About half of the nation’s retiring baby boomers expect to buy a new home in which to spend their twilight years, but many say they will continue to work, according to a national online survey funded by a Valley homebuilder.
The annual Del Webb baby boomer survey was conducted by Harris Interactive and electronically polled 1,800 people between the ages of 41 and 59 across the United States.
Del Webb developed the Sun City retirement community in the northwest Valley in the 1960s. Del Webb is now the active adult division of Michigan-based Pulte Homes.
With the nation’s population of those between 55 to 75 expected to top 80 million by 2020, retirement and active communities have been identified as one of real estate’s top growth areas.
Survey results show that Arizona will continue to be a haven for retirees. The Grand Canyon state ranks second only to Florida as a desirable retirement destination place. North Carolina, California and Texas round out the top five spots respectively.
Those surveyed said finances and affordability are the biggest factors in choosing a new house and a new state.
And more than 60 percent said they were worried about not having enough money to finance their retirement. Another top concern: Failing health and the ability to afford health insurance.
Because of that, about 36 percent say they will continue to work after they reach retirement age. Of those who plan to work, almost half of respondents ages 41 to 49 say financial needs require it. In contrast, 37 percent of those ages 50 to 59 say that is why they will continue to work.
While Arizona is a desirable place to live, the survey also showed that baby boomers don’t want to do yard work and prefer to spend their time being physically active.
About 80 percent of those surveyed say full-service yard maintenance is a top priority in choosing a development. They also say features and activities such as walking trails and water-oriented fitness programs such as swimming are among the top amenities.
One of Del Webb’s future projects is in the East Valley. Called Anthem by Del Webb at Merrill Ranch, the project will be a mixed residential section of the Merrill Ranch master planned community near Florence.