June 2013 Newsletter


R.Winchester.UpdatedMy fellow baby boomers and I sometimes get a little too big for our britches.  Mind you, I’m talking about attitude, not pants size.  We think that marketers don’t need to worry all that much about other groups because we pack such an economic wallop.  After all, baby boomers hold 75% of the nation’s wealth, command 46% of its household income, have 2.5 times the discretionary spending power of any age group and buy 80% of all luxury travel.  Also, we spend more on health care and pharmaceuticals than any age group, and we’re at the center of life-stage events that spur spending.  Those life-stage events include the birth of grandchildren, children’s weddings, downsizing of our homes, purchasing second homes, entering retirement and becoming care-givers to a parent or a spouse.

Yes, we baby boomers are important and especially to marketers.  This migration will expand through the year 2020 and broaden its impact as communities learn the importance of promoting themselves to this market and develop successful strategies for attracting boomers.  That is why the AARC works very hard to put on an annual conference to help communities reap the benefits of this demographic population.  OUr 2013 Conference is aptly titled Rebranding, Repositioning & Redefining The Future of Retirement Communities: What Your Community Needs To Successfully Recruit Boomer Retirees.  Please read more about our exciting conference slated for November 13-15 at Hilton Head Island, SC.

Visit our Conference Page To Learn More – AARC 2013 Annual Conference.


Ramay Winchester

The AARC Selects Hilton Head Island, SC As Site for 2013 Conference
Rebranding, Repositioning & Redefining The Future of Retirement Communities: What Your Community Needs To Successfully Recruit Boomer Retirees

The American Association of Retirement Communities is excited that the island paradise, Hilton Head, South Carolina will host the 2013 Annual Conference November 13 – 15, 2013. The Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa will be the site for this year’s conference and the Conference Committee is busy planning the agenda and speaker line-up.

The Savannah, GA / Hilton Head region is home to dozens of communities catering to retirees. Come network with them, learn best  hhhgr_phototour50practices, enjoy insightful speakers and take a barefoot walk on the beach.

View our Conference Signup Page to Sign Up Online

Don’t miss Early Bird Discounts – Expires October 15th

Second Life Trends Study

2e20f064-bfcc-4618-8f4b-729de1e0b478_zps97fd2c8bSo, how do communities who seek to attract retiree buyers adapt to the new realities of the Baby Boomer perspective? As a leading resource to retirement communities, the AARC is at the forefront of answering these questions with the 2013 Second Life Trends Study, which provides an understanding of the attitudes, values and behaviors of America’s post-recession Boomers planning to retire.

The basic philosophy behind the study: the decision criteria for today’s retiree buyer is very different from the decisions made by previous retirees. Understandings how to communicate with them (and what to offer) will determine your success. The study’s results have ramifications for marketers, amenity developers or managers, and sales organizations. Board presentations, specific brand and offering analysis, and on-site sales training are key potential elements of this cutting edge, highly actionable research.

Noted behavioral economist Dr. Jim Taylor, who runs the widely cited American Express Study of Affluence and Wealth in America, introduced the Second Life Trends study’s parameters in the AARC’s April webinar. Following a successful presentation at the Urban Land Institute’s Spring Conference, Dr. Taylor has seen strong interest by marketers, sales operations and economic development organizations in the results of the study – which are slated to be published in mid-June.

“We see a real opportunity for both marketing communications guidance, as well as new practices and tactics for sales organizations,” notes AARC board member Bill Houghton, who serves as President of The Landings Company in Savannah. “We have 26 sales agents representing a 40 year old, 4,400 unit community – and we need to make sure that what our sales agents convey will resonate with Baby Boomer prospects. Dr. Taylor will be presenting to The Landings’ board and will be doing some sales team consulting in July, as we prepare for the Fall selling season.”

AARC members have a unique opportunity to participate in the study. Since our organization partnered in the development of the Second Life trends study, the study’s organizers are offering a 25% discount on the base “insights” report (normally $995, but just $750 for AARC members; see www.SecondLifeTrends.com for other details and opportunities).

Further, as an initiative to drive more new members, the AARC is offering a study + annual membership “package”, where (through August 30) an organization can join the AARC and get that insights report for just $1,000. For details on that, email info@the-aarc.org.

Existing-home sales highest since 2009

By Ruth Mantell, MarketWatch June 20, 2013

Sold Sign  WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Existing-home sales rose in May to the highest pace since November 2009, when buyers were rushing to make a tax-credit deadline, pointing to a continuing recovery, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.

Existing-home sales rose 4.2% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.18 million. These sales were 12.9% higher than during the same period in the prior year. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the pace of existing-home sales to hit a rate of 5 million in May, compared with an April rate of 4.97 million.

“This report provides further evidence that the housing market is on a firmly improving trend,” wrote analysts at RDQ Economics in a research note.

Meanwhile, the median existing-home price hit $208,000 in May, the highest since 2008, with low inventory supporting prices. The median price is up 15.4% from the same period in the prior year, the largest growth since 2005.

Inventories rose 3.3% in May to 2.22 million existing homes for sale. The supply of existing homes declined to 5.1 months at May’s sales pace from 5.2 months at April’s sales pace. The share of the sales accounted for by distressed properties and first-time buyers remained low in May.

Analysts say the housing market’s gains over the past year could have been even larger if inventories were greater. Still, economists expect housing demand to continue to grow along with the U.S. economy.

As home prices continue to rise, more buyers are likely to be able and willing to put their homes on the market. Rising prices also induce buyers to bid before prices get too high. However, NAR said prices are rising too quickly and more construction is needed.

Low interest rates have been fueling demand. In recent weeks these rates have trended higher, though there was a recent decline. While rising rates will curb demand among some buyers, they could also spur others to quickly enter the market to take advantage of high affordability.

“Given the massive rise in mortgage rates in recent weeks, we expect the pace of positive momentum will likely slow in the coming months, though the initial reaction could be for some buyers to move into the market as they try to lock-in the lower mortgage rates,” wrote Millan Mulraine, director of U.S. research and strategy at TD Securities.

Despite their recent climb, rates remain relatively low, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pointed out Wednesday.

“In terms of monthly payments on an average house, the change in mortgage rates we’ve seen so far is not all that dramatic,” Bernanke said at a press conference following the central bank’s decision to leave policy unchanged.

Indeed, Americans’ views on the housing market recently hit a multiyear high, with large shares saying that now is a good time to buy and sell homes. However, recent price gains don’t necessarily signal that real estate is a good long-term investment, according to Yale economist and housing expert Robert Shiller.

Del Webb Survey Shows Boomers Looking To Retire Sooner

PR Newswire

June 11, 2013

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The path of economic recovery has made baby boomers more optimistic about their retirement timeline. According to 2013 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey data released this month, the majority of boomers surveyed now say they expect to retire sooner than they planned to in 2010.


Click here for infographic and data:  Del Web Report

According to the survey, which polled still-working boomers ages 50 to 60 years old, most plan to retire from their current full-time career by the age of 65, compared to a median age of 67 in 2010.

  • More than half (57 percent) of still-working boomers surveyed intend to retire from their current full-time career by age 65.
  • The boomer retirement plan today is more in line with Del Webb Baby Boomer data from nearly 20 years ago (1996), when 50-year-olds planned to retire at a median age of 63.
  • Meanwhile, consistent with prior boomer surveys, 41 percent are either likely or very likely to move at some point, with 29 percent currently undecided on a future move.

“Boomers are clearly feeling more positive about their situation and the housing market in general, with more expecting to retire sooner than just three years ago,” said Deborah Wahl, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for PulteGroup Inc., parent company of Del Webb, the nation’s leading builder of communities targeted to pre-retirement and retiring boomers. “The percentage of respondents who indicate that they are likely to move again is comparable to prior studies and is significant when you consider the vast group of 79 million boomers in America today.”

Wahl said the survey data are consistent with the trends Del Webb is experiencing as boomers continue to indicate they are more comfortable with the housing market and their overall financial position. Del Webb had a 19 percent increase in 2012 sales compared with 2011.

What Work Looks Like at 65

While 79 percent of boomers anticipate working in some capacity, even after they retire from their current job, many are planning to make a change.

  • 51 percent plan to work full time either in their current or at an entirely new job; 28 percent anticipate working part-time or having a flexible schedule; and 21 percent anticipate no longer working for a paycheck.

Of those who plan to work full or part time at age 65:

  • 18 percent plan to do something different than their current career.
  • The majority (74 percent) anticipates working in a traditional office setting or off-site location; 14 percent expect to primarily work from home; and 12 percent anticipate a combination of telecommuting and working from an off-site location.

Family, Active Lifestyle Take Priority at 65

While the vast majority of still-working 50 to 60 year old boomers plan to work in some fashion when they are 65, most hope to find better balance in their lives, according to the survey. At age 65, only three in ten (30 percent) anticipate their job will be a primary focus. When asked how they will feel about their career and lifestyle, the top responses were:

  • Focusing on activities and hobbies that enhance physical/mental well-being (62 percent)
  • Spending time/focusing on family (51 percent); and
  • Traveling (34 percent)

“While boomers are still working, they are not putting off a retirement lifestyle,” Wahl said. “An increasing number of our Del Webb homeowners continue to work in some fashion, but have changed their focus from their careers to their family and activities that enrich their lives.”

Why Work? Finances Are Not the Only Motivation

While many boomers say they aren’t financially prepared to retire (66 percent), some are making a deliberate choice to work longer for other reasons:

  • To ward off boredom/maintain a sense of purpose (51 percent)
  • Like to work and are doing it for self-satisfaction (46 percent)
  • Maintain insurance benefits (29 percent)
  • Spend time away from spouse/significant other (6 percent)

Boomers Have Different Definitions of Retirement

Respondents were asked to define “retirement” and had varying views on what it means. Some define retirement as still working, but in a different capacity than their current full time career.

  • Most (58 percent) said “not having to work,” “working when you want to,” or “not depending on others to make a living” defines retirement. Many boomers (31 percent) define retirement as “enjoying life” and doing their favorite activities.
  • Twenty two percent define retirement as “financial security,” “being able to live comfortably,” and “not worrying about money.”

Del Webb has been surveying the 50 and older demographic for more than 15 years, seeking to better understand the attitudes and opinions of this generation. The diverse definitions of retirement reflect the diversity of the baby boomer generation and are evident in the variety of Del Webb community sizes, types and locations across the nation.

About the Survey

The Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey polled 520 online, still-working baby boomers ages 50 – 60 years old across the U.S. to identify their attitudes toward retirement. The survey was conducted online by Russell Research April 19 – 22, 2013. At a 95 percent confidence level, a margin of sample error of +/- 4.2 percent applies to the sample. Figures for gender, age and geography were weighted where necessary to match their actual proportions in the population.

About Del Webb

Del Webb is a national brand of PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM). Del Webb is the pioneer in active adult communities and America’s leading builder of new homes targeted to pre-retirement and retiring boomers. Del Webb builds consumer inspired homes and communities for active adults ages 55+ who want to continue to explore, grow and learn, socially, physically and intellectually as they look forward to retirement.