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Baby Boomers Keeping Their Eyes on the Retirement Prize

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In a survey of still-working adults age 55 and older, the majority of the respondents say they are not delaying retirement and believe they will be financially prepared to retire when the time comes. PulteGroup is the parent company of Del Webb –a brand of active adult retirement communities – and has been surveying the 55 and older demographic for more than 15 years, seeking to better understand the attitudes and opinions of this generation and the current and future customers of Del Webb communities to stay ahead of the trends.

According to the most recent PulteGroup Home Index (PGHI) survey conducted by national homebuilder PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), 61 percent of the respondents plan to retire in less than 10 years, including 46 percent who believe they will be financially prepared to retire in the same time period. Among this same group, 59 percent said that they are either not delaying retirement or plan to retire at a younger age than originally anticipated.

“The survey results seem to defy expectations that the economic slowdown of the past five years has forced many Baby Boomers to rethink their retirement plans,” says Deborah Meyer, senior vice president of PulteGroup, Inc. “On the contrary, these results suggest that future retirees are likely making financial adjustments now so that they can enjoy the full benefits of the next chapter of their lives.

“Given the significant weakness in housing over this same period, we were surprised to see that only 12 percent of those respondents who are delaying retirement indicated that selling their home or the current value of their home is a barrier to retirement.”

When comparing previous consumer surveys, Meyer said there is an upward trend in the percentage of Baby Boomers becoming more financially prepared for retirement. In the 2010 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey, approximately 46 percent of the respondents said it would take 10+ years before they would be financially prepared to retire, compared with only 14 percent of the respondents polled in this quarter’s PGHI survey.

“Previous consumer research has shown that Baby Boomers believe Social Security will no longer be a primary source of income – combine that with the overall economic uncertainty, there was an expectation that future retirees would be delaying retirement,” said Meyer. “These survey results have shown us there’s increased confidence among Baby Boomers in their ability to achieve their goals in their next phase of life – which might mean starting a second career, enrolling in college classes, trying Zumba and acting classes or mentoring kids at the local elementary school.”

Survey Highlights – Retirement Intentions

• 32 percent plan to retire in less than five years
• 49 percent of respondents’ expected age of retirement has not changed
• 10 percent of respondents expect to retire at a younger age than originally anticipated
• 27 percent believe they will be financially prepared to retire in less than 5 years
• Only 12 percent of those who are delaying retirement say that selling their home and/or the value of their home is barrier to retirement

Staying Close to Home

For today’s 80 million Boomers, the choices vary on where to spend their retirement years. Some consumers surveyed choose to stay in place in the city where they currently live; whereas others move to seek warmer climates, such as Arizona, the Carolinas and Florida.

In a significant shift, 62 percent of survey respondents think their home in retirement will be within the same state they currently live. This represents nearly a 20 percent increase compared to just two years ago when Del Webb asked the same question in the 2010 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey.

Survey Highlights – Retirement Home Locations

• 43 percent plan to retire in the same city where they currently live; 19 percent plan to retire within the same state, but a different city
• 35 percent plan to retire in a different state from where they currently live
• 53 percent will not take into account the proximity of their children/grandchildren when deciding where to live in retirement
• 32 percent want to live within 20 miles of their children/grandchildren upon retirement

For more information, visit pultegroup.com; www.pulte.com; www.centex.com; www.delwebb.com.

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