April 2015 Newsletter

Jeff Fleming headshot 2012Flowers and trees are blooming.  The warmth of the sun feels good after the long winter.  They are a beacon of life anew.  Maybe it’s time to think about your new life in a more temperate climate.  AARC is your source for retiree-friendly communities.  What are you waiting for?  Check out AARC’s Seal of Approval communities and explore your options for the retirement destination that fits your lifestyle. AARC is your source for the best in retirement destinations.  

Whether it’s a planned retirement community or just a great town that welcomes retirees, AARC has already done the research for you!  I hope you’ll take to time to learn about our Seal of Approval communities here.


Jeff Fleming Chair, The AARC

Charleston is Chosen For The Site of AARC’s Annual Conference

The AARC Board of Directors is excited to announce that Charleston, South Carolinaatrium3
has been chosen as the host city for the 2015 Annual Conference to be held November 11th – 13th.  The unique historic Embassy Suites is the chosen venue.  Set in the original Citadel Military College in the heart of historic downtown and adjacent to Marion Square, this all-suite hotel is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

Charleston is centrally located and offers many activities for conference attendees to enjoy after the daily sessions from top industry leaders.

Charleston is a city of Renewal – which will be a key theme for this year’s conference.

Charleston_2Charleston was named one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in North America by Conde´ Nast Traveler Magazine. This city has survived the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War as well as Pirates, Hurricanes and social revolution. She still bears the scars – yet a spirit of renewal makes this city special.


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See you in Charleston!

May 21st Webinar – Retiree Travel & Real Estate Report

Since 2000, the number of Americans aged 65 or older has increased 29% and more than 44 million Americans are now 65 or older. To better understand the travel, leisure and housing preferences of this rapidly expanding market segment, Resonance Consultancy conducted an online study in November, 2014 with 1,147 Americans aged 65 or older that traveled at least 75 miles in the past year.

During this webinar, Resonance Consultancy President Chris Fair will share highlights from the study and their new report on Retiree Travel & Real Estate that includes information on:

  • Demographics: Profile of the U.S. Retiree Traveler
  • Retirement: What it means and how they define it
  • Trip Characteristics: How often they travel, and for how long
  • Activities and Experiences: What they do currently and what would they like to try
  • Housing Intentions: Propensity to relocate and preferred types of housing

Chris Fair      

President, Resonance Consultancy

Chris Fair HeadshotA futurist, facilitator and marketing strategist, Chris holds a Masters degree in Studies of the Future and has married his marketing expertise with futures methodologies to help a wide variety of countries, cities and communities create development strategies, marketing plans, and brands that shape their future. As president of Resonance Consultancy, Chris leads a team that has completed more than 100 research, strategy, and branding projects for destinations and communities around the world.

Chris is a member of the Project for Public Spaces Placemaking Leadership Council and he frequently speaks on social trends to organizations such as the Urban Land Institute, CEOs for Cities, Destination Marketing Association International and the International Downtowns Association. He is also a frequent speaker and commentator on tourism trends for leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Bloomberg, The Globe & Mail and Worth magazine.

In 2013, Chris was recognized as the “Place Branding Thought Leader of the Year” at the World Sense of Place Summit for his work and contribution to developing place branding methodology.

Click To Learn More or Sign Up – Click Here

ULI sees three more years of stable growth

April 2015

ULI-logoWASHINGTON, DC—A consensus of 43 industry economists and analysts calls for “three more years of fairly stable conditions” for real estate, the Urban Land Institute’s Anita Kramer said Wednesday. SVP of the ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real estate, Kramer offered this summation as part of a one-hour webinar presenting the latest edition of the semi-annual ULI Real Estate Consensus Forecast, charting the outlook through 2017.

That outlook calls for steady, sustainable growth, with analysts revising their October 2014 projections upward in all but one indicator, Kramer said. Among the most favorable trends, net job growth is projected at 2.9 million per year, compared to a long-term average of 1.2 million new jobs annually. This will bring the unemployment rate from its present 5.5% down to 5% by the end of ’17, according to the forecast. Meanwhile, GDP growth will increase to a sustainable 3% this year and next and 2.8% in ’17, albeit not reaching the peak of 3.8% seen in 2004.

Commercial property sales and pricing both are expected to continue on their present upward course. ULI’s consensus calls for domestic investment sales to reach $470 billion this year and $500 billion during both 2016 and ’17. Prices as measured by the Moody’s/Real Capital Analytics index are projected to rise by an average of 7.6% per year over the next three years. That compares to a long-term average increase of 5.3%.

In terms of real estate performance, the ULI consensus projects the total return rate for core unleveraged properties, as measured by the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, to average 9.9% per year, significantly higher than the expected average yield for US Treasuries. Accordingly, NCREIF returns for individual property sectors are also expected to rise, accompanied by further improvements in the fundamentals for these property types.

The one metric on which ULI’s consensus group was less optimistic than they were six months ago was single-family housing starts. Although the consensus estimate released Wednesday still calls for more starts than the single-family sector saw last year, the new projections are for 700,000 starts this year and 815,000 in ’16, compared to a projected 800,000 and 912,500, respectively, last October.

Additionally, ULI leader William Maher, director of North American strategy for LaSalle Investment Management in Baltimore, sees some areas of concern. namely the likelihood of higher short-term rates squeezing investment returns and causing an increase in capitalization rates. ULI’s consensus calls for the NCREIF cap rate to rise steadily from 5.3% this year to 5.9% by the end of ‘17, which is “consistent with higher interest rates and borrowing costs,” says Maher..

On balance, however, “almost all US real estate participants would be very pleased if the future unfolded as predicted by the ULI consensus forecast,” Maher says. Webinar attendees evidently agreed, with 72% saying the forecast’s level of optimism was “just right.”

Why Some Seniors Are Upsizing in Retirement

Who says you need to buy a smaller house when you retire?

Maryalene LaPonise, US News and World Reports – March 30, 2015

85When it comes to logical things to do in retirement, downsizing seems like it should top the list. Especially with the kids gone and leaving empty rooms behind, trading in a big house for a condo or more manageable home may be a smart move.

However, not all seniors are buying into the idea that they need to downsize their living arrangements once they stop working. In fact, a 2014 Merrill Lynch survey of 3,638 adults, including 2,192 baby boomers, found that half of pre-retirees who expect to downsize in retirement don’t do so. What’s more, 30 percent of those surveyed actually moved into larger homes after they retired.

This trend is one of the unexpected ways seniors are approaching their golden years.

“Retirement isn’t all about being practical,” said Ken Dychtwald, founder and CEO of the consulting firm Age Wave, which partnered with Merrill Lynch on the survey, during a media briefing on the report last month. “More and more people are turning their empty nests into nurturing nests.”

Why Upsize?

Joseph Middelburg of Golden, Colorado, is one senior who decided to double his living space after retirement. The 66-year-old Denver native had been living in Connecticut. After his late wife’s death in 2001, Middelburg eventually remarried and, last year, decided to return to the Denver area.

Like the 70 percent of pre-retirees surveyed by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, family was a crucial component in the Middelburgs’ decision to upsize. One son was already studying at the University of Denver, and two other adult children were expected to settle nearby. While house shopping, Middelburg and his wife were not only looking for a home for themselves but also one that would accommodate their children.

“We wanted to have a place where we could have the kids over for holiday celebrations,” Middelburg says.

The right house ended up being situated on 1.5 acres and was double the size of their previous home in Connecticut. Only 10 minutes away from the Red Rocks Amphitheatre concert venue and with a lower level designed for entertaining young adults, Middleburg says his home has become a landing spot for both his son and his son’s friends.

The Crucial Role of Financial Planning

mortgage-in-retirementMiddelburg credits his financial advisor with helping him make a smart choice when it came to upsizing and not draining his retirement funds.

“I didn’t know how much or how little I could take from my accounts each year without depleting them,” he says.

David Leland, Middelburg’s longtime financial advisor and the managing director of a Boston Merrill Lynch office, says he uses a process that walks clients through their priorities and how to fund them. This type of in-depth planning has becoming increasingly important in recent years, he adds.

“The old game plan was that you retire when you’re 65 and die when you’re 66,” he says. “Now I have clients who are 99 and 102.”

In Middelburg’s case, his money stretched because the cost of living is significantly cheaper in Denver. He was also able to get twice as much house for half the price of what he’d pay in Connecticut.

Making the Decision to Upsize

Merrill Lynch and Age Wave found the following reasons were the most common reasons seniors decided to upsize in retirement.

  • Room for family members to visit: 33 percent
  • Room for family members to move in: 20 percent
  • More prestigious home: 19 percent
  • More room for friends to visit: 16 percent

Brian Beasley, a financial services representative with MetLife Premier Client Group, cautions seniors to think carefully before moving into a bigger home solely to accommodate children.

As he puts it, what parents have in mind isn’t necessarily what their adult children want. For example, parents may envision children spending annual vacations with them, while their sons and daughters may prefer to vacation in different spots each year. Differing expectations is one reason Beasley recommends retirees keep adult children in the loop about major decisions regarding their home, particularly when there may be other options that make more sense.

In addition to children, Beasley says financial advisors, attorneys and other professionals involved in retirement or estate planning should be brought into discussions regarding upsizing. He also recommends retirees perform a careful financial analysis before purchasing a bigger home. “We want to make sure their basic needs are protected,” he says.

While upsizing may not be for everyone, Middelburg says he wouldn’t have it any other way. Not only did it bring him closer to his family, but his new locale afforded him the opportunity to start a second career as a part-time ski instructor in nearby Vail, Colorado. “We have an active lifestyle and want to continue that,” he says.

Helping clients like Middelburg identify and meet their goals is the whole point of being a financial advisor, Leland explains. “We want to give [clients] more control,” he says, “not take it away.”

In Middelburg’s case, it appears Leland succeeded.