Study finds more Baby Boomers supporting their adult children – Starts at 60

After your children left the nest, no denying you missed them.

But if you’re still supporting your adult children, it turns out you’re not alone.

A new report by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services has revealed many Baby Boomers are still providing financial support to their adult children.

“They acknowledge it is tough for young people to get started these days with a highly competitive job market and unaffordable house prices,” the report said.

“However, the burden of this financial dependence is taking a toll on some young boomers. In a time when they should be winding down their working lives and enjoying their increased disposal income, some feel they are working harder than ever to support children.

“In a time when they should be winding down their working lives and enjoying their increased disposal income, some feel they are working harder than ever to support children.”

One of those Baby Boomers, Angelo Andrew,  shared his story with the Sydney Morning Herald.

Three of his four children aged between 19 and 25 are living at home still.

The 52-year-old said he was preparing himself for their future.

“Although my children are quite independent, they are happy to stay at home because it is a lot cheaper than moving out and finding their own accommodation, whether that’s renting or buying,” he said.

“And we are happy to have them at home. For how long? We’re not sure. They are going ahead in their careers and extending their education.

“If they don’t have some kind of support from their parents, I am afraid they won’t be able to afford for many years to achieve what we’ve achieved in the earlier years of our lives because the housing market and the cost of living is overtaking incomes.”

There’s more to the statistics.

A research report by the NSW Ageing Strategy also found that most workers aged 50 to 60 would need to work well beyond the age of 60 to be financially stable in their retirement.

Do you still support adult children? Why do you think more Baby Boomers are supporting adult children?

Chattanooga church launching class to help Baby Boomers with Medicare, Social Security and handling holiday stress – Chattanooga Times Free Press

If you go

› What: Boomers, Shakers and Beyond

› Where: Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 East Brainerd Road

› When: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4

› Program: The Rev. Charles W. Maynard, “Appalachian Quilt of Stories – Telling Your Own Story”

› Admission: Free

› To register: Go to www.christchurchchatt.org; click “Get Connected,” then click on “Adult,” then “Small Groups.”

› Information: 423-892-9363 or the “Boomers, Shakers and Beyond” Facebook page.

More Info

Programs

› Tuesday, Oct. 4, 1:30 p.m.: The Rev. Charles W. Maynard, author and storyteller, who has written or co-authored 30 books.

› Monday, Oct. 24, 3 p.m.: Amy Boulware, licensed advanced practice master’s degree in social work on Medicare and Medicare supplemental insurance.

› Thursday, Nov. 17, time to be announced: Arnoldo Moore, Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration.

› Thursday, Dec. 1, time to be announced: Pam Johnson, licensed clinical social worker, and clinical psychologist Amy Perkins speak on handling holiday stress

 

At a time when many churches are reaching out to millennials and focusing on children’s ministries to keep young families in the fold, one local church is launching a program geared to baby boomers.

Early in October, Christ United Methodist Church is cranking up “Boomers, Shakers and Beyond” with four speakers who will offer information about Medicare, Social Security and handling holiday stress. It’s open to anyone age 50 or older.

“I have listened to my friends in other churches and seen churches putting an emphasis on youth programs and not as much on people my age or people my parents’ ages,” says Carolyn Thompson, a Christ UMC member who is coordinating “Boomers.”

“Chattanooga is advertised as a retirement community, but what is really out there for retirees?” asks Thompson, who retired from TVA two years ago. “I feel like God is saying there is something you can do. I’m not ready to sit down yet. I’m really enjoying life.”

While the church is providing a place for the new group to meet, Thompson has no funding. Yet she and her committee of five have managed to line up volunteer speakers.

“The program is designed for learning new things, enhancing old skills, exchanging thoughts on numerous topics, meeting new people, participating in community service projects and, in general, having a great time,” describes Mary Ann Bryant, a committee member.

Thompson says older seniors “want socialization,” a network of friends they can connect with, while younger boomers are facing decisions about Social Security, when to retire, Medicare, and keeping active in retirement. So she has incorporated both viewpoints into coming months’ programs.

“Boomers, Shakers and Beyond” will kick off with a program by author and storyteller Charles W. Maynard. The Rev. Maynard, a former Chattanoogan and United Methodist minister, has written or co-authored 30 books, with 21 of those children’s books. He received the Reed Environmental Writing Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center for “The Blue Ridge — Ancient and Majestic.”

He was the first executive director of the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and was director of advancement at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tenn.

“Boomers, Shakers and Beyond” is nondenominational, Thompson adds, and she is already partnering with other churches for group activities. Brainerd Baptist Church has invited the new group to join its Nifty Fifty senior adults on three upcoming day trips, she says.

“Our purpose is to serve the community, not to draw new members to Christ United Methodist,” Thompson says. “We want to provide socialization for older seniors, information to younger seniors who haven’t retired yet and, with input from participants, we want to plan community service projects.”

Thompson says there also a survey on the “Boomers, Shakers and Beyond” Facebook page that will provide valuable feedback to organizers for upcoming topics and speakers, she says.

Contact Susan Pierce at [email protected] or 423-757-6284.

Baby boomers retiring: the silver lining – FW Business

While the baby boomer retirements and inevitable aging have created a national concern for the future economy, opportunities are also coming with the “silver tsunami.”

Besides a plethora of open jobs for recent college graduates or individuals looking to move up or out, some industries are likely to become more profitable from baby boomers growing older. Boomers, Gen-Xers, millennials and Gen-Zers can benefit from investing in the right industries in the coming years.

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Baby Boomers party like it’s 1969 at Laguna Woodstock – The … – OCRegister

An 11th-hour venue change to Clubhouse Five didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the nearly 500 people who turned out for the eighth annual Laguna Woodstock on Saturday at Clubhouse Five.

Hosted by the Baby Boomer’s Club, the indoor event featured music of the era, with two bands – Woodstock Mud and Love Saves the Day – rocking the Clubhouse Five dance floor.

“I feel the event was very successful,” Judith Okonski, event coordinator, said.

Laguna Woodstock was originally set to take place at newly renovated Clubhouse Two, but a delay in the re-opening forced the venue change.

Okonski said the event sold out during the pre-sale Saturday afternoon, so residents who didn’t get tickets set up “tailgate” parties outside of Clubhouse Five.

“There were makeshift picnic tables full of food and wine everywhere, with people rocking to the music they could hear from inside,” she said. “Many were sharing about their life at that time period of their lives. There seemed to be a camaraderie among everyone.”

Contact the writer: 949-837-5200 or [email protected]

Boomers Vs. Millennials: Holiday Shopping … In September? – PYMNTS.com

Don’t wake up Santa or Hanukkah Harry just yet. It’s still technically summer for a few more days, but we already know how shoppers — Baby Boomers and millennials — are going to shop this holiday season.

Making a list, checking it twice…

Holiday shopping may see an uptick this year, but Mintel, the global marketing intelligence agency, said it’ll be somewhat somber. Retail sales in November and December are forecast to grow by just 1.3 percent year on year, the slowest rate of growth since 2006.

But how are Baby Boomers and millennials going to gift this year? Buckle up, reindeer…

Millennials, well, they’ve got their wallets and they’re ready to spend, with most planning on spending significantly more this holiday season than last year. According to Mintel, about two-thirds (64 percent) of millennials intend to spend more this holiday season over last year. Baby Boomers don’t agree. Only 20 percent of Baby Boomers say they’ll spend more.

That’s not to say that they want things, per se, but rather experiences, like travel and new activities, including living in bustling urban centers and eating at trendy restaurants. Whatever you do, don’t think those antiques and hand-me-downs are going to be a hit. The Washington Post focused on the flood of thrift shops, consignment stores and auction houses with items like furniture, silverware and other types of collectibles that millennials’ parents would like to pass down to them. Those millennials simply just say, “No, thanks.”

Interestingly so, because apparently studies say their inheritance isn’t changing buying behavior. Experts at Accenture said there is $30 billion in inheritance headed to transfer from Baby Boomers to millennials in the upcoming years. Among those millennials polled, almost 60 percent responded that that money doesn’t tweak their spending habits.

Let’s touch on those spending habits: They’re not buying houses, but they are starting more businesses. Sure, we all get to decide where and how we spend our money.

So, what are millennials buying? Gift cards, even for themselves. Mercator Advisory Group surveyed about 3,000 adults, and 63 percent bought these types of cards this year, compared to 61 percent in 2015 and 56 percent in 2014. They like their online purchases, and they like the digital connection.

Who’s online? You guessed it. Millennials drive online sales, with 88 percent intending to complete half of their shopping online and almost 40 percent hoping to check off their holiday shopping list online.

As for Baby Boomers, they have also moved online, but they’re only really shopping where they feel most comfortable. In an interview with [email protected], through University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Andrew Mantis, executive vice president of checkout tracking at The NPD Group, said: “Whether it is a QVC or a Macy’s, it’s a store they’re comfortable with. The Gen Xers are kind of in between. They’ll be picking up some of the online pure plays, like a Zappos or a Zulily.”

But online or offline, Berkeley Research Group said that millennials prefer their local community for shopping. About 76 percent of millennials said that this factor was most important to them, and it was least important to 61 percent of Baby Boomers.

“There is a comfort with technology that millennials have, and it decreases as you age,” said Marlene Morris Towns, a professor of marketing at Georgetown University. “There are some things about holiday shopping that are ritual, and I will find myself in the stores on Christmas Eve doing that last-minute dash. For me, it’s part of that whole holiday experience.”

There is indeed something to the holiday shopping experience and perhaps the memories we grew up with — which are different for different generations.

Regardless of age or generation, that last-minute shopping the day or two before Christmas is when the rush really sets in, and that’s when online may not cut it.

Last year, America’s Research Group released the results of a study tapping into the Monday before Christmas. Seventy-five percent of consumers were not yet finished with their holiday shopping, and nearly half said they would wait until Christmas Eve to wrap up their purchases. Most notably, that was at a 12-year high.

Since it’s just September, we’ll just have to be good and wait and see what kind of shopper arrives.



House prices: ‘Selfish’ baby boomers would give up rises to help young – The Week UK

Britons are “no longer obsessed” with house price growth and many older people would accept no further increases if it made life easier for the younger generation, a new survey suggests.

The National Housing Federation (NHF), questioning 2,044 adults, found that contrary to reports, so-called “baby boomers” are worried about the economic divide between the generations.

According to The Times, people born in the decades after the war are portrayed as a lucky generation who “rode the housing bubble and are now spending their children’s inheritance on holidays as [the children] sink under a mountain of debt”.

However, the survey suggests that is an unfair image, with 62 per cent of homeowners over the age of 55 saying they would accept no growth in the price of their property, or a fall in value, for the next two years if it would help young people to buy a home. 

In contrast, just 52 per cent of younger owners agreed. 

The over-55s were also more likely to say they would accept a fall of ten per cent in the value of their home to help the younger generation. Some 35 per cent would do so, compared to just 15 per cent of under-35s.

The NHF says the “apparent benevolence” of the baby boomers might be down to their having more financial security than younger people. Over-55s now own 63 per cent of all the nation’s housing wealth, an increase of eight per cent in six years.

The number of 25 to 34-year-olds who own their own homes has fallen dramatically, says the Federation. In 2003-2004, 59 per cent of them were homeowners; now, only 37 per cent are.

NHF chief executive David Orr said: “Contrary to political opinion, the British public are no longer obsessed with perpetual house price growth. In fact, the overwhelming majority would now accept a less buoyant market if it made life easier for the next generation.

“Nobody wants a crash and we are certainly not advocating one, but politicians need to hear this.”

The Times adds that recent research by insurer Legal & General found the “Bank of Mum and Dad” will lend £5bn to the next generation to help them get on the property ladder.

High house and rental prices ‘driving generations apart’

19 September

Higher property prices and rising rents are “ghettoising” young families in inner city areas and driving generations apart, according to a new report.

Research by the Intergenerational Foundation claims the UK’s oft-cited housing crisis is having an effect on social cohesion, with young people moving into the cities and older homeowners becoming isolated in the suburbs.

The number of neighbourhoods in which more than half the population is 50 and over has risen sevenfold since 1991, said the report, while IF co-founder Angus Hanton said just five per cent of the people living in the same area as someone under 18 are over the age of 65, down from 15 per cent. 

“This is hugely damaging to intergenerational relations. It weakens the bonds between the generations and leads to a lack of understanding of, and empathy for, other generations,” he added.

“We believe that the housing crisis is driving this trend, with older generations enjoying either rural or leafier suburban living, while young people are concentrated in rental properties in the centre of towns and cities.”

The Guardian adds: “A lack of affordable homes is thought to be largely responsible for increases in rents that feed into higher social security costs.”

The number of new “social rent” homes funded by the government fell to fewer than 10,000 last year, continues the paper, saying that a “failure to keep up with the Labour government’s social housing building programme over the past six years has added £380m to the housing benefits bill”.

Meanwhile, the pressure on young aspiring homeowners appears to be growing, even in the wake of the vote for Brexit that many assumed would immediately dampen house price inflation.

New figures from online property portal Rightmove show vendor asking prices in September in England and Wales are up 0.7 per cent to £306,499, while for the homes most sought by would-be first-time buyers with two bedrooms or less they have jumped more than three per cent.

At £194,477, the average price for a starter home is up 10.5 per cent compared to September last year.

Miles Shipside, a housing market analyst at Rightmove, told The Times: “This rising tide of prices is marooning more and more first-time buyers, outstripping their ability to meet stricter lending criteria and afford the required deposits and monthly payments.”

House prices: Why first-time buyers are the big Brexit losers

16 September

Forecasts for how the housing market would respond to the shock of the Brexit vote have so far been wide of the mark – with house sales showing surprising resilience.

But for first-time buyers things are not quite so rosy.

Before the referendum, experts predicted that economic uncertainty in the event of a Leave victory would cause house prices to fall, with any downward pressure on prices exacerbated by an exodus of overseas buyers.

The Treasury estimated that in the event of a defeat for Remain, house prices would be between 10 and 18 per cent lower over the next two years. This would lead to valuations sliding by up to four per cent a year.

Ratings agencies like Moody’s said prices could eventually “correct” by as much as 25 per cent.

While this would hurt homeowners, this was said to be good news for first-time buyers, who have struggled to find a foothold in recent years as property values have surged.

But since the Brexit vote, house prices have not followed the predicted script. Indices from Halifax and the Office for National Statistics have reported that prices are still advancing rapidly, with a summer lull accounting for only the most modest cool-down.

Insurer AmTrust says its own calculations put the average cost of a first-time buyer property at £161,921 in June, which Moneyfacts notes is already the highest level seen this year.

At the same time, while high loan-to-value ratios for low-deposit buyers have held up better than expected, there has been a small net decline in the number of 95 per cent mortgages on offer since the referendum.

This means that despite mortgage rates being at record lows and monthly affordability therefore at an unprecedented high, aspiring home owners are likely to struggle more than ever to get on the housing ladder.

This week’s figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that the largest portion of mortgage borrowing last month was by those refinancing their existing home at a lower rate. Loans for first-time buyers fell fastest and were down by a fifth compared to July.

There are knock-on effects for those renting. The Daily Mail says the average monthly rent has now “tipped £1,000” while the paper adds in a separate report that London is now rated as the most expensive rental market in the world.

Obviously it’s still early days and an actual Brexit is likely to be several years away, but for now, young wannabe homeowners won’t be cheering the referendum result.

House prices: Mortgage borrowing dives in July

15 September

Mortgage borrowing fell markedly in the first month following the vote for Brexit, according to figures published yesterday by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Experts are unsure whether the slump reflects pre-existing factors and the usual seasonal summer lull, or if it is a symptom of a market slow-down post-referendum that will ultimately drag house prices lower.

In total £10.9bn was borrowed across 58,100 loans in July, down by 13 and 14 per cent respectively compared to June.

First-time buyers took out £4.4bn through 28,200 loans in July, down almost a fifth on the previous month. Home movers also borrowed less – around nine per cent.

Remortgagers taking advantage of record low rates, on the other hand, secured loans worth seven per cent more than in June. The £6bn total was the highest in seven years, notes The Times.

The decline in lending to people buying new properties could be a sign of a slower-transaction market amid the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit – but there are mitigating circumstances.

Firstly, the month-on-month comparisons are skewed by the fact that June was exceptionally strong in terms of house sales. There was a 26 per cent surge in lending and first-time buyer borrowing hit a nine-year high.

July’s house sale figures could be indicative of a return to the usual summer lull, says Brian Murphy of the Mortgage Advice Bureau, after an atypical 2015 that was boosted by a surprisingly clear general election result.

The CML’s Paul Smee says the slide could have been set in train before the referendum and might reflect a natural ebb after a flood of lending ahead of stamp duty changes that affected buy-to-let investors in April.

As the CML figures are based on actual mortgage advances rather than approvals, they might relate to a slowdown that began before the EU vote on 23 June, he added.

For others the data is a sign that the market is cooling. This could yet translate into slower house price growth or even modest declines as we head into 2017.

Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight told the Daily Telegraph: “With the economy currently showing resilience following June’s Brexit vote, we now expect house prices to be essentially flat over the final months of 2016.

“However, we still believe that a dip in house prices is likely in 2017, probably by around three per cent to five per cent.”

House prices: ‘We’re still waiting for sharp Brexit blow’

14 September

Remember the major hit to house prices that was supposed to come as a result of Britain voting for Brexit? Well, The Times says, “we’re still waiting” for that to materialise.

The latest official figures, published this morning, reveal that house prices based on completed transactions rose 8.3 per cent year on year in July, the first full month after the referendum.

This was down from the 9.7 per cent annual rise recorded in June, but is still a rapid acceleration and a world away from the predictions of a sharp swing into negative territory.

Some experts say the slowdown in the rate of growth is a sign of things to come and that the uncertainty prompted by the Brexit vote has yet to be fully realised in the housing market.

These experts point out that most of the transactions completed in July would have been started before the referendum result was announced. 

So while it is good news that few buyers appear to have balked at the house prices they’d once thought nothing of paying, the real test is yet to come. Surveys consistently show that transaction volumes are slowing down.

“It is too soon to dismiss the Brexit effect,” Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington, the property-finding group, said. 

“The market’s fundamentals are far from normal. With both demand and supply falling, the result is a benign limbo that is driving up prices even as the number of sales falls.”

The fastest growing region in the Office for National Statistics data remains the east of England, notes the BBC, where the annual inflation rate is running at more than 13 per cent.

Most of London has “a different landscape”, says the Times. Prices rose 12.3 per cent for the year and the average buyer now needs to have £485,000 of spare money.

This compares with an average of £130,000 in the north-east, where many homes have not fully recovered from the financial crisis slump.

House prices: ‘Sentiment remains singularly positive’

13 September

Another property survey has found that house prices are continuing to rise – albeit at a slower annual pace than previously – despite the shock wave caused by the Brexit vote.

Valuations in England and Wales edged up by 0.1 per cent on average in August, according to the monthly index compiled on behalf of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains. On an annual basis, the growth rate dipped from 5.3 to 4.6 per cent, notes Financial Reporter.

This is roughly in line with the trend reported by the lender Halifax. The bank’s index, published last week, found modest monthly falls in July and August but continued increases in rolling three-monthly figures that it says are typically more accurate. 

Data from Your Move and Reeds Rains now puts the average price of a property in England and Wales at £292,921, which City AM says means the “average homeowner is sitting on £12,101 more equity than this time last year”. 

After tracking a number of widely-reported trends, the estate agents say that property transaction volumes are running below the highs seen last year and broadly in line with levels last seen in 2013. The authors of the report point out that activity peaked ahead of a stamp duty rise on second homes in April and has been in decline ever since.

There is evidence of regional divides in the market, with London seeing sizeable drops in the most expensive postcodes, especially those most affected by the tax changes, while more “affordable” boroughs like Lewisham have seen annual increases of as much as 19 per cent.

Outside London, Luton saw the biggest rise of close to 16 per cent, with Slough close behind with growth of nearly 15 per cent. Thurrock saw a surge of a little more than 14 per cent.

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, says: “The new market data shows us once again that there is no single housing market but the sentiment, we believe, remains singularly positive.

“There is demand for affordable property and there are people who, bearing in mind the transaction volumes recorded, have the appetite to make a move.”

House price strength keeps 95% loans on the table

12 September

A loss of momentum in house price growth does not appear to have dented banks’ confidence in the property market.

The Daily Telegraph says that high street lenders are “defying fears that they would cancel support for first-time buyers and scrap mortgages for those with only a small savings pot”.

There had been growing concern that an expected hit to house prices caused by the Brexit vote would lead banks to cancel 95 per cent loans for people with the smallest deposits.

But data from the mortgage insurer AmTrust and the comparison service Moneyfacts shows that there are still 238 mortgages on offer for those with just a five per cent deposit compared to 249 before the referendum, reports City AM.

The Telegraph adds that interest rates on those loans remain close to record lows, at an average of 3.9 per cent last month.

This is a fraction above the 3.86 per cent average in June, but lower than any other previous month and down from 5.28 per cent last year.

With an equity buffer of just five percent, these buyers are more at risk of falling into negative equity. If they run into difficulty, the bank would be unlikely to recover their investment if it was forced to sell the property on.

During the 2008 crash, 95 per cent mortgages almost completely dried up, but this time around banks are in a better position and surveys suggest price growth is slowing but still positive.

It also helps that many of these loans are currently backed by the government’s Help to Buy guarantee, which covers much of any potential bank loss on the loan.

“Apart from pockets of London, the market will grow less quickly as opposed to turning negative. That is healthy,” says Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General’s Mortgage Club.

Duncombe believes that house prices are being held up by weak supply, which remains below demand despite the lower-transaction market since the Brexit vote.

While the availability of cheap finance for low deposits is helpful, prices that are already record high are still rising and this is putting pressure on first-time buyers, who are already struggling after years of sluggish wage growth.

“The early indications are that Brexit has not prevented the upward march of house prices for first-time buyers,” says Simon Crone, commercial director of AmTrust.

“This suggests that Brexit may not be as good for first-time buyers as initially thought.”

Baby boomers prop up sluggish Lehigh Valley housing market – Allentown Morning Call

When retired teachers Peter and Linda deBeer decided to sell their Long Island home last year they could have bought almost any home in the Lehigh Valley but they chose to move into an Upper Saucon Township development that doesn’t allow residents until they’re old enough to join AARP.

The deBeers are part of a baby-boom generation that is trading in the giant homes they spent decades paying off in favor of 55-and-older communities that now make up the majority of homes being built in the Lehigh Valley, according to the annual Build LV development report by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

“We gave up a beautiful home that we loved,” said Linda deBeer, 64, while in Aruba on the kind of trip she was hesitant to take while maintaining a home. “We were planning to build in Pennsylvania, but this just gave us everything we wanted — to be with people of our age and experience.”

As the Valley housing market struggles to find its post-recession footing, the baby-boom bubble appears to be coming at the perfect time. Age-restricted housing made up 6 of the top 10 housing developments in 2015, accounting for nearly 60 percent of all new residential units.

That’s a big jump from 2014, when it made up just 20 percent of new units. And 2013, when it accounted for 36 percent.

“The silver tsunami is real and it has arrived,” said Becky Bradley, planning commission executive director. “When I looked at the data and saw that more age-restricted housing was approved last year than all other housing combined, I had to look at it twice. It’s mind-blowing.”

But not entirely unexpected. The number of Lehigh Valley residents who were 60 or older increased from 160,005 in 2007 to 193,557 in 2014. They now make up nearly a quarter of the Lehigh Valley population, increasing from nearly 20 percent in just seven years, according to U.S. Census figures.

That corresponds with a similar increase nationally as the baby-boom generation — defined as people born from 1946 to 1964 — enters retirement.

Nathan Jameson, a principal with Pennsylvania’s largest senior housing builder, Traditions of America, suggests that while boomers are creating a bigger need for age-restricted housing, a slow recovery from the Great Recession is also to blame.

The numbers certainly support that. Before the housing bubble burst in 2007, Valley developers were building more than 3,000 new homes a year, many of them large single-family homes on giant lots in the suburbs.

By 2009, that plummeted to fewer than 500 a year and it remained there through 2012. New home building increased to 844 in 2013 and then 1,117 in 2014, but even the 1,300 residential units approved in 2015 were well under half the pre-recession totals.

That new age-restricted housing makes up such a large portion of new development is at least in part because new development continues to lag, Jameson said. While credit was perhaps too easy to get before the bubble burst, the pendulum has swung the other way now, often leaving seniors as the most credit-worthy homebuyers in a new post-recession market in which banks are now pickier about who can borrow their money.

Still, there’s no denying the fact that its part in the overall development is unprecedented.

“We’re at an inflection point in which the baby boomers are driving the housing market,” Jameson said. “Not only are they a bigger part of the population, but they’re not first-time homebuyers saddled with student loan debt or even move-up buyers whose home equity hasn’t recovered. They’re creating a demand and we’re building as quickly as we can get approvals.”

Bill and Sandie Walker certainly fit into that credit-worthy category. Both 68, they sold their 4,400 square-foot Saucon Valley home — complete with an acre of land and a pond full of koi — and in June, moved into a Traditions of America senior development in Upper Saucon Township where the next house is just a few paces from their new home.

They chose a 55-plus community, not for the house but a lifestyle full of clubs, activities and new friends. Bill was a workaholic pharmaceutical company executive and Sandie a former sales representative, but they may be busier now, Sandie Walker said the morning after an unplanned party sprang up in her yard when half the block seemed to congregate there on a warm summer night.

“We could probably go out to dinner every night here if we wanted. We’re all baby boomers and we all want the same free and easy lifestyle,” Sandie Walker said. “I’m just glad someone figured out what we all wanted and built it.”

The unusual thing about this senior housing eruption is there isn’t any particular home the boomers are looking for, said Eric McAfee, director of community planning for the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. Of the top 10 largest developments approved in 2015, six were age-restricted. Two were for apartments and the others were one each for single family homes, twin homes, condominiums and assisted living units.

“It’s clearly more about the sociology than the physical form,” McAfee said. “Not only are the demographics favoring this, but the taste culture is favoring it.”

Sandie Walker doesn’t much care what’s brought the Lehigh Valley’s housing market to this point. She’s more focused on the seven-week RV tour she’ll soon take of the East Coast, without worrying who will cut the lawn or trim the hedges.

“We’re going to lock the door behind us and not worry about anything but our next destination,” she said. “We loved our old house but we couldn’t live like this. We’re free. We’re having a blast.”

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Database editor Eugene Tauber contributed to this story.

BOOMING BUSINESS

Here’s how the baby boom generation drove Lehigh Valley housing in 2015

Number of 55-plus projects developments in top 10 housing developments: 6

Percentage of total new housing units that were 55-pluss: 58

Number of Lehigh Valley residents older than 60 in 2007: 160,005

Number of Lehigh Valley residents older than 60 in 2014: 193,557.

Source: Lehigh Valley Planning Commission 2015 BuildLV development report, U.S. Census Bureau.

Guess who scam artists are targeting? Millennials – Wichita Eagle

Everyone is familiar with this stereotype: The naive and vulnerable aging citizen who sadly loses a huge chunk of their savings to an internet scam artist.

Yet, a recent study conducted by the Better Business Bureau has shown that aging baby boomers are less likely to be victimized than millennials, people born between 1980 and 2000.

The 2016 BBB study is based on a survey of more than 2,000 adults in the U.S. and Canada. It found that younger and more educated individuals are the most likely to be scammed.

Seventeen percent of the population will become a victim every year, with annual losses estimated at more than $50 billion, according to a 2013 study.

Optimism Bias

The study identifies a phenomenon that may be partly to blame for the vulnerability of millennials: optimism bias.

This is the idea that we think other people are more vulnerable to scams than we are. It’s a mode of thought that can lead to risk-taking and to a failure to heed precautionary advice.

Because the alarm has been sounded for so long toward older Americans, they seem to have heeded the warnings, making themselves more scam-savvy than millennials. They are less likely to make purchases online and to make impulsive buys. The online community is where many scams occur.

BBB Scam Tracker

The recent study confirms trends uncovered by the BBB’s Scam Tracker tool.

Since that service’s launch in 2015, more than 30,000 consumers have reported details of scams. BBB shares those reports with law enforcement to help drive investigations.

The reports have revealed that 89 percent of seniors (age 65 and up) recognized scams in time, with only 11 percent actually losing money. For those between the ages of 18 and 24, 34 percent reported losing money.

Some myths about scams

BBB has identified five common myths about scams. Familiarize yourself with these and be better protected in the marketplace:

▪ “Scammers are easy to spot.” In truth, they are sophisticated and gifted manipulators. They exploit internet anonymity to their advantage, sometimes changing their names chameleon-like to pose as trusted sources.

▪ “Scamming mostly hits uneducated, older people.” The reality is that 69 percent of victims are under 45 and 78 percent have college or graduate degrees.

▪ “Scams have little economic impact.” They have a staggering impact, causing annual losses of around $50 billion, hitting one out of five individuals yearly.

▪ “I just can’t protect myself from scams.” The truth is that informing yourself can provide protection. Sixty percent of victims agree that being unfamiliar with the scammer’s technique was a contributing factor in their loss.

▪ “There’s no point in reporting a scam.” Not true. You can help others by shining a light on your experience for them. Eighty percent of those surveyed said that knowing about a particular scam helped them avoid it.

BBB urges the public to take the time to report their victimization to local law enforcement, to BBB’s Scam Tracker at bbb.org and to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov.

Don’t let your embarrassment at having been victimized keep you from empowering others by telling your story. You can make a difference.

Baby Boomers Coming – East Hampton Star

The vacant Child Development Center of the Hamptons building on Stephen Hand’s Path is being considered by East Hampton Town officials for use as a senior citizens center and community facility.
David E. Rattray

The former Child Development Center of the Hamptons school on Stephen Hand’s Path in East Hampton could become the town’s next senior citizens center.

A report commissioned by the East Hampton Town Board and released this week indicated that the 22,000-square-foot building was in excellent shape.

Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said on Tuesday that the cost to convert the former C.D.C.H. building into a community center would be significantly less than the estimated cost to construct a new senior citizens facility from the ground up to replace the inadequate one on Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton.

While the town owns the land — part of a 44-acre complex that includes soccer fields — the building itself is apparently owned by Family Residences and Essential Enterprises of Old Bethpage, which managed the school. D.L. Bennett Consulting, which prepared the report for the town, said that the bill for repairs and converting the former school to a senior citizens center would be roughly $2.1 million. However, a purchase price has not been discussed and would be the wild card in ultimately deciding whether or not the plan to operate a senior citizens center there would be cost-effective, Drew Bennett said in his report.

The charter school closed at the end of the 2015-16 school year due to declining enrollment and financial losses. Students who had attended programs there have been largely accommodated by their home school districts.

The cost of a new senior citizens center has been estimated by the town at between $5.3 million and about $6.2 million. “Clearly, there is a substantial savings in that,” Mr. Cantwell said during a town board meeting at the Montauk Fire House on Tuesday.

Diane Patrizio, the director of the town Human Services Department, spoke favorably about the concept at Tuesday’s meeting. She said that in addition to the daily programs for older residents, the center houses a range of other services. These include a transportation program to get senior citizens out for grocery shopping and to medical appointments. A nutrition program is run there, as are individual case management services and youth programs.

In all, about 331 residents took part in nutrition programs at the senior citizens center in a 2015, according to the town, with more than 17,000 meals served.

Several 12-step groups use the senior citizens center during the off hours as well.

There are about 30 employees who work there in all, Ms. Patrizio said, many of whom are forced to park elsewhere, including at the nearby Calvary Baptist Church and others at Town Hall on Pantigo Road.

“We don’t have a lot of room there, and we have to use the same areas for different programs,” Ms. Patrizio said.

The C.D.C.H. site would allow the town to open a real community center with space for nonprofits and others to use the building.

Older residents who use the current senior citizens center like the location, Ms. Patrizio said, concluding, “We need more room.”

“People don’t like change, but once we made the move, the possibilities there outweigh any negatives,” she said.

“There are limitless options about how it could be laid out. It’s a really great building,” Eric Schantz, a member of the town planning staff, said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Mr. Cantwell said that there was a possibility that the East Hampton Food Pantry, which is facing the loss of its space in the Windmill II housing complex on Accabonac Road, might be able to move into the C.D.C.H. site, though he said that he was not sure yet if it would be an appropriate location for it.

“This is all attractive, but I am most concerned about traffic and getting there,” Councilman Fred Overton said at Tuesday’s meeting. He said he wondered about senior citizens making left turns from Stephen Hand’s Path onto Montauk Highway, particularly during the summer months. Mr. Cantwell responded that drivers could instead head east via Stephen Hand’s Path, crossing or entering Route 114 at the traffic light there.

The Child Development Center had been considered a potential solution to crowded classrooms at the Springs School. However, the Springs School Board concluded this summer that it would be legally unable to do so because the site is outside of school district boundaries. The Springs School announced in August that Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, the nonprofit organization that had managed the charter school, had agreed to give it a number of fixtures, including desks, chairs, and bookshelves.

Plans for a new senior citizens center on the Springs-Fireplace Road property have been under discussion for more than two years. A third of the East Hampton Town population is over 55, and officials say that the need for services for older residents will only increase.

Last year, the town’s transportation program run at the center accommodated 250 clients, making about 17,400 trips.

The current senior citizens center has been in use for more than 30 years in a former bar and restaurant estimated to be more than 100 years old. The town also operates a program for older residents at the Montauk Playhouse Community Center, where an extensive renovation project and fund-raising campaign has been ongoing for a second phase of improvements that would include an aquatic and cultural center.

A millennial money move that can save baby boomers a few bucks – CNBC

Millennials and exchange-traded funds have grown up together.

Investors plunked down $66 billion in U.S. ETFs in 2000, according to the Investment Company Institute. Now U.S. ETFs hold more than $2.2 trillion in assets.

The rise of ETFs has coincided with millennials, people age 18 to 35, becoming investors.

“Millennials are more amped up about ETFs than any other generation,” said Heather Fischer, Charles Schwab’s vice president of ETF platform management.

She based her assertion on data from Schwab’s 2016 ETF Investor Survey, released at the Morningstar ETF conference last week in Chicago. Schwab is the fifth-largest ETF provider in the United States, with $52 billion in ETF assets, according to ETF.com, and has been an intense fee war in recent years with other big ETF companies, including BlackRock’s iShares ($929 billion), State Street Global Advisors ($461 billion) and index fund giant Vanguard Group ($579 billion).

Individual investor adoption of ETFs continues to steadily rise among millennials, Generation X and baby boomers, according to the Schwab survey, which polled more than 1,000 investors between the ages of 25 and 75 with at least $25,000 in investable assets. But the biggest move to ETFs has been among millennials.

Investors now allocate 22.5 percent of their total portfolios to the ETFs, compared to 16 percent in 2012. Among millennials, the average ETF allocation is 35.8 percent.