With the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, the number of Americans over age 55 is growing exponentially—and with improved health care and advanced medical technologies, older Americans are living longer and healthier lives than ever before.
According to Edward Corless, vice president of Wentworth Property Management's Active Adult Communities division, New Jersey statistics show that in 2001 there were five million people in the 55-and-older age bracket. In 2005, there were 10 million, and in 2010, there will be 20 million.
"If you look at baby boomer births," says Corless, "it puts the highest number of 55-year-olds in 2012 or 2013, before it starts to drop off. It is the largest growth market of housing, without question."
People in that market expect to take full advantage of their retirement years, and many are actively seeking opportunities for physical recreation, socializing, and entertainment that make playing a leisurely game of bingo down at the local Senior Center seem like a quaint—and inaccurate—stereotype.
One effect of the emergence of a more dynamic senior population has been the proliferation of Active Adult Communities (AAC) across the state and around the country. These communities—which often resemble resorts more than ordinary suburban neighborhoods—offer amenities designed to allow residents to enjoy their retirement or pre-retirement years to the fullest, while freeing them from many of the concerns, obligations and chores that come with individual homeownership.