In just six short years, according to the Census Bureau, all Baby Boomers will be 65 years or older; that’s 1 in 6 people in the US. It’s time to get real about Boomers. What they want and expect versus what they need now and in the future are likely very different. We all know the difference between wants and needs, but like toddlers, we sometimes willfully ignore one in favor of the other. If you want to keep your pipeline full, your marketing strategy needs to adapt.

Boomers’ Want

A 2022 report by the American Seniors Housing Association surveyed 7,000 adults, of which approximately 80% were Baby Boomers. The report, “Boomers and the Future of Senior Living,” provides insights into Boomers’ wish list when they consider their future. In terms of housing, they expect in-unit amenities to include:

  • Full kitchen
  • Laundry room with a washer and a dryer
  • Additional storage in the unit
  • A separate living room
  • Windows with natural light

They expect a senior community to offer the following as standard amenities:

  • 24-hour security
  • Exterior home maintenance, lawn and landscaping
  • Indoor fitness centers
  • Family-friendly lounges
  • On-site ATM
  • Convenience store

In short, they want a senior living community to reflect their current home and community’s amenities. Many current communities offer most, if not all, of the above amenities. But just checking boxes on a wish list isn’t a surefire way to fill your pipeline. And if your sole focus is on your amenities, what happens when reality sets in? A reality that projects nearly 3-in-4 residents will need some form of long-term care or assistance with activities of daily living.

Boomer Needs

When asked about their health, respondents invariably assess their health as very good to excellent. And yet, the Baby Boom generation is not healthier than previous generations. Research shows this cohort is more likely to have more chronic health conditions than their parents and grandparents. Studies estimate between 55% and 98% of those age 65 and older have multiple chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and obesity. 

This generation may have a longer life expectancy but they are not healthier in spite of their optimistic self evaluations. And that is the primary challenge they will face. A 2021 survey by AARP reports that 77% of Boomers want to age in place. But the Administration on Aging estimates that nearly 2 in 3 Boomers will need help with activities of daily living as they age. Their chronic health issues are expected to contribute to an increased need for long-term care. But according to a 2024 report, new communities are increasingly excluding skilled nursing. 

Wants + Needs = Success

Management wants a pipeline filled with qualified leads. But only 3 in 10 Boomers are considering senior living. And not all of them will be a qualified lead. So marketing needs a way to connect to a select and qualified audience. That’s when smart teams turn to Sabal Group. Our customized MicroModeling Report can turn your marketing strategy into marketing success. 

If you’re ready to speak to the right audience, schedule a call with Maribeth to learn how the Sabal approach can make the difference between wishing and receiving.