Boomers Want Better Cost of Living, Lower Taxes and “Room for the Grandkids”

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 14 November 2012

I always said the area where I spent most of my childhood — a quick drive from New York City in the well-known PA resort hot spot, the Poconos — was a great place to “grow up and grow old.” In my opinion, the region offered little in the way of career or personal enrichment opportunities for the post-high-school and pre-retirement years.

I’m now realizing it’s a great place to raise kids, which is the very reason my parents had moved us there in the first place, trading the city life and its high taxes for lower-cost, family-friendly country living (i.e. smaller schools, less populated areas, wide open spaces). My grandparents lived there too, and we all enjoyed the benefits of having them nearby — free childcare services, long summer days in their swimming pool, the gift of developing a close relationship with them.

Now the trend has caught up, and these young families who want a rural versus urban lifestyle are no longer the demographic in focus. Instead, it’s becoming a hot spot for boomers and retirees, the empty nesters who still want to be close to metropolitan New York and New Jersey and all their advantages, but don’t want to pay their infamously steep taxes or high cost of living.

This recent Patch.com article affirms just how wildly popular this area, known as the Lehigh Valley, is, touting the dramatic results of a presales event for the active adult community housing provider, Traditions of America. Not only did a record 250 people (ages 55+) attend the event, but within two hours of its opening: “Nearly 100 signed up in advance for priority numbers and the chance to put down a deposit. And they got 44 deposits in one night for a first phase of 54 lots. It’s really a crazy response for an active adult community in this economy,” said Erin Read Ruddick of the New England-based mature marketing firm, Creating Results. David Biddison, Director of Operations for Traditions of America, agreed: “The interest in our newest 55 and over community has been nothing short of extraordinary.”

Such significant growth in a positive direction is certainly welcome, as the housing market of recent years has been anything but lively and dynamic.

Its convenient access to major cities, charming small towns, and plenty of rural recreation opportunities makes it an ideal place to live, but also a desirable destination with plenty to do — and adequate guest space — for visiting family members. As prospective homebuyers in the Patch article shared, the couple chose a two-story home plan to allow “room for the grandkids.”

My hometown is a hot spot yet again.

Talk back: Times are changing, with boomers choosing new homes with room for the grandkids, and families of all ages making room for grandparents, the popularity of multigenerational households surging again. In what category do you find yourself?

Read more about Senior Living Trends here.



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