The vast majority of boomers will stay near where they currently live as they reach retirement rather than migrate to other states, a report by the Brookings Institution, Washington, concludes.
This means that in the years leading up to 2030 and beyond, senior populations will become strikingly larger while changing in other important aspects compared to earlier populations of seniors, predicts the study, “Mapping the Growth of Older America,” written by William H. Frey, visiting fellow in economic studies at Brookings.
The distinct social and demographic attributes of this age group “will be magnified by the sheer size of the baby boom ‘age wave,’ which will transform state, regional, city and suburban populations in both growing and declining areas of the country,” Frey states.
In states where senior populations will grow fastest over the next 35 years, aging in place will be the leading cause of the growth, rather than migration. In Georgia, for example, the over-65 age group will grow by more than 40% between 2010 and 2020, largely due to the aging of existing residents.
For advisors and companies selling financial products and services, perhaps of most interest are Frey’s projections of where the most affluent senior populations will emerge in the years immediately ahead.
With larger, pre-senior populations now living in urban and suburban areas of the West and South, the most well-off seniors gradually will become apparent in places now known for their youthful populations–such as Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas and Atlanta.
“On the other hand, slow-growing metropolitan areas in the Northeast and Midwest will age as well, but more likely will be comprised disproportionately of ‘mature seniors’ who are less well-off financially or health-wise,” Frey writes.
Using U.S. Census Bureau data, he notes as boomers age, the 55-to-64-year-old age group will become the fast growing group, increasing in size by close to 50% from 2000 to 2010. The 45-to-54 age group will also grow significantly, by 19%., while “young seniors,” or those from 65 to 74, will grow by 16% in that time.