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Old 07-27-2014, 05:05 PM
 
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As everyone knows, the 70-80 million boomers will reach geezerhood shortly. Many will lose thir driving ability. While most will be retired so getting to work not an issue, they still need to get around. Quite a few will try to age in place. Not all have children willing to drive them. Since many, if not most, live in suburbs devoid of anything walkable or local mass transit (though they may have commuter trains to center city). What will happen. Driving enthusiasts note: this could happen to you someday.

 
Old 07-27-2014, 10:47 PM
 
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most old people are still driving past the point of being able to walk very far. My brother delivered food to older shut-ins in Philly. They're everywhere. Obviously being in the car-dependent suburbs becomes more of a problem sooner for more people and it makes it more difficult to deliver services to those people . . . just saying that living in a walkable place doesn't automatically solve the problem.

So anyway, most will just keep driving until they can't anymore. Those with money will move to small towns or cities. For everyone else there is assisted living facilities, moving in with kids, or depending on things like meals on wheels.

The real problem comes when they start moving or dying. What happens to all of their houses?
The Baby Boomer Housing Bust - Forbes
 
Old 07-28-2014, 09:31 AM
 
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It's a really frightening thought. My wife's parents are getting up there, and they live in a single family with no ability to walk to the nearest bus stop due to health problems. (talking about them because my parents are much younger. Mine are rural so a whole different set of circumstances!). Driving with them is a deadly experience on a daily basis for many reasons, but we can't cut them off because we live too far away and their nearest child also doesn't drive (basically a shut-in). They will have to move out of their home before long, and that will send them to a new city most likely, unless they can afford elder care in their own city (expensive so doubtful and they have spent much of their retirement on gambling - another industry that feeds on the elderly but a different topic).

That's a lot of change for people who have lived in their same home 60+ years. Even if they could take busses, they probably wouldn't because they are too wary about crime.
 
Old 07-28-2014, 10:03 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,527,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
most old people are still driving past the point of being able to walk very far. My brother delivered food to older shut-ins in Philly. They're everywhere. Obviously being in the car-dependent suburbs becomes more of a problem sooner for more people and it makes it more difficult to deliver services to those people . . . just saying that living in a walkable place doesn't automatically solve the problem.

So anyway, most will just keep driving until they can't anymore. Those with money will move to small towns or cities. For everyone else there is assisted living facilities, moving in with kids, or depending on things like meals on wheels.

The real problem comes when they start moving or dying. What happens to all of their houses?
The Baby Boomer Housing Bust - Forbes
Ha, Ha, that article from Forbes is hilarious! We Boomers are supposed to turn our houses into boarding homes? Who's going to want to board with us? They spent one paragraph on the solution, after 14 paragraphs of general blather and fortune telling. It's about what "might" happen.

But yeah, most will keep driving till they can't. My dad drove right until he went into the hospital/nursing home for the last time. My brother and I sold his car b/c our mom, who had had a head injury, wanted to start driving again when my dad couldn't drive her places.

Most people have no problems with driving abilities well into retirement, say up to age 80. (I have worked with the elderly, so I have some perspective on this that perhaps others on this forum don't.) After that, there's grocery delivery, senior transit services, and the like. Churches sometimes set up ride-shares for members who want to come but can't drive any more. Things like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOverdog View Post
It's a really frightening thought. My wife's parents are getting up there, and they live in a single family with no ability to walk to the nearest bus stop due to health problems. (talking about them because my parents are much younger. Mine are rural so a whole different set of circumstances!). Driving with them is a deadly experience on a daily basis for many reasons, but we can't cut them off because we live too far away and their nearest child also doesn't drive (basically a shut-in). They will have to move out of their home before long, and that will send them to a new city most likely, unless they can afford elder care in their own city (expensive so doubtful and they have spent much of their retirement on gambling - another industry that feeds on the elderly but a different topic).

That's a lot of change for people who have lived in their same home 60+ years. Even if they could take busses, they probably wouldn't because they are too wary about crime.
Re: the bolds, you are absolutely right. Despite all the fluff articles about seniors moving into "the city" and spending most of their free time (which is all of their time after retirement) going to cultural events and trendy restaurants, the reality is that for many, it's moving into a new environment where they know no one. Taking the bus does require being able to walk to the bus stop, and even in a city with good transit, that may be a couple of blocks or so. Call and Ride services, which is door to door bus service, is available some places. Even fairly small cities often have agencies on aging that help with that sort of stuff; sometimes the entire county has a senior transit service.
 
Old 07-28-2014, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Where my bills arrive
8,112 posts, read 9,551,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
As everyone knows, the 70-80 million boomers will reach geezerhood shortly. Many will lose thir driving ability. While most will be retired so getting to work not an issue, they still need to get around. Quite a few will try to age in place. Not all have children willing to drive them. Since many, if not most, live in suburbs devoid of anything walkable or local mass transit (though they may have commuter trains to center city). What will happen. Driving enthusiasts note: this could happen to you someday.
What would happen in any environment? Many of us had grandparents that were relocated out of the city to the suburbs. It was done because living in the city was becoming dangerous and they could not handle using the bus/subway. The difference now is not our ability to drive but 1) our desire to live independently as long as possible 2) The lesser chance that our children will be able/want to have us living with them.

Suburbs are not as destitute as you make out and just because their is a neighborhood store on the corner that doesn't make living any easier.
 
Old 07-28-2014, 07:01 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I have an aunt that drove until age 98, another 95. My mother in law drove until age 84. All of them stopped driving when they went into assisted living, and there was either an in-house shuttle bus, or local transit "dial-a-ride" services.
In addition, at that age many will have children that are retired with time to drive them around, and grandchildren old enough to drive. This is really not a problem.
 
Old 07-28-2014, 07:29 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,952,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Ha, Ha, that article from Forbes is hilarious! We Boomers are supposed to turn our houses into boarding homes? Who's going to want to board with us? They spent one paragraph on the solution, after 14 paragraphs of general blather and fortune telling. It's about what "might" happen.
Forbes isn't known for great writing but just because you're unfamiliar with it doesn't mean that it isn't a real problem. There's been quite a bit written about it over the last 2 years.

There's only one paragraph on the "solution" because there really aren't any. In 20 years there will be a major glut of housing in neighborhoods that are less and less appealing - mostly because of commute times and energy costs. There's not much you can change about either of those things except to keep boomers from dying, spend trillions on transportation and make energy cheaper. Good luck with that.

The Next Housing Crash - Emily Badger - The Atlantic
 
Old 07-28-2014, 08:29 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,527,356 times
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^^LOL, The Atlantic!That's worse than Forbes! The comments are interesting, keeping in mind they're from people who actually choose to read that rot. I'm not into soothsayers and seers. I know a few single women who've slightly downsized, but I know none who've always lived in the burbs, including Boulder, who have moved to Denver. The ones I know continue to live in single-family homes, though with smaller yards.
 
Old 07-28-2014, 08:37 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,812,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Forbes isn't known for great writing but just because you're unfamiliar with it doesn't mean that it isn't a real problem. There's been quite a bit written about it over the last 2 years.

There's only one paragraph on the "solution" because there really aren't any. In 20 years there will be a major glut of housing in neighborhoods that are less and less appealing - mostly because of commute times and energy costs. There's not much you can change about either of those things except to keep boomers from dying, spend trillions on transportation and make energy cheaper. Good luck with that.

The Next Housing Crash - Emily Badger - The Atlantic
Except, well, this is mostly speculation. Start with #3: "But as they face retirement, their homes may come to feel too large, too isolated"... may. Then there's "Downsizers are drawn to lively, walkable areas that can be navigated without a driverís license." Oh really? Then what's with all these over-55 communities in suburban areas? South Florida is famously full of older people, and
1) Public transit's not too great down there and
2) There's no shortage of old people on the road down there.

It's often easier to drive than to walk.

There's another demographic issue the article misses: Gen X is small. The Millennial generation, however, is not. So will those houses the seniors (or their estates) are selling have no available buyers? Of course not -- the Millennials won't be living in their funky little 500 sq ft apartments with 3 roommates forever. Even taking for granted that they have a preference for urban living, that drives urban prices up and suburban prices down until a new equilibrium is reached; this is bad for the sellers, but it seems unlikely to precipitate an actual crisis.

The answer to the question in the thread title is that there's no issue: most of the Boomers who drive now will be driving for as long as they can live independently (with driving ability not being the limit on that).
 
Old 07-28-2014, 09:02 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,952,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Except, well, this is mostly speculation. Start with #3: "But as they face retirement, their homes may come to feel too large, too isolated"... may. Then there's "Downsizers are drawn to lively, walkable areas that can be navigated without a driverís license." Oh really? Then what's with all these over-55 communities in suburban areas? South Florida is famously full of older people, and
1) Public transit's not too great down there and
2) There's no shortage of old people on the road down there.

It's often easier to drive than to walk.
I was the first person to reply in this thread and already pointed out that people can drive long after walking becomes difficult.

Quote:
There's another demographic issue the article misses: Gen X is small. The Millennial generation, however, is not. So will those houses the seniors (or their estates) are selling have no available buyers? Of course not -- the Millennials won't be living in their funky little 500 sq ft apartments with 3 roommates forever. Even taking for granted that they have a preference for urban living, that drives urban prices up and suburban prices down until a new equilibrium is reached; this is bad for the sellers, but it seems unlikely to precipitate an actual crisis.
You're missing a key point and you're falling back on the false dichotomy of Manhattan apartment vs McMansion in the Poconos. There are a lot of places in between.

In the 1950s, when the boomers were coming into this world, we essentially built new cities around our old cities and a whole lot of people moved out of the old cities and into the new ones. The new cities are, more or less, where those boomers live. That's left a lot of vacant space in our old cities that, only in the last decade or so, have we started to tap into. They are not, as you say, made up entirely (and not even mostly) of 500 s/f apartments.

Of course people live in the suburbs and will continue to live there. The problem for boomers is that they have had a penchant for living on the fringe and on trading up to bigger and bigger houses. It's not that suburbs are passť. It's that big houses 30 miles or more from downtown are just not viable for a lot of people.

Something similar happened in the old cities when kids inherited houses they couldn't sell in neighborhoods they had no interest in living in. They just abandoned them. It wasn't a problem for banks back then because most of those properties weren't mortgaged - it was just a problem for cities to deal with.
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