More than half of Canadian boomers plan to stay put when
Boomers also living with the boomerang effect
TORONTO, March 18, 2008 — There truly is no
place like home for Canada's Baby Boomers. In fact, 60 per
cent of Boomers would prefer to stay in their current community
when they retire, according to RBC's 15th annual homeownership
"Even though this generation of zoomers will tell you
they have plans to travel abroad and pursue a more active
lifestyle, many still want to keep their current home in retirement,"
said Catherine Adams, vice-president, Home Equity Financing,
RBC Royal Bank. "Having a home base that is familiar
and comfortable and where they know their neighbours and their
community is important to them."
To make it possible to stay right where they are, just over
half of the Boomers (53 per cent) surveyed intend to do some
remodelling, while 19 per cent plan on undertaking some major
renovations. As well, 24 per cent are looking to purchase
a second property, or vacation house.
Said Ms. Adams, "Interestingly, we also found that Boomers
are not attracted to "seniors-only" communities,
as over three-quarters find it appealing to retire in an area
where there is a mix of younger and older residents - perhaps
because most of Canada's Boomers don't see themselves as old."
Boomers on the move
Of the forty per cent of Boomers who do not plan to stay put
in retirement, the type of communities they would prefer to
move to fall into four distinct categories:
- "Camp 60 Plus": 29 per cent have an affinity
to retire in a close to nature community centred on outdoor
- "Let me entertain you": 22 per cent would
prefer a setting that focuses on social interactions, activities,
- "Survival of the fittest": 16 per cent
would rather live in a community which promotes a lifestyle
focused on health, fitness, nutrition and emotional well-being.
- "Reduce, reuse, retire": 15 per cent
prefer a community supporting environmentally-responsible
behaviour and lifestyle.
The survey also showed that Boomers want it all. When asked
to rate the appeal of certain features relating to a possible
retirement home, Boomers were attracted to a home within walking
distance of necessary services (89 per cent), close to nature
(89 per cent), well-suited for entertaining family and friends
(88 per cent), one which features everything on one floor
(87 per cent), and one which is close to water (84 per cent).
When it comes to changes in residence that Boomers are likely
to make in retirement, 40 per cent say they plan to move to
a region where housing is more affordably priced. Not surprisingly,
after withstanding long, cold and snowy Canadian winters,
many boomers, once retired, would prefer a warmer climate
(35 per cent), but only a few are likely to move to a different
country (11 per cent). Men (16 per cent) are more likely than
women (12 per cent) to want to move to a different country
in their retirement.
The sandwich generation
Boomers are not taking their adult children into consideration
when thinking about their home in retirement. Sixty-one per
cent are not attracted to a home that has separate quarters
for adult children living at home. However, 53 per cent are
interested in a home with separate living quarters designed
to meet the needs of aging parents or relatives.
The boomerang effect
Yet, some Boomers are living with both generations. While
only five per cent of Boomers report having their parents
or in-laws living with them, 15 per cent say they have adult
kids aged 21 or older living at home - of that percentage,
41 per cent have returned home to live, and a whopping 59
have never left home. One in three (30 per cent) say the primary
reason their adult children are living with them is to save
money, 11 per cent say it's because of no job or job loss,
seven per cent to save for a down payment and six percent
are living with their parents due to marriage or relationship
Boomers with mortgages
Eighty-three per cent of Boomers think it's important to pay
off their mortgages before they retire, however, 61 per cent
still have a mortgage. Of those Boomers surveyed, 22 per cent
believe their home will be their primary source of income
when they retire.
"As expected, many Boomers who have yet to retire are
still carrying a mortgage, but unlike their parents, this
generation may continue to tap into their home equity, when
retired, for the things that matter most to them", added
Adams. "In early retirement, the 'middle-agers' may want
to help their boomerang kids get established, upgrade their
home, or buy a vacation property. In the 'senior' phase of
retirement, they may use those funds as income to cover any
rising costs and taxes required to stay put in their current
Boomers just want to have fun
Eighty-eight per cent of Boomers feel a home that is well
suited for entertaining family and friends is appealing. Over
three quarters (78 per cent) would like to have a maintenance
service for their home, while 59 per cent find a condominium
community attractive, with security, landscaping, and shared
amenities - such as a pool, gym or golf course are taken care
Willing to downsize but not downgrade
More than half (59 per cent) of Boomers are interested in
a new construction retirement home, with the latest cutting
edge designs and features. Almost half (47 per cent) indicate
that they will likely be moving to a smaller home when they
retire; only 10 per cent are interested in a larger home.
One in three (35 per cent) want a "Boomer bungalow",
or everything they need on one floor.
- Atlantic Canadians (30 per cent) are most likely to do
major remodelling to their home when they retire, and (88
per cent) most likely to want property close to water.
- Albertans (55 per cent) are most likely to move to a different
climate altogether and most likely (92 per cent) to want
a home that is close to nature. Albertans also show a heightened
tendency to move to be closer to friends and family (54
per cent) or into a condominium (40 per cent).
- Canadians living in Quebec (20 per cent) are most likely
to want to move to a bigger home and most likely to want
a home with separate quarters for adult children (53 per
cent), in a high-rise building with services (61 per cent),
and an antique home able to be restored and updated (42
These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by
Ipsos Reid between January 17 and 21 2008.The Boomer portion
of the online survey is based on a randomly selected representative
sample of 1238 adult Canadians born between 1946 -1965. With
a representative sample of this size, the results are considered
accurate to within ±2.8 percentage points, 19 times
out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult
Canadian population been polled.
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Jackie Braden, Media Relations, RBC, (416) 974-2124
John Wright, Ipsos Reid, (416) 324-2900
Click here to view slides.
For full tabular results, please see the Ipsos Reid website