Remember that dreamy ending in all the old black and white movies? It is the one where the couple lives happily ever after in a vine-covered cottage in a lovely lakefront setting with the birds singing sweetly. Picture it… the sun is setting and there is a couple sitting in their Adirondack chairs enjoying the rose colored sky change colors as the ending fades to black. Dreams? Maybe not…maybe that perfect solution for boomers these days.
As the economy has taken a big bite out of retirement plans many empty nesters are looking for housing alternatives and are downsizing to smaller homes in cost-effective lakefront communities throughout New England.
According to the 2010 Census, there were 902,724 people over 65 in Massachusetts alone last year, up more than 42,500 from the 2000 Census. This dramatic growth in numbers and proportions, increased life expectancies, and energetic life styles, now enables people to live 20 to 25% of their lives in active retirement. Today’s elderly population is better educated, healthier, culturally literate and more discerning consumers.
The impact is already profound on residential housing. A recent survey of seniors cited that the main concern of retiring seniors is that they remain independent and in their chosen home as long as possible. Not surprisingly there are many good opportunities awaiting them in lakefront communities in just that setting I described and within their budget.
Scaled back expectations of someday owning that huge country estate have been traded in for charming small cottages by a sparkling lake. The options are also there to extend that cottage to suit the expanding generations of grandkids to come.
One couple recently remarked, “ I want my lakefront cottage to be large enough for the two of us with enough space for occasional visits from extended family, but not so comfortable that they decide to move in.”