Baby boomers are increasingly choosing not to downsize their homes in retirement, according to a report by USA Today. Instead, many have decided to stay put in their existing homes, where they raised their families. But economists say their decisions are contributing to the problem of low inventory across much of the nation.
Barbara Risman, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told USA Today that baby boomers are refusing to follow “traditional expectations” by not downsizing. Baby boomers, who’re aged between 54 and 73 years old, are tending to put off retirement for longer, she said. In addition, many still have adult children living at home.
Many baby boomers who would like to downsize are struggling to find a suitable smaller home, USA Today added. That’s because the housing market is facing a dire shortage of entry-level homes, which are seen as ideal for those who want to downsize. That’s led to home prices at that level increasing, which may in turn erase much of the incentive to downsize in the first place.
Fifty-two percent of baby boomers say they’ll never move from their current home, according to a Chase Bank survey of 753 boomer homeowners conducted this year. Separately, 43% of 45- to 65-year-olds say they plan to remain in their current home through retirement, according to a 2017 Ipsos/USA Today poll.
In addition, around 20% of Americans aged 65 and above are still working, or looking for work. That compares with just 12.1% in 1996, according to data from the Labor Department.
“Baby boomers don’t want to become old in a way that has negative connotations,” Risman said. “Remaining in one’s old house is part of remaining in the prime of one’s life longer.”
About 20% of Americans 65 and older are working or looking for jobs, up from 12.1% in 1996, according to Labor Department data. “Baby boomers don’t want to become old in a way that has negative connotations,” Risman says. “Remaining in one’s old house is part of remaining in the prime of one’s life longer.”