By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

Face it, none of us are getting any younger.

The pandemic shifted many of our priorities and helped us to focus on what really matters.

It changed the way we live our lives right now and how we want to live our lives in the future.

As an interior designer and lifestyle designer for over 35 years, I’ve always been fascinated by:

  • How we choose to live at different stages of our lives. (It does change)
  • How our choices impact the way we design to accommodate those lifestyle choices.

I want to highlight a select few lifestyle trends that are impacting the way baby boomers will live, work, and play in the future.

 

6 Lifestyle Trends and How They Will Impact

How You Will Live in Retirement

 

1. Baby boomers are choosing to move closer to their kids and grandkids

They want to participate in their lives, build closer ties with their children and grandchildren. It is a win-win for both and promotes physical and emotional health and well-being and happiness

Influence on design trends:

A.      Multi-generational living

  • 2 to 3 generations living under one roof
  • 30% increase since 2007
  • Separate living quarters to help maintain healthy balance of privacy and togetherness

B.    Granny flats

  • Also known as accessory dwelling units or In-law suites
  • Self-contained living space
  • Attached to the main house or located on the main house property

The benefits of both of these design trends:

  • Opportunity to share quality time together and make new memories
  • Provides a safe environment for aging parents where adult children can maintain a watchful eye
  • Prevents isolation in aging
  • Provides opportunities for shared responsibility and expenses

 

2. Baby boomers are choosing to work longer and delay retirement

Influence on design trends:

  • Outdoor office spaces
  • Private area to enjoy nature
  • connect with the outdoors
  • Promotes health and well-being

The benefits of this design trend:

  • Enjoying fulfilling and meaningful work
  • Enhances good mental and physical health
  • Provide supplemental retirement income

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31 Lifestyle Upgrades

 

3. Baby boomers are choosing a health and wellness lifestyle so they can live longer and better

Desire to re-engage and participate in healthy activities (especially post-Covid).

Desire to participate in more group activities more social time with family and friends.

Desire to continue lifelong learning.

Influence on design trends:

  • Communal living
  • Village lifestyle
  • Home Sharing

The benefits of this design trend:

  • Live, work, connect, and socialize promotes health and well-being

 

4. Baby Boomer are choosing to stay in their homes and in their communities as they age

Retrofitting existing homes to make their homes safe and to accommodate needs for aging.

Influence on design trends:

  • 1st-floor living spaces
  • Barrier-free entryways
  • Improved lighting throughout
  • Walk-in showers
  • Hand-held showers
  • Grab bars

The benefits of this design trend:

  • Remain in their home
  • Stay in their community that they are familiar with

 

5.  Baby boomers retiring early

One of the impacts of Covid: life is too short, why wait? Do it well you can and while you’re still healthy.

Influence on design trends and benefits:

  • Rent vs buy – Provides for a “lock and leave lifestyle, more freedom, less responsibility, and a lot of flexibility.
  • RV retirement – Life on the road provides opportunities for travel, exploration.
  • Life abroad – Nomadic lifestyle, no home base provides ultimate freedom.

 

6. Downsizing and right-sizing 

Influence on design trends:

  • Live a simple life with less stuff and less stress
  • Simplify living space
  • Decluttering and removing excess stuff

The benefits of this design trend:

  • Makes room for the life you really want because you have more time, money, and freedom to pursue what matters most to you
  • Living in a smaller space gives you more time for new activities and new experiences.
  • When you live with less stuff, you are free to

 

Which of these lifestyle trends appeal to you as you enter the next chapter of your life?

 

Want to continue learning more about downsizing, decluttering, and lifestyle design?

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What is lifestyle design? Check out my website.

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