62. That’s the average retirement age for women in the United States as reported by the Retirement Industry Trust Association (Ritaus). The number is only slightly higher for men.
Now digest those indicators with 78.8, the average life expectancy in the United States, which has been steadily climbing for years. According to Ritaus, there will be around 88.5 million Americans over the age of 65 by 2050. The retirement period for both men and women has been on an upswing and is only expected to increase over the next few decades.
This means Americans have plenty of free time after retirement. Growing numbers of retirees, including older and younger Baby Boomers and now starting to include older Gen Xers, are choosing to rebrand the post-retirement years as a time to indulge their passions and hobbies and maintain an active lifestyle free from everyday hassles. While their mindsets may be different with the Boomers attracted to a “You deserve this” approach and the Gen Xers much more in tune with “Best value for the money”, “Data-driven and researched” and “Efficient and easy”, in many cases, all three groups want the same things — low HOA fees, private open space, and an open and accessible floor plan.
So, shouldn’t their housing match their lifestyle? These preferences have a timelessness about them that are unlikely to go out of style, at least in the next 10 or 15 years. Since the 1990s Epcon’s homes have been consistently popular with the Boomer generation. As older Gen Xers approach the buying cycle of 55+ communities, research suggests that many of these preferences will continue. Epcon’s attractive, high quality offerings are popular with this demographic.
Retirement community? Not so fast
Given that these active lifestyle buyers are looking to indulge their passions, they’re not yet ready for retirement homes. Instead, they prefer a residence that is easy to maintain, freeing up time to pursue fun activities without wasting precious resources on home chores. Many of Epcon’s communities provide some exterior home maintenance, including lawn care, snow removal and trash pickup.
While Baby Boomers may not be as interested in multi-generational suites, it remains that 55+ buyers are looking for homes with open floorplans and features of accessibility should they need such accommodations in the future. Specifically, they need floorplans that are easy to navigate and include an owner’s suite that can be accessed without dealing with steps.
NPR reported in 2022 that there is a shortage of available homes in general. By one estimate, the U.S. is more than 3 million homes short of the demand from would-be home buyers due to supply issues, the state of the economy and an increase in zoning restrictions. On top of a general shortage, when you add in specialty floorplans and communities that meet all of the 55+ buyer requirements, homes are not easy to find and builders without experience building this type of home may struggle to create the right floorplans and face tough zoning restrictions blocking their progress. That leaves a market demand that can be filled by builders who have proven systems in place with homes that are popular with the 55+ market and processes that allow them to build such homes faster.
Why Partner With Epcon Franchising
55+ buyers want a relaxing environment for social gatherings with people close in age and friendly neighbors, without taking care of lawn maintenance. They want long-term functional considerations, including open floorplans, outdoor patios, high ceilings, natural light, accessibility and multi-generational suites. Given considerable market demand, home builders that can quickly and efficiently build these homes can capture market share. Having the support of a top U.S. home builder (Builder Magazine, 2022) can help existing home builders to leverage their market intelligence and systems.
Epcon Franchising has done extensive market research to create floorplans and communities. This model enables Franchise Builders to develop and sell entire communities. Equally important, Epcon Franchise Builders have a network of experienced builders across the country who can offer advice and insights into gaining zoning approvals, effectively negotiating labor and supply costs, and managing realistic timetables while using consistent building plans that can speed up construction and reduce waste.
In short, builders who work with Epcon Franchising will be better suited to meet the demands of the 55+ buyer. Combined with proven, copyrighted floorplans, sales and marketing support and proprietary systems, a home builder can follow the Epcon Franchising business blueprint to a T.
Learn how you can become an Epcon Franchise Home Builder.