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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Bowflex for Baby Boomers

There are hundreds and maybe thousands of physical fitness guru’s all claiming to have the perfect answer, the “magic bullet” for physical fitness and a solution to a healthier body and lifestyle. Well, I’m not going to claim to have the perfect answer! However, I do have a few tips on an easy to use piece of exercise equipment that may be one of the best for all ages and is particularly suitable for those of us who are either baby boomers or a bit more seasoned. It’s the Bowflex…any version but a basic machine such as the Bowflex Sport is a perfect place to start.

So what’s the catch here? Absolutely no catch whatsoever….. just an enthusiasm to share some ideas on perhaps one of the most efficient, versatile and affordable exercise machines available for home use. The Bowflex combines aerobic and strength training with a smooth pulley and power rod resistance system that’s easy set up. You can easily switch resistance with the power rods through a wide range of motions for a complete strength and aerobic workout. Now don’t get me wrong on the expected results. The Bowflex ads show smiling, well muscled young people whom we all would like to look like, no matter what age. Well, now you may just want to get back some muscle tone and some of that past strength and endurance you once had. At any rate, here we are at 55, 60, 65 or older and card carrying members of AARP. Most of us simply want to maintain or improve our strength, muscle tone and respiratory efficiency. Today many doctors and physical fitness experts are espousing weight training and especially the use of free weights as we age. Everyone now acknowledges that maintaining and / or building our strength is critical in later years. We will certainly function with greater confidence and renewed strength but we will also be less likely to fall and if we do, less likely to suffer fractures since strength training adds to our bone mass. What we don’t hear talked about too frequently is the potential of injury with free weights if not properly supervised. Added to the injury possibility, there is also the need for other pieces of equipment such as various benches and supports in order to get a full range of activity with free weights.

So, let’s talk about the Bowflex. Perhaps you’ve seen the infomercials and watched as the group of well muscled young men and women gathered around a Bowflex machine and marveled at how easy it works and the quality of the workout it provides. So, how does this apply to you…at 55, 60, 65 years or older?

First, you can safely use the Bowflex without needing a partner. However before staring a program check with your physician to insure that you have no physical ailments that would preclude vigorous exercise. The Bowflex is a home device and since it’s in your home, it’s available at anytime. I must caution you on the hype of “now you can use it anytime of your choosing”. That may be correct, but to be successful you must establish a set time every day for your workout. Once you start slipping or changing times, you run the very real danger of skipping days and then a week or more and then suddenly you have no set program and you’re back to being a couch potato.

The Bowflex machine comes with a very nice manual of exercises and instructions and most will also have an instructional DVD. Let’s walk through some Bowflex 101 in the real world and set some realistic goals and simple to follow instructions:

1.Maintain a set time schedule either daily or every other day. Many prefer early morning exercise routines so that it doesn’t get cancelled out later in the day by unexpected events…..or lost will power. Early workouts also tend to set a positive, go get ’em attitude when those endorphins kick in from good prolonged vigorous exercise. Many experts say that the most effective time for the body to exercise is mid-afternoon and the least effective is at night. Working out late in the evening may also cause some sleep disruption.

2.Review the exercise manual that Bowflex provides but don’t become a slave to the described routines. While the programs were developed by experts, let your own sense of what’s working be your guide.

3.After reviewing the manual, establish your beginning program routine and stick to it for at least two full weeks or longer without deviation. Maintaining a consistent pattern will allow you to assess whether the program you’ve selected is comfortable for you and not too boring. It’s important to make the workout interesting as well as challenging. Boredom can lead to you dropping out so don’t let that happen!

4.Design your program to include aerobic as well as strength activities. While the Bowflex will greatly assist in developing strength, the aerobic exercises are terrific and important.

5.Start off with easy resistance power rods. Remember, this is going to be a lifestyle addition and not a quick fix so there is no reason to use too much weight resistance at the beginning. It is best to get comfortable with how the Bowflex operates using lower resistance and then gradually increase the weight / resistance.

6.Don’t feel compelled to “do the manual”. Select the exercises that work well with your strength and flexibility and rotate through them. Make sure, though, that you balance upper body, arms, legs and abdominals in your program.

7.Make sure you take advantage of the aerobic rowing motion. The seat glides easily and the resistance power rods and pulleys are exceptionally smooth in operation.

8.Be Creative! In a short time, you’ll be totally at ease and be able to handle any of the Bowflex routines. When that happens, you’re now ready to mix and match and create new routines on your own.

So, while this is an exercise machine for all ages, the Bowflex from my experience is exceptionally well suited for the great generation of Baby Boomers and beyond. It’s simplicity of set up, easy switching process from one exercise routine to another, wide range of weight resistance and easy fluid motion give this machine an A++ rating in my book!. While this is not an advertisement, you may want to check out the Bowflex website or other websites that offer exercise equipment. At any rate, get started on a healthier life style.

Be active, be healthy and be happy!

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]

Dating Older Men – How to Find Guys in Their 50s

If you are looking to date men who are in their 50s, you’ve got to know a few things about what they’re looking for, just so you know whether they’re looking for something you can offer them in a relationship. It’s not simply a question of acting differently or wanting to date older men for the wrong reasons. If you genuinely can’t click, then it simply won’t work out. This article is going to cover some of the things that men who are in their 50s may be looking in a prospective female partner.

1. Someone who radiates inner beauty: this is something men who have been around the block a few times would value. Of course, it may not be the case with all men who are in their 50s, but it is a fair generalisation to make; in their previous relationships, they might have been so caught up in maintaining a material image, they might just want someone who appreciates the good things in life whose beauty shines from inside them. This is somewhat difficult to offer, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it is something that they may look for.

2. Someone to take it slow with: one of the biggest problems men in their 50s will realize is that they might have been so busy being busy that suddenly, they are in their late 40s or early 50s and it suddenly kicks in that they’re running out of time to live their life how they want to live it. They want to slow things down, so if you want to go for heart-pumping adventures, you might not necessarily get along with him. Of course, this is again a generalisation. It’s a great ice breaker at any rate to ask him whether he’s looking to slow down.

3. Someone who wants more than fun: usually, someone who just wants to have fun is someone who’s not going to be hanging around for long. A man who is in his 50s does want someone interesting, but they would want her to stick around and be a friend before anything else. If you can offer friendship but maybe aren’t someone your friends would call fun, this means that you are still able to find men who are in their 50s. You just have to emphasise that you can offer him that friendship as your “selling point”.

Finding guys in their 50s is only half the game. The other half is knowing what you can offer them. If you can offer them companionship, inner beauty and someone who can stick around, then you’ve got a good chance of having a good relationship with him.

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

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.

Smart or Stylish – How to Tell the Difference

Recently there was an article in my local newspaper about helping women over 40 dress on-trend without looking like a teenager. As I read the advice and looked at the clothing examples, something was not quite right. I have seen it in other articles and on the women I meet while out networking.

It is the difference between looking smart and looking stylish or as one of my clients said – between looking neat and looking smashing.

As Baby Boomer women, we have been taught to dress well and to co-ordinate a bit. We walk out the door feeling smartly dressed. All the articles in newspapers and women’s magazines show us that too. What they do not show us is how to lift ourselves to the highest level where we always walk out the door feeling fabulous and smashing.

Here is my simple guide for Baby Boomer women so that you can recognise the difference between smart and stylish. It is easier than you think.

Smart and Dull or Stylish with Good Contrast

A smart and dull example would be a woman wearing black pants, top, shoes and handbag. Her jacket might be dark blue and she is wearing a blue and black patterned scarf which co-ordinates and brings the two colours together. This is following the correct style principles but the colours are very similar in tone and darkness. The result is smart but dull. When you also choose to wear a dark top or blouse with a high neckline, it drains the colour from your face.

To look smart, stylish and fabulous, wear a light and dark contrast. An example of this would be to wear a blue top and jacket, white or light-coloured pants and a white and blue scarf. It is the same style principles but there is a more obvious contrast between the colours. A white and blue scarf rather than a blue and white scarf works better as the white brings light to your face. The result is smart, stylish and fabulous.

Smart and Missing Something or Stylish with Colour Co-ordination

Magazine articles delight in showing a model wearing a black and cream or black and white skirt with a white or cream textured top. Then they go and add different coloured jackets and shoes or accessories that match the jacket. Black and cream or black and white can be worn with any other colour. It is smart dressing to add another colour to liven up the black and white combination. The missing something is an accessory that brings all the colours together. To look stylish you need to bring the black and white or black and cream colours into the accessories. Matching the shoes to the jacket is not enough. It is smart but not stylish.

A stylish woman might wear black pants and shoes, an orange top and a black, orange and white scarf. The scarf brings all the colours together. When you wear two or three plain-coloured items, your main accessory needs to combine all the colours. A plain black or plain orange necklace would take the outfit from stylish back to smart as you have matched but not co-ordinated.

Smart and Wrong Accessories or Stylish with Co-ordinated Accessories

I see many examples of accessories looking smart and colour matched but not stylish.

A model might be shown wearing cream pants, with a black and white patterned top plus a black and white necklace and black, white and red bangles. Many times the necklace matches the top and looks great close-up but from a distance it can disappears into the pattern. When you have a graphic, bold or multi-coloured top, do not wear a necklace. To lift the black and white patterned top or shirt from smart to stylish, add instead black and white earrings or wear a multi-bangle combination to two black, one white and one other colour of your choice. Alternatively, put on one bangle that includes all those colours.

An example of a stylish combination might be when you wear white pants and top, brown jacket, shoes and handbag, a brown and black scarf and an animal print belt. The scarf, or it could be jewellery, adds a touch of black and this is a great colour contrast over the white top. You have taken two main colours and added a tiny bit of a third for style.

Simple Stylish Rule

Wear two colours or one colour and a pattern in unequal proportions. Add a tiny touch of a third colour if desired. Then add at least one accessory that brings those two or three colours together in medium or bright shades so that you shine rather than look dull. Being stylish is when you are a whole rather than separate bits of colours and patterns.

Then in the words of my client, you will always be noticed positively, remembered easily and feel smashing.

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.”

If You Think Your Life Is Flying By, You’re Probably Doing Something Right

Sometimes is just seems like life is flying by. Before you know it, it’s Friday again. Maybe it’s a function of having a big family, or maybe it’s just the phase we’re going through. For some reason, I expected it to be different.

They say that when you hit age 40, you’re over the hill. So I guess being two decades past that, I must be slipping down that slope at a pretty good clip. When I was younger, I wondered if it would slow down some, you know, as the hair thinned and the knees creaked as much as my rocking chair. But no!

Which brings me to our youngest child’s graduation. Yeah, The Joanster, little Joansie, Joana Wee, has finished high school with flying colors and is soon to be a Tiger. Our baby is a woman!

How did this happen, all of a sudden? Wasn’t it just the other day she put on her sisters two-piece, plucked the resident cards from the junk drawer and strolled 3 blocks down to the local pool. At two years old. Jill came home and said, “Hey, where’s Joanie?” Did we panic? Is the Pope German? Running along Halls Ferry like we were on fire, pleading with people walking their dogs, hearts constricted like the Grinch’s. Thank God the life guards knew us and didn’t turn us into Social Services.

Then there’s the next one up. Mary Pat is marrying in November. Huh? Little MP, the kid who regularly donned pink snow boots and stocking cap to watch TV… in June. The athlete who should have never been allowed to run cross country, since her face always turned redder than Mark McGuire’s before Congress. THAT Mary Pat?

And did I mention the wifey is retiring. Wait just a minute here, sports fans. I got four years on her! Just kidding, since she has fought the good fight for a long time, and is definitely in line for this move.

The flip side of all these significant events, once you get past the amazement and the tears and the “Huh?’s”, is that me and that retired lady will be empty-nesters in a couple of months. The recent grad thinks that maybe we’re being a bit too giddy about this prospect, even as she “stresses out” about moving on and out. And maybe we are, but it is hard to contain our glee. It feels like a long, slow, deep breath, followed by a smile of gratitude, and accomplishment. Theirs, and ours, really. Just a memory are the years of doing the happy dance after finding a dollar in the dryer, or cashing in the coin jar to get milk and formula. Gone but not forgotten are the long nights of wondering if one child would ever stop throwing up, or another would ever get home, or still another would ever find their path.

At 60, I guess I’ve put in a good 75% of my allotted time. A glance at my own high school classlist shows a few who can’t say that. So, trust me, I’m not complaining.

But maybe I need to borrow a line from Captain James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise if things are going stay at this warp speed.

“Scottie, I need more power!”


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.”

[email protected]

Twitter @matthewassad21


Database editor Eugene Tauber contributed to this story.


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.

7 Ways An Aging Workforce Will Affect Human Resources

The number of employees working into their senior years continues to grow for a variety of reasons, with financial need, the failure of private pension plans, and lack of sufficient health benefits being among the most prominent. Older workers typically bring many vital assets to the table, such as solid life experience, better attitudes, work flexibility and an interest in learning new things. However, there are many issues for management to consider when comes to successfully manage an increasingly “graying” workforce. Here are seven of the most common ones:

1. RATIO OF OLDER WORKERS – Compared with the past, their numbers can be expected to grow disproportionately in the years to come. This is not an issue in the US alone – but a pattern being observed globally.

2. LONGER-TERM RETIREMENTS – Today the average number of years that workers spend in retirement is more than 30, compared with just a few years of retirement a century ago. This means that many will choose to remain working part time, while others may take a break to travel and enjoy their free time before beginning their job search again.

3. HEALTH ISSUES – Chronic health problems and age-related disabilities need to be considered. Among employees over 55, arthritis is the number one chronic condition. The implementation of better wellness programs and similar initiatives offers possible ways of avoiding excessive time off for illness.

4. MULTI-GENERATIONS – In the years to come, HR professionals will be increasingly challenged by the need for multi-generational workers to successfully function as a team. Different generations often hold opposing attitudes towards work and life. If not managed properly, these differences could result in ineffective performance in the workplace. The pairing of an experienced, competitive baby-boomer with a lifestyle-centric, laid-back Gen Y employee represents just one of the potential situations. It will take a proactive leader to understand the problems that are likely to arise, and how to pre-emptively act to avoid them.

5. AGE DISCRIMINATION – With more senior Americans still in the workforce, we can expect to see an increasing number of lawsuits being initiated by disgruntled employees seeking to play the “age” card. Workers over the age of 40 are protected from discrimination on the basis of age by the provisions of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (which affects employers with 20+ employees). HR will need to be educated on the latest laws and the trends in discrimination-based litigation.

6. SUCCESSION PLANNING – With fewer “young” workers entering the job market due to lower fertility rates in the US and most the industrialized world, succession planning will become more and more difficult. The talent may just not available in every area. Using remote workers from across the country may need to be considered.

7. MEDICAL COSTS – Older employees will not necessary cost more in healthcare. Although it is a well-known fact that health benefits for older workers are costly due to age-related diseases, younger workers also have a host of cost-related health issues such as smoking, pregnancy, lack of exercise, and obesity. Older workers who qualify may have medicare benefits as well.

Although the change in demographics may change the face of talent acquisition and management, with simple strategies, the change may be a smoother transition for business.

-Tricia Folliero

Vice President, Sanna Mattson Macleod