Baby Boomers driving demand for second homes – ConsumerAffairs

PhotoThe U.S. real estate market appears strong, with tight inventories driving home prices higher in most markets.

And it’s not just primary residences that are in growing demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports sales of vacation homes – while down in 2015 from the year before, are nonetheless on a red hot pace.

In fact, the Realtors’ group says the median sales price of both vacation and investment properties surged last year, though the number of sales declined from the previous year.

As they have done throughout their adult lives, Baby Boomers are driving this trend.

Boomers propel demand

“Baby boomers at or near retirement continue to propel the demand for second homes, although headwinds softened the overall volume of vacation sales last year,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a release.

Yun says there are more buyers competing for a dwindling number of bargain-priced properties. This tighter supply in the face of rising demand may have resulted in fewer sales, but the homes that did sell sold at a premium.

Perhaps because of the popularity of cable TV shows about home “flipping,” sales of investment homes posted a significant increase in 2015, rising from 1.02 million to 1.09 million, a 7% gain. The numbers represent purchases by individual buyers, excluding institutional investors.

Yun says vacation home sales have helped Florida recover from the housing debacle of the last decade, since the bulk of vacation home sales are occurring in the south.

The downside, says Yun, is that the significant run up in price has probably squeezed out less affluent buyers looking for a vacation home.

Seeking rental income

Meanwhile, the trend in investment property is shifting away from flipping and more toward income.

“Steadily increasing home prices and strong rental demand appear to be giving more individual investors assurance that purchasing real estate will diversify their portfolios and generate additional income if they decide to rent out the home,” Yun said.

The NAR survey shows the median investment home buyer last year had a household income of $95,800, and most bought a detached single-family home not far from where they lived.

Forty-two percent of buyers said they made the move to gain rental income. Only 14% cited price appreciation as a main reason for the investment.

Poll explores chasm between baby boomers and millennials –

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A national poll conducted by Purdue University’s Institute for Civic Communication found millennials — Americans born between 1980 and 1998 — are expected to be the largest voting bloc in this year’s presidential election.

The survey, conducted among 1,001 adults ages 18 and older, was made up from questions created by students from the institute.

It also found that 68 percent of baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — said they were worried about leaving governance of the nation to millennials.

Earl Bercot, a baby boomer, said he disagrees.

“I don’t think it’s an age group,” Bercot said. “I think it’s values. There can be people in their 90s that are wise or stupid, and there could be millennials who are very stupid or very wise. I don’t think it’s a matter of what generation you’re born in.”

Purdue student Alexandria Garner said, “I don’t think it’ll be a problem. My mom’s a baby boomer, and so they’re the ones who raised us. So I think it would be fine. Don’t worry guys!”

The survey found younger Americans — as a demographic — think the federal budget should spend more on education and environmental protection, while those 50 and older want more spending on infrastructure and defense.

The poll found 70 percent of millennials intend on voting this year.

Click here for more poll results.

The Best of the Best Anti Aging Products For Aging Baby Boomers

Aging baby boomers are determined to fight the aging process. They spend millions of dollars a year on what they perceive as the best anti aging products money can buy. They are being very short sighted in their quest for youth. Just as a well maintained car eventually breaks down, our bodies do the same. Aging is a chronic and ongoing condition we all face.

Successful aging requires planning. The baby boomer generation has made it loud and clear that they want to remain in their homes and communities as they age. Yet they ignore the most important factor that will help them achieve the goal to age successfully at home.

The home environment most boomers reside in was built for the young family. A young body can run the stairs, stand at the sink and get on a stool to reach things. These are activities that become difficult or even impossible for some as they age. Falls are the number one robber of independence of the aging body. Yes, all the exercise, good nutrition and Botox cannot help one from falling and breaking a bone.

Eventually the body slows down and being mobile can be an issue. It becomes hard to get into the bathroom. Many aging seniors stop taking baths because of a fear of falling. No matter how hard we want to stay young or we will our bodies to maintain a youthful appearance, eventually we will slow down.

So what is the best investment for successful aging at home? It is simple. Adjust your present living environment to meet the needs of your aging body. Many aging seniors end up in nursing homes or assisted living because their home environment could not accommodate their needs.

More on Investment for Successful Aging. The Best Anti Aging Products for Aging Baby Boomers.

There are simple things we do now that we take for granted. Turning a door knob or reaching for the light switch are functions that can become difficult as we age. By making small changes in your present environment, over time, you can make your home livable for your future needs.

If you are going to plan any remodeling or home improvements, it is important to seek the advice of a certified aging in place specialist. These are individuals that utilize the basics of universal design house plans to meet the needs of everyone: the disabled, the aging and the young. They will assist you in making the right choices for your needs.

There are eight factors to keep in mind when you are considering making changes to your home. I will cover four of them here.

Safety is the first and foremost concern as we age. You cannot prevent accidents from occurring, but you can create an environment that will decrease the chances of one occurring. The concept of universal design considers this in every area of the home from the entrance way to the bathroom and kitchen.

Mobility is a factor as we age. Some will require walkers or a cane; others may require a wheelchair for mobility. Getting in and out of the home is always a priority that does not change as we age. How we get in and out of the house does become a problem.

Mobility in the house is also a factor one must consider when considering remaining in the home as you age. Using stairs, using the bathroom for toileting and personal care, cooking and preparing food can become difficult as we age. Addressing the home environment and making changes using universal design concepts will assure successful aging in place.

Bathroom accessibility is a key factor. For many, as we age we will require other assistance from a care giver with our personal care needs. Safety and accessibility to allow one to be as independent as possible is the goal for this room of the house. Simple changes such as grab bars, hand held shower heads and scald guards on the faucets are benefits the entire family can enjoy.

Yes, aging baby boomers, the best anti aging products to invest in are the products and changes to your home that will promote independence, safety and security for you as you age. Unlike most anti aging products these products work and are a key for successful aging.

Active Living Communities Hold Great Benefits For Baby Boomer Seniors

When its time to retire, where would you rather spend your golden years? In one of those nursing homes like the ones that you always hated to visit when you were a kid and had to go see grandma; or in one of the new breed of active living communities for today’s modern seniors?

If you are like the millions of baby boomers just starting the retirement part of their lives, then you surely answered that you would prefer one of the senior retirement communities for active adults. You have spent most of your life being active and there is no reason why you should have to stop now.

Many of these new retirement communities are centered around a particular sport like golf. Trilogy Homes are usually like this, with a big golf course in the middle of them. But there are some that are centered around activities like horseback riding and the stables are the centerpoint of the communities.

Others like the ones that Del Webb builds feature a variety of activities so that pretty much no matter what you enjoy doing, you can find it at one of their developments.

The active adults communities are often gated and provide 24 hour a day security. This feature alone has convinced many people to move to one of these retirement villages because then they have an added level of protection in their homes.

Because of the security features at these places, many of the residents are able to relax completely and feel safe in their communities. Not that everybody moved there from dangerous neighborhoods, but it is nice to know that you are basically living in a small town. And you have your own onsite private security force to help make sure that your small retirement town stays nice and safe for you.

This is an advantage that not everyone enjoys anymore, to be able to go out for a stroll around the village at night without having to worry that you will run into any problems while you are simply out taking your walk. In the long run, it’s probably almost impossible to stay completely safe anywhere, but the fact you have an extra layer of folks watching out for your in your retirement village can bring a lot of extra peace and happiness.

Retirement used to spell the end of things for a lot of people, and now it does not. What it really means these days is that if you move to one of these active living communities, you are really beginning a whole new chapter in your life. And that is fantastic benefit.

Baby Boomers and the At-Home Business

Baby boomers have a lot of life and business experience to bring to whatever we do these days. We’ve already had jobs and careers, we’ve raised families-and let’s not forget all of the hard work we did changing people’s expectations about what’s possible for women and minorities!

Now, many Boomers are entering a period of our lives where we’re questioning what we might want to do next. We know that job security went the way of the dodo many years ago, and that corporations are no more loyal to us than we should be to them. The financial services industry has failed us, and many of us think that our government is failing us, too.

At any rate, Boomers are well aware that we aren’t going to have the luxury of guaranteed pensions to draw from as we enter the next years of our lives.

And all of this is where starting a home business comes in. Depending on the kind of home business Boomers choose, we can have the freedom we’ve been dying to trade our corporate jobs to have. At the same time, we become the ones responsible for our own success. We don’t have to worry whether or not our jobs will be history tomorrow, because we’ve become the boss!

That said, you’ve found this article because you’re probably a member of the Baby Boom generation and you’re at least interested in checking out home businesses. With that in mind, here’s a rundown on the kinds of home businesses you can own:

  • Franchises. There are home franchises out there that cost far less money to start than opening a brick-and-mortar franchise, and some of them will still give you the freedom to set your own schedule instead of being on your customers’ schedules. But be careful-one kind of home franchise, commercial cleaning franchises, are well-known for having a lot of questionable business practices.
  • You can also do service work from home-everything from sewing to opening a childcare center. If you’re a Boomer woman who has chosen homemaking and being a mother as your career, you may want to think about this opportunity. You’re going to have some up-front costs in terms of getting licensing if you work with children or with food, but the fun and profit you can earn may well be worth it!
  • Do you do arts and crafts? Have your friends sworn they’ve purchased items that were half as good as what you’re doing in your spare time? Boomers are lucky-we have the Internet, and you can use the Internet to open up your own Etsy store to turn your hobby into a business.
  • In fact, you can own a lot of different kinds of Internet businesses without having to leave the comfort of your home! Boomers have expertise, and we can sell that expertise online in the form of everything from instructional videos to e-books. But that’s not the only kind of Internet business that Boomers can do. You may choose to market a company’s product through an affiliate relationship or direct marketing, for example. And the best part is an Internet business is among the least expensive businesses you can start!
  • Finally, if you love people and are passionate about a certain product line, you can go into old-style network marketing-demonstration parties and selling products person-to-person. And these days you can even do network marketing online and reach out to huge markets!

The point here is that we Baby Boomers have a wealth of experience to bring to our own businesses. At the same time, creating at least a second income stream has never been more important than it is today.

If you’re one of my fellow Baby Boomers, don’t let today’s economy get you down. After all, we’ve seen recessions before, haven’t we? But if you’re creative and willing to put some consistent effort into it, a home business will at least give you a second stream of income-and at best, it will free you from an uncertain corporate job and give you the freedom you’ve been craving. I know-I have an at-home business, and I’m having the time of my life!

Baby boomers, are you fit for everyday life? – Chicago Tribune

Old age isn’t what it used to be.

“Our expectations have changed from dying at 75 to living well into our 90s and even to 100,” says Robin Robertson, a gym owner and trainer in Bellingham, Wash., who specializes in fitness for those 55 and older. “We could all use tips on how to make those years healthy and vibrant rather than burdensome.”

Between 1980 and 2010, the number of 100-year-olds increased 66 percent. Baby boomers are now ages 52 to 70. By 2029, more than 20 percent of Americans will be over 65.


It’s not how long we will live, but how well.

The key is maintaining functional fitness, says Dan Ritchie, who, in 2013, co-founded Functional Aging Institute, a business that teaches fitness professionals how to train mature clients. Functional fitness means movements that help you in everyday life. Think cross-body and full-body motions, bending or picking something up off the floor. The goal is to build a body capable of real-life activities.

“This has huge implications for older adults,” says Ritchie. “What do you need to do, want to do or dream of doing? You need to get groceries, empty a dishwasher, clean your house. You want to hike, cycle or play with grandchildren. Not everybody dreams of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at 70, but whatever you dream of, it will require functional abilities.”

How to make your later years robust and independent?

Exercise. Find activities you love, and do them several times per week. Incorporate strength-training and cardio.

Low-impact activity is kind to joints and promotes longevity, says Robertson, a USA Cycling Coach and author of “Healthy & Fit Body.” “We can beef up our joints through muscle and ligament strengthening. Cycling does this without impact or lateral movement.”

Lose excess weight. An overweight woman who drops as little as 11 pounds reduces the chance of getting arthritis in her knees by 50 percent. Ten pounds of excess body weight delivers an extra 20 to 30 pounds of stress to your knees with every step.

Change your view of aging. Aging isn’t bad; it’s natural. Think of the positives, Ritchie says: You don’t do the stupid stuff you did when you were 25; you can enjoy grandchildren; and you can focus on what’s important to you, such as charities or volunteering.

Take responsibility. You control exercise, eating, stress, sleep. Is your trajectory of aging leading to frailty or independence?

It’s never too late to start, Ritchie says. “But that doesn’t mean you should wait! We can get you fit at 60, but if you’ve taken care of yourself from 50 to 60, it’s a whole lot easier.”

Ritchie tells this story:

“A 79-year-old came to us last year. He wanted to hike Son Doong Cave in Vietnam with his son-in-law and grandson. It’s one of the largest caves in the world, and you get to its entrance via a six-hour hike through virgin jungle. If you don’t do well on the jungle hike, tour operators don’t let you go into the cave. This 79-year-old was fit but lacked balance and coordination, so we helped him train to achieve it before the trip.

“When they arrived at the cave entrance, the 79-year-old did not go into the cave. But it wasn’t him; it was the lack of fitness in his 49-year-old son-in-law. The younger man had struggled with shortness of breath on the hike, and his father-in-law wouldn’t go in without him.

“It wasn’t age; it was functional capacity.”

Functional fitness supports life’s activities, including strength and balance. Instead of using a weight machine that works one motion in one plane, seek complex training movements that engage multiple joints, Robertson advises. Stay fit enough to get out of a chair without using the chair arms.

“If we don’t stay active, we lose muscle,” she says. “If we get weaker, we become vulnerable to injury. If we get injured, we lose motivation to do what we used to enjoy. Fear of falling is huge as we get older.”

Robertson regularly sees clients use diet and exercise to reduce or eliminate medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, and employ strength training to avoid or delay knee or hip replacement.

Others improve quality of life. Husband and wife Mike Addison, 72, and Marcela Berg, 79, who moved to Bellingham in 2014, built a no-ledge shower in their home because they anticipated future entry via wheelchair. At that time, Marcela wouldn’t shower without Mike in the room, in case she fell. She expected leg strength and balance to lessen further as she aged. “I thought I’d be on a slow downhill slide. But it didn’t happen that way, because I joined this gym! Now I walk to the bathroom and take a shower by myself.”

Marcela used to clutch Mike’s arm as she shuffled into the gym. After nine months of functional training, she regained the ability to walk confidently alone. She can do squats, and lift both arms straight overhead, abilities that had deteriorated. Marcela says frequent social events at this facility add an emotional lift. “All of it comes together to maintain quality of life.”

Mike credits the success of his 2015 knee replacement to exercise. Now post-surgery, he can perform deep squats and walk 5 miles without fatigue. At one point, he and a similar-age friend were loading wood. “He couldn’t lift it, but I lifted the wood, no problem. And he’s bigger than I am! That encourages me to continue exercising.”

The number of Americans 62 and older is growing, with most of the increase expected by 2030. Plus, Americans ages 62-plus have a net worth 40 percent higher than that age group did 25 years ago. “There’s a gigantic need for fitness,” Ritchie says. “They don’t want to get old and wait to die. They want to go on adventures, live life to the fullest. And they can afford to — if they have the functional capacity. That’s key.”

Cheryl Stritzel McCarthy is a freelance writer.


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A Speed Reading Tip For Baby Boomers

It is no secret that baby boomers are growing older. Many of them are now seniors or soon will become seniors. These baby boomers are looking for ways to maintain their mental health as they grow older. In this article, I will describe how speed reading can help them accomplish this goal and much, much more.

If you are interested in staying mentally fit as you grow older, then you need to read the Baltimore and Seattle Longitudinal Study On Aging. Let me share with you some of the important information contained within these studies. The individuals in these studies were all octogenarians, seniors aged 80 years or older. What was revealed by these studies is quite important for anyone wanting to stay mentally fit as they age.

The study found that individuals who continued to read maintained a higher level of mental acuity than their coach potato friends. It appears that the brain works a lot like a muscle. At least in the sense that it is a use it or lose it part of our body. People who continue to read, and learn new things as they grow older are less like to exhibit many of the problems associated with aging. These individuals had a lower incidence of dementia, and Alzheimer’s then those who sit in a chair and watched television. Let me explain why this happened.

It is believed that the extra stimulation that came from reading and learning helped their aging brains to form new connections. Although you are continually losing brain cells as you age, you can offset the effects of this loss by creating new connections. That was precisely what reading was doing for these octogenarians. And it gets even better.

Apparently, starting to read at this age also helped to keep the brain’s functionally longer and better. This is good news for people who haven’t pushed themselves to using their brains for many years. Some of the effects were reversible. Simply starting a vigorous program that included reading helped to keep their brain’s functioning at a much higher level than seniors who simply sat and did nothing.

While reading appeared to be one of the main ways for keeping the brain young, it was also discovered that some card games also helped. Games like Pinochle and Bridge were found to help preserve mental acuity as well. The researchers believed that the memory needed to effectively play these games helped to stimulate the brain and kept it functioning at a higher level.

If you are a baby boomer, or are friends with a baby boomer, you will want to share the information contained within this article. Knowing that something as simple as reading a book, or playing card games that utilize memory can help keep the brain functioning as you age, can be a true life savior for those who want to live life to its fullest as they grow older.

Baby boomers often unaware they need hepatitis C screening – Reuters

In a survey of 81 emergency room patients born during the “baby boom” from 1945 to 1965, only 29 percent of participants knew their risk for the virus was higher than for people born in earlier or later generations, the study found.

“Baby boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than those groups born before or after this period,” said senior study author Dr. Ellie Carmody, an infectious disease researcher at New York University School of Medicine.

Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from an infected person enters the body of someone who isn’t infected. These days, most people infected with the virus get it from sharing needles or equipment to inject drugs, but it can also be transmitted during sex, and until a test for it was developed in the early 1990s, people could acquire hepatitis C through blood transfusions.

“Because hepatitis C does not cause symptoms until many years after the original infection, baby boomers may have been infected decades ago and be unaware of their infection,” Carmody added by email. “The longer people live with chronic hepatitis C, the more likely they are to develop complications.”

To see how well baby boomers understand the virus, Carmody and colleagues asked a sampling of patients treated at one New York Hospital to complete brief surveys quizzing them about the virus.

Most people surveyed knew hepatitis C could lead to liver failure or cancer and be transmitted during sex or from blood transfusions. But most of them also incorrectly assumed the virus could be spread by kissing or shaking hands.

Only 17 percent correctly noted that there’s no vaccine that can prevent people from getting the virus, researchers report in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Just 51 percent of respondents knew that hepatitis C can be cured, even though 77 percent correctly said new medicines have become available in recent years that make the virus easier to treat.

Beyond its small size, another limitation of the study is that not all patients answered every question on the survey, the authors note. In addition, more than half were not born in the U.S. and 69 percent had a high school diploma level of education or less, so the sample may not represent the wider population of baby boomers.

Nevertheless, emergency departments have become an important setting for early detection of infectious diseases and could be a good place for hepatitis screening, the authors write.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C at least once as part of their standard medical care.

Testing is the only way to detect hepatitis C in many people who have the virus but don’t feel sick, said Dr. Alexander Millman, a medical epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis.

“Hepatitis C infection can last a lifetime and lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver, liver cancer, or death,” Millman, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

“Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States,” Millman added.

SOURCE: The Journal of Emergency Medicine, online March 4, 2016.