In the latest edition of The REIT Report: NAREIT’s Weekly Podcast, Welltower (NYSE: HCN) CFO John Goodey discussed the health care REIT’s new research on the changing tastes and preferences of retirees.
According to Welltower’s research, aging Americans are no longer seeking to leave major cities and metropolitan areas to retire. Upwards of 80 percent of respondents to a Welltower survey of residents in major cities in North America indicated that they preferred staying there in retirement. “People are really committed to living in cities most of their adult life,” Goodey said.
Welltower found that a number of factors are contributing to retirees’ desire to stay in cities, according to Goodey. They include access to quality health care, proximity to family members, potential employment opportunities and community engagement.
“People actually want to remain very much part of the broader community and use the amenities that big cities have to offer,” Goodey said.
In terms of ramifications for real estate companies and local officials, Goodey noted that aging Americans will want cities that are more accessible to them and living spaces that are more hospitable to their physical needs. This presents an opportunity for companies such as Welltower to design new facilities to meet their demands.