San Francisco and Its Retiring Boomers

Most of us are aware that the Baby Boomers, a generation comprising huge numbers, are beginning to retire. Their retirement brings along with it immense lifestyle changes, including the selling of their homes. Additionally, a huge transfer of wealth to younger generations than the Boomers has begun.

The Baby Boomers overall will be downsizing their homes, though most likely not their lifestyles. While many of the Boomers were affected by the recession of 2008 which wiped out many of their paper assets, the majority of them have been recovering through continued home ownership. Nevertheless, given that prices are rising, one of the challenges the Boomers face is where to retire. Many smaller homes in desirable communities and locations well exceed what Boomers can afford.

The reasons for this are manifold and include affordability and the effects of Prop 13, the benefits of which many Boomers are accustomed to.  Owning a home in San Francisco by today’s standards requires an average income of $267,000. That generally means that moving into a different home in San Francisco is not an option for retiring Boomers.  This state of affairs in San Francisco sometimes means that Boomers dig in and vow to stay in their homes until someone carries out their lifeless body.  In this sense, Prop 13 has become a golden handcuff.

For those who want to or have to move on from San Francisco the question remains: where to go? -

The Boomers like owning their homes and will likely continue to do so in more retirement-friendly states like Texas, Arizona, and Florida.  For those Boomers who wish to remain close to urban centers, senior housing will become an important option.

©SFRE 2016

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