“BABY BOOMERS ON THE MOVE”
Expert Panelist from the Women’s Conference:
This article is a contribution of Wanda E. Gozdz
Founder and Director of Living Solutions for Baby Boomers LLC : firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2004 Mr. Joe Gijanto decided to take an early retirement and head south with his wife Mary. Their children were off to college and their six bedroom two story house in South Jersey was more space than they needed. The thought of another cold winter and shoveling snow again was incentive to move to Florida. Mr. Gijanto said, “Their family frequently vacationed at Disney and he always wanted to move to Florida.” They settled on North Hutchinson Island.
They are the prime example of the Baby Boomers that will start to officially retire in 2010. There are 76 million, yes, I said 76 MILLION BABY BOOMERS that will be following in their footsteps starting in 2011 and peaking in 2025, according to the Social Security Administration. Florida will be the 4th largest state with retirees.
So what are these “empty nesters” looking for when they retire? The baby boomer’s grandparents worked all of their lives and looked forward to retirement to play bridge, golf, and have afternoon “martini’s’” with friends. The retiring adults today will remain active through their 60’s and 70’s, and perhaps officially retiring in the 80’s. Mr. Don Liney retired at 62 from his full-time job and immediately found part-time work with W. Gozdz Enterprises, Inc., where he was employed for 19 years as a library assistant. He recently officially retired his “rubber finger” at the age of 81. An early riser, Mr. Liney says, “He now looks forward to sleeping till 8 and giving his full attention to his wife and his hobby of converting pictures to DVD.”
Gijanto is in the early phase of retirement and fits the description of the still “active” retiree who travels, attends the theatre and works part-time. He was not thinking about “aging in place” or simply stated adapting his home for the aging process when he was moving south. By default he purchased a one story three bedroom house that contains: – an open floor plan – a courtyard that includes a swimming pool - lives in a community where the Association is responsible for common area maintenance.
Liney on the other had to modify his manufactured home. His wife, Irene, tripped while answering the phone and broke both her ankles. Mr. Liney also became ill and couldn’t leave his wife alone while he was undergoing testing and visiting doctors. The Liney’s daughter came to live with her parents to assist with their care. Their son came and built a ramp for access to the home because Irene was unable to climb stairs. Maneuvering was difficult because the doorways to the bedroom, bathroom and shower were not 3’ wide which is the ideal width needed to accommodate a wheel chair. The Liney’s all struggled for 12 weeks while Mrs. Liney recovered from her fall. Regardless of what end of the scale you are in your retirement process there are things that can be staged now that will meet your needs in the future should your lifestyle immediately change do to a fall or illness.
What should you be looking for when shopping for a new place to live? 1. Look for a residence that is one story and a one level walkway up to a no-step entrance
| Baby Boomers*Adults born between 1946-1966*76 million baby boomers retiring
*2011 boomers will start to exit the workforce
*2025 will be the peak year of retirement
Florida will be 4th largest state with retirees
Source: Social Security Administration
2. An open floor plan would be ideal. 3. Doorways with a 32” minimum clearance width. 4. A main floor bathroom that can ideally accommodate a wheelchair by having a 5’-0” turning radius. 5. The hallways should be at least 4’0” wide. For new construction it pays to include “decorative” grab bars in the bathroom ….or the walls prepped so that bars can be installed at a future date. Non-slip floors in at least one bathroom with a seamless shower helps prevent falls, the number one reason elderly wind up in the hospital. Putting some simple measures in will go a long way in assuring that your home is “visitable”, not only make aging in place easier for residents, but also makes it possible for any guests with a mobility impairments to visit the residence. (Read the following articles in next issues)