Welcome to Boomerville! Bob Kramer Predicts the Market Segments Redefining Senior Living
Updated: Apr 14
Kramer says that product segmentation is in its infancy in senior living and is ripe to explode. “Boomerville” segments will emerge based on similar offerings and target residents. “We’re going to see an explosion of different lifestyle and setting options.”
“Everyone wants to ride the Boomer Wave,” according to Bob Kramer, President of Nexus Insights and Founder of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). Currently, over 42 million Americans are aged 55 to 64, and 51 million are 65 plus. Ten thousand Americans are turning 65 every day. Recognition of the vast Boomer opportunity has led to “an unprecedented rise in interest in Longevity by large financial corporations. The sector is now viewed as one of the most prospective and relevant industries to invest in.” (Source: Longevity Industry 1.0: Defining the Biggest and Most Complex Industry in Human History).
“Every week I’m having discussions with a VC or private equity firm that’s thinking about investments in this space,” said Robert Kramer. “There’s going to be explosive growth and unbelievable demand, but tomorrow’s customer will overwhelmingly reject today’s product. Successful senior living brands of the future won’t be called senior living,” said Kramer.
Kramer says that product segmentation is in its infancy in senior living and is ripe to explode. “Boomerville” segments will emerge based on similar offerings and target residents. “We’re going to see an explosion of different lifestyle and setting options. A product that will appeal to someone 72 is not the same product that is going to appeal to someone 89. That is like saying a product that appeals to a 22-year-old that just graduated from college is going to appeal to someone 45 or 65,” said Robert Kramer. “Boomers want something personalized and customized for them. They will not accept a one-size-fits-all approach.”
Kramer defines 5 Boomerville Segments likely to flourish in the future: Wellnessville, where residents will focus on healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise; Margaritaville, resort-style independent living (Minto Communities’ Latitude Margaritaville has three wait-listed locations with more in development); Serviceville where the emphasis is on volunteerism, mentorship and giving back; Collegeville, where residents focus on continued learning in a communal living environment, and Changeville, for those concerned with making a difference in the world and creating a legacy.
Kramer predicts Collegeville will be huge. There are several “Collegeville” non-age-segregated models existing today, and many more in the pipeline. Merrill Gardens at The University in Seattle is a triangular 3 blocks of housing comprising seniors, graduate students and non-tenured professors; Kendal Senior Living at Dartmouth, Oberlin, Cornell, Washington and Lee Universities fosters intergenerational connections. The college students and children from the Kendal Early Learning Center enrich residents’ lives.
Wellnessville will be another huge segment. The focus on wellness and prevention is being driven by a shift from older people focusing on adding years to their lives, towards adding life to those years. Like wellness communities Serenbe in Atlanta or Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida or wellness resorts Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ and Lenox, MA, Wellnessville communities will cater to the high end of the market with resort-like luxury lodging, world culinary options, and a wide range of amenities and recreational activities. Spa services, fitness, nutrition, and functional medicine integrate into a highly customized, person-center approach driven by technology.
“The intersection between wellness communities and senior living is one of the most exciting opportunities of our lifetime,” said Mia Kyricos, President of Kyricos Associates, and GWI Founding Board Member. “We now apply relatively new lessons about what it means to live and be well to an otherwise tired system that is failing both society and our seniors today. The end-result could mean living longer, happier, richer, more purposeful lives, and not just for seniors, but for all of us.” Check out Mia’s Glowing Older podcast.