Citizens over the age of 65 comprise nearly 13 percent of the U.S. population—just under 40 million seniors. By 2030, it is estimated that 72 million Americans will be over the age of 65, nearly doubling those numbers. Where this volume of seniors will live and how, is a question facing not only the individual seniors but also many boards and property managers who are seeing an increased population of older residents. It is to be expected that this group will dramatically change the face of aging and retirement.
Not a New Trend
The estimates are not surprising as “baby boomers,” which are children born post-World War II between the years of 1946-1964, move into retirement, and beyond. By sheer force of numbers, this group has influenced everything from Gerber baby food to Schwinn bicycles to mini-vans. The first boomers reached retirement age (65) in January of this year. It is to be expected that this group will dramatically change the face of aging and retirement. According to data released in 2010 in the U.S Census Bureau, 993,158 of New York State residents are over the age of 65.
Some of these aging Americans move into nursing homes or managed care facilities as their mobility and overall health begin to decline, but as people are living longer and healthier lives, they’re opting to stay in their homes longer—a process sometimes referred to as ‘Aging in Place.’ A 2010 AARP [American Association of Retired Persons] found that 90 percent of seniors want to remain in their homes.
It is generally agreed that aging in place, surrounded by community in a familiar environment is far preferable to moving into a less-stimulating, potentially more isolating nursing facility. The term ‘Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities,’ evolved from aging in place. A NORC is a demographic term used to describe a community, building, development that was not originally built for seniors, but that now has a sizable elderly population.
“The aging population will likely lead to a rapid increase in the number of NORCs in the coming years,” says John Migliaccio, Ph.D., and director of research for the MetLife Mature Market Institute in New York City.