniors make up 30% of the total in Tucson, AZ, Amarillo, TX, and Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale, FL. Arizona has 5 zip codes where baby boomers represent the largest share, rising up to its reputation as having some of the best places in the U.S. to retire.
A lot can change in 5 years’ time, and when talking about living preferences, the cities that appeal to more and more retirees can tell us about boomers’ tendencies and predilections. Indeed, the sunnier south continues to attract more seniors, with zip codes from Texas and Arizona dominating this list.
However, the largest increase in baby boomers was registered in Las Vegas, NV, where their number rose by 79% in just 5 years. Western and Southwestern cities seem to attract more seniors, who are looking for both sunny weather and access to more amenities provided by the bigger cities. Austin, Phoenix, and Portland are all drawing in baby boomers who are ready to enjoy retirement to its fullest.
What Does This Mean?
What can this tell us about some of this generation’s preferences? While mid-sized or smaller cities are still attractive for baby boomers, many of them seem to be drawn to big cities as well.
More seniors are choosing to rent during retirement, which might be indicative of an inclination to downsize to free up more time for an active lifestyle. The industry’s tendency to cater to this generation’s specific needs, by focusing on community and neighborhood amenities, further enforces this idea. Having the opportunity to engage in activities with your neighbors creates a sense of belonging to a community.
Renter or homeowner, location is still very important, and this analysis indicates that as well. Being close to public transportation or within walking distance of grocery shops, healthcare facilities, restaurants, and entertainment venues are considered a strong plus for baby boomers when they choose their next home, be it in a quaint little town or in the heart of a bustling city.
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Have you settled on where you want to retire yet? What U.S. cities come to mind? Please leave a comment below.
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