As the remnants of the “GI” and “Silent” Generations begin to fade away in the coming years, they will be replaced by one of the largest generations in history: The Baby Boomers. Born between 1946 and 1964, this flood of over 77 million people are beginning to recede from the workplace and trickle into the retirement community. As age and an increasingly shaky Social Security program take their toll, more of the “Me” generation will be enjoying active retirement and start looking past the golden years. For Colorado, this means that there is a growing market for retirement communities and facilities such as:

Active Adult Communities:

AAC’s are housing developments that are targeted toward a certain age group; usually 55+. In the Denver area, they can range from the low $100k to mid $900k, depending on the area and amenities. Most of the residents of AACs are still working or enjoy a healthy and busy lifestyle; hence the term “Active”. People who live in AACs are not yet ready to settle sown in their rocking chair on the front porch, but vibrant “salt-and-pepper” people ready to hike a weekend 14’er or run a downtown marathon before heading back to their job on Monday. Most AACs keep this in mind and incorporate hike-n-bike paths, golf courses, swimming pools, and host events geared toward a 55+ generation’s taste. Expect to see an upsurge in demand for AACs over the next 5-10 years.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities:

Once age and health have started to take their toll, it will become necessary for Boomers to move onward to more assisted living accommodations. However, there are certain levels of independence that can be found. One step away from AACs are Continuing Care Retirement Communities; residential homes that include care services. From simple assisted living to nursing home level care, CCRCs provide a wide range of services for residents. Most homes in CCRCs are around the same price as AACs.

Assisted Living Communities:

Assisted Living Communities are just that. Residents have access to paid helpers who can help with everything from shopping services and deliveries to daily routines. At this level, a resident still has quite a bit of independence, but doesn’t have to worry about being alone in times of need or crisis. Although there are a good number of Assisted Living Centers in Colorado now, the number is rapidly increasing to meet the demand of the next 15-20 years.

Nursing Care Facilities / Nursing Homes:

Usually thought of as the final step before passing on, Nursing Care Facilities provide day-to-day assistance and medical needs. Residents often require help with personal, routine care such as bathing, eating, and moving about. Often given a bad name, most Nursing Care Facilities are a pleasant place for those in the final stages of life. By the time most Baby Boomers reach this phase, the industry will have exploded to accommodate them.

With the most populous generation in recorded history making its slow transition into the retirement years, it’s no wonder that retirement communities of every form are expanding rapidly. Although they will, by no means be as prolific as a fast food restaurant chain, the industry growth will certainly be “Booming.”