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When working with clients over the age of 50, it is important to obtain a very solid understanding of their own personal visions, hopes, and dreams for retirement. Find out exactly what kind of future lives they are imagining for themselves. Not only do the different generations have different ideas of what getting older looks like, they each also have very different means for supporting these future lifestyles.

Age-restricted communities were designed with Matures in mind. For them, the ideal retirement is a time of complete withdrawal from work and responsibility in favor of a life of perpetual leisure, preferably in a warm climate. Depending on savings and circumstances, Matures may be excellent candidates for active adult communities, assisted living, and senior apartments.

Many Baby Boomers find the Matures’ vision of retirement to be boring and financially unsustainable. Instead, they see the ideal retirement as a flexible lifestyle with part-time jobs or alternating periods of leisure and work. They seek mental stimulation and intergenerational interaction. Relocation to their vacation homes or to areas with high percentages of working seniors (so-called “silver collar cities”) could be perfect solutions for aging Boomers.

Generation X is the first generation that will be relying solely on their 401k’s to fund their retirements, and due to economic downturns and student loans, Gen X’ers as a whole are behind on saving for retirement and simply may not have the same resources to draw from as prior generations.

Gen X’ers in particular—although all generations are increasingly interested—may be great candidates for “aging in place,” which is a relatively new term representing the desire to stay in one’s current home for retirement. Important goals for aging in place include constructing (or retro-fitting) homes to safely support occupants of any age and planning cities and communities that safely and effectively support multigenerational lifestyles.

For much more about all of these generational preferences and retirement lifestyle options, please consider checking out this month’s featured 25% OFF course at the Center for REALTOR® Development, the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) Designation Course. The SRES® course is the fundamental requirement toward obtaining the SRES® Designation, one of the most valuable and esteemed NAR credentials.