WMA Headlines September 2019

July 16th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

55-Plus Housing: There Are Plenty of Reasons to Consider Moving In

By Jeff Williams

I recently celebrated my 40th year in the building materials industry. And I suspect that many of you got your start the same way I did: working in a lumberyard, while also going to school.

This early career phase proved invaluable for me, as I learned things like retail skills, forklift and delivery truck operations, and basic order fulfillment, as well as invaluable product knowledge. These and many other early career skills have served me well as my career has advanced. But instead of focusing on my career path, I’d like to discuss where it has brought me.

As I sit and ponder where all the years have gone, I also wonder what the future holds, especially as my wife and I transition into retirement. Will we remain in the family home? Or, will we look to move into one of the many 55-plus retirement communities being developed all over the country?

A recent article I read in a trade publication stated that builder confidence in 55-plus, single family housing is at its highest level since 2008. And for good reason. Available in single-family homes and multifamily condominiums, demand for homes in 55-plus communities has strengthened, as more baby boomers retire and settle in, wringing as much out of the balance of their lives as possible.

Many of these options are relatively self-contained and within walking distance of retail shops, restaurants, grocery stores, salons, spas and medical facilities. Additionally, some offer built-in amenities, such as pools, pickle ball and tennis courts, walking trails and many more. Also available are increasing levels of in-home services and care, to help us age into our golden years. Overall, this is a vibrant and growing housing segment that those of us soon to be 55 plus owe it to ourselves to explore as a possible lifestyle. For some, it could be a perfect fit.

On the construction side of things, that’s not to say that the segment doesn’t face its share of well-known challenges. Despite stronger than ever demands, just like other segments, there are rising construction costs to contend with, as well as a lack of skilled labor.

All of these thoughts about the 55-plus segment fit in with something else I know that’s entering its 55th year: World Millwork Alliance’s Annual Convention and Tradeshow. Taking place October 6-10 in Reno, Nev., ironically, the event’s theme fits right in with my recent thoughts: “Remember the Past/Embrace the Future.”

Jeff Williams is corporate millwork manager for OrePac Building Products and treasurer for World Millwork Alliance.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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