21st Century Retirement
A far cry from the previous nursing home model, today’s Baby Boomers are taking a page from their grandchildren’s playbook. With the rising cost of living and long term care insurance, these senior citizens are also learning to live their best with less. Technology has enabled the latest retirees to do just that. While yesterday’s elderly Americans went into assisted living centers and paid untold senior living costs to sit all day, the Baby Boomers are taking a different path.
Back to the Future
A notable sign of changing retirement lifestyle is their desire to return to the city, where the youth start to build their own lives. Where younger people need a space to rent, seniors offer them a place in their homes for less than the high cost of apartments. This creates symbiotic ties to one another. Young people get to live well for less. The elderly get to mentor and have company with those young people for less. For example, a retiree can rent out a space in an expensive area for $800-$1000 per month to a young professional. This is a much lower cost alternative to renting a unit in the same area for $5,000 per month.
Larger cities are getting creative with making lower cost housing more accessible to both young generations and their elderly peers. In the more densely populated cities, there are IT stations, museums, kitchens, and libraries on the ground floor of multi purpose buildings. On the second floor are senior studio living spaces that cost less than today’s standard apartment units. In other words, where retired people educate the youth about history, art, and cooking, the youth are able to produce continuing education software for seniors to stay up to date with ever changing technology. Both generations win.
High Tech Healthy Living
For a fraction of assisted living costs, seniors are turning to tablet and smartphone apps for healthcare and food delivery for a fraction of the cost. Healthy food on demand with the press of a button is one example. Another is lower costs on checkups and health monitoring apps that take the place of regular doctor visits. Even more engaging is the abundance of classic programs on media players, readily accessible with one finger swipe.
New markets and economies are changing the way retirees are living. Gone are the days of short retirements and predetermined senior living communities where elderly are placed to sit all day. Best of all, more and more cities are adjusting to market conditions and accommodating both the elderly and the young generations. Now that the sharing economy has reached the latest generation of youth, their grandparents now have ways to get in on the action.