Video: Boomers seek retirement with fun

By Kevin Corke Correspondent
NBC News
updated 11/8/2005 1:07:42 PM ET 2005-11-08T18:07:42

Retirement used to look an awful lot like endless games of shuffleboard. That was then. This is now.

Jeff and Nelda Manna are among an increasing number of boomers who are moving to active adult communities like Sun City Anthem outside Las Vegas — neighborhoods that cater to the over-50 crowd, with activities like tennis, golf, swimming and fitness.

“It’s almost not if you did something today,” Jeff Manna says. “It’s what did you do today.”

It's an example of how the baby boom generation continues to change business models and marketing strategies in America. Construction of active adult communities, like the Manna's in Henderson, is already a multibillion-dollar industry and its growing because baby boomers are flexing their financial muscle and proving to the marketplace that that they are not winding down — they are rewinding.

Nationwide, more than a quarter of the homes built this year will be bought by someone over 50 — many in communities like Sun City Anthem.

“We have over 100 new communities in the planning process that will come on over the next two or three years,” says Dave Schreiner of Pulte Homes. “It will become a significant part of the home building business, not just a niche.”

And boomers are anything but a niche. They make up nearly a third of the U.S. population and account for more than $2 trillion in spending power. Adventure travel groups like IExplore.com find that today's boomers are more likely to opt for African safaris and whitewater rafting than settle for beach combing, like their parents did.

“They want to have an experience,” says IExplore.com’s George Deeb, “that is a life-changing experience for them, where they can say it was more than a vacation.”

Back at Sun City, the Mannas, both in their late 50s, say they feel their age — and nowadays, that's a compliment.

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