Active Adult Senior Communities

As I talk with both senior living and multi-family developers, there is a big focus and many questions relating to “active adult” or “age-restricted’ apartments.  It makes sense for many reasons, but the average age of entry stands out the most.  Today the average age at which a person moves into traditional senior housing is 85, with an average length of stay just over six years.

The move-in age for active adult communities is in the low to mid-70's.  The oldest members of the baby boomer generation, those born in 1946, are just now turning 74.  This creates a true opportunity to capture a younger senior demographic ten years earlier than traditional senior living facilities.

Boomers considering active adult communities prefer renting over owning to provide them with economic and logistical flexibility.  They are attracted by a sense of community and are healthy enough to not need traditional care-based senior housing.  At...

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Mid-Market Musing

I learned early in my career how little I know.  Though we have built more senior living than anyone I know and have been exposed to very successful senior living developers and operators, they all operate differently.  Someone recently said to me, “An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until eventually, he knows everything about nothing.” But I don’t think that is the case in my situation.  It’s just that there are a lot of ways to be successful if you know what your Hedgehog Concept is, as Jim Collins would say.

Mid-market became a newer thing a couple of years ago.  They often say what is old is new, and this might be one of those situations.  We, in conjunction with a number of clients, are working on several mid-market concepts.  They hearken back to the eighties when this industry was starting, and people’s...

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The Stepping Stone for Baby Boomers

The “Silver Tsunami” of Baby Boomers is not knocking on the door of assisted living communities just yet and still has several years to go before they are.  So how are senior living developers going to entice these folks to leave their homes?

A recent article in Senior Housing News noted that in a survey of 120 senior housing professionals, 87% of them responded that they are currently pursuing active adult apartment projects.  They see the need for a stepping stone so to speak; getting seniors to leave their homes that are nowhere near ready to move into an Independent Living community much less an Assisted Living community.  Seniors in this segment are still looking for active, vibrant lives and are not ready to see what the future looks like by living in communities where they would see just that. 

If seniors can stay in place longer in these communities with the...

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Bright Future for Senior Housing

One thing was clear at the National Investment Center for Senior Housing (NIC) fall conference that was held recently in Chicago.  The interest in senior housing continues to grow.  With more than 3,300 attendees at NIC, it was a whirlwind of activity meeting with developers, operators, equity providers and lenders, all who are optimistic about the future for new development in senior housing.

There seems to be no limit to the private equity that is available to experienced developers who along with their operating partners have a solid track record.  Private equity funds that target the senior housing sector raised more money in 2018 than at any time before, with more than $15 Billion raised.  This is up from the previous record of $10.8 Billion raised in 2015.

This high level of interest in senior housing can be supported by the fact that the number of Americans age 65 and above is...

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Not Your Father’s Senior Living Community

As the baby boomer generation begins turning 70, senior living providers will have tremendous opportunities.  At the same time, they will face the challenge of reinventing their business and providing innovative solutions to meet the needs and demands of this new generation. Today’s seniors are looking for options that deliver the comforts and amenities of home.  This trend is changing the design and construction of senior living communities.  Designers are incorporating more residential design elements and finishes into new buildings, resulting in vibrant and comfortable spaces that are very inviting for residents.  The buildings being designed and constructed today are not your father’s senior living facility. By involving a general contractor very early in the planning process, working collaboratively with the design team, an owner can understand costs, lead times and constructability of various design components, and have the ability to make timely decisions.  The general contractor can also provide potential alternative options...

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Senior Living: Meeting the Changing Needs

The Interface Conference in Atlanta proposed some interesting questions with possible answers.  Everyone talks about the first baby boomers turning 72, intimating that this is a positive for senior living.  But the average entry age for senior living properties is about 85, depending on who you talk to, so there is a long time to wait for the first baby boomer.  Not surprisingly, developers are starting to think about how to attract baby boomer retirees.  Minimal, à la carte services in an affordable, yet reasonably sized apartment is one.  Home health care can be layered on at a later date.  One provider is using food trucks for his kitchen, a different truck, with different types of food every night.  It’s amazing to me to see the number of people my age retiring.  Though they are closer to 60, there is a discussion of downsizing, lower maintenance, more freedom, and more...

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Baby Boomers — The New Wave in Senior Living

The baby boomers, the massive increase in births that occurred between 1945 and 1964, started turning 65 in 2011.  The population of people over 65 stood at just over 41 million people in 2011.  With approximately 10,000 people turning 65 each day, the over-65 population is projected to grow to over 85 million by 2050. The baby boomers have shaped the housing market for many years, and as baby boomers approach retirement, there is no doubt, they will shape the senior housing market for years into the future.  Market studies indicate that as baby boomer age, they want to maintain an active lifestyle either within their own community, or a community near their adult children.  While many seniors prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible, a higher percentage of the baby boomer generation, compared to the previous generation, desire an easier “carefree” lifestyle. Senior (age restricted) apartment communities, villas,...

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Senior Living for the Middle Market

Lately, as I talk with our senior living clients, many of them seem to be thinking about the same challenge.  Similarly, that same challenge seems to be the topic of seminars at recent industry conferences, as well as the subject of several articles published in many of the trade magazines.  How do we provide senior living solutions to the middle market?

For much of the past thirty-five-plus years, development and growth of the senior living industry have been off the charts.  Everyone understands that as the baby boomers age, we will be hard-pressed to meet the demand, however currently there continues to be concern and discussion that the market is becoming overbuilt.  But upon further study, one will quickly discover that most of the growth and development has been either on the high-end or on the affordable/subsidized end of the market.  Very little new development has been targeted at the middle...

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