The Baby Boomer generation has reached retirement age, and in turn, the retirement housing market is booming too. It's estimated that the third largest home-buying demographic in 2016 will be 65-74 year olds, after millennials and Generation X. With their children grown up and careers winding down, 2016's fresh batch of retirees are likely to be planning some changes.
Homes in America's retirement communities – described by Forbes as 'luxury adult summer camps' – are experiencing one of the largest booms. Inventory is low in supply and high in demand, prompting the introduction of real estate lotteries. The names of interested parties are drawn at random by developers to ensure a fair chance at snapping up one of these sought-after homes. High-end property developers, catering to those with $1 million or more to spend, have increased the number of planned retirement communities across the States and further afield, such as the Bahamas and Mexico.
Tax breaks and Golden Visas
In Europe, Portugal is an attractive prospect for retirees thanks to a mild climate, low prices, and welcoming attitude towards expatriates. The country's recently reinstated Golden Visa scheme offers residency to any foreigner who invests more than €500,000 in property. Retirees registering as non-habitual residents are given 10 years of tax exemption on pensions and other passive income from their home countries. The Algarve region on the south coast often tops charts as a retirement destination. Prospective buyers have the choice of a range of great-value properties in the area's famous golf resorts, which offer plenty of entertainment during the cooler winter months.
Retiring to sunnier climes
Neighbouring Central and South American countries Panama and Ecuador have rubbed shoulders in competition for International Living's no.1 retirement destination for a number of years, with Panama stealing back the crown in 2016. The latter is renowned for world-class healthcare, made even more affordable in combination with a Pensionada visa. Ecuador, meanwhile, offers plenty of high-value property along with a less expensive lifestyle. A range of benefits is available for over 65s, with a discount on flights originating in the country (ideal for visiting family or taking the opportunity to travel). Older people can also make the most of half-price film, transport and sporting event tickets. Ecuador was voted the easiest place for expats to meet new people in the 2015 Expat Insider survey, ideal for building a new network of friends and contacts.
Whether you're planning to relocate abroad or downsize at home, Engel & Völkers can help you find the perfect place for your retirement. Our real estate catalogue features properties in 37 countries across four continents, ranging from sunny beachside villas and stately manors to sprawling rural retreats.