A lot of time has been spent thinking about what the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) will be looking for when its time for them to downsize. When you consider the range that comprises the Boomer generation it includes people age 57 to 74 so we can’t really think about them as a single age cohort. Planning for the preferences of early Boomers may be starting now, although the average age of move-in to independent living is early 80’s! As an early Boomer myself, I’m not sure I can accurately tell you what I’ll be looking for (if anything). Maybe one the way to approach it is to talk about what we early Boomers won’t be looking for. Highly structured activities and programs that aren’t based on our input would be one thing. We are opinionated and we expect our thoughts to be solicited and given serious consideration. So, flexibility will be key and we are already seeing that in numerous retirement communities that offer various choices in meal plans, for example. Another way to look at it is what we would find attractive. Properties that don’t stand out saying WE’RE FOR OLD PEOPLE! That suggests including senior housing in mixed use communities, bringing people of various ages together, co-existing with commercial amenities such as restaurants, movie theaters, book stores, and other retail uses. More communities located in urbanized, walkable environments will be desirable. It will be important to create opportunities for Boomers to continue to contribute to the community around them, rather than leaving them feeling isolated in a single building or a senior housing campus. Let us help you plan for our future!