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What’s in and what’s out for retirees in 2017

·Senior Producer/Reporter

People are expecting to live and work longer than ever before, delaying retirement and living more active lifestyles. We tapped consumer analyst Vera Gibbons for her predictions on what’s in and what’s out for retirees in 2017.

What’s out: Full retirement
What’s in: Gigs

“Many retirees are too financially strapped to retire the way they had envisioned,” says Gibbons. In fact, 25% of retirees in a recent TransAmerica survey said they were just getting by. Another 17% said they planned to work until they dropped.

But instead of working in the same field they used to, more seniors are turning to the gig economy to earn supplemental income, according to a JPMorgan Chase study tracking senior trends. More than 400,000 seniors are earning money through gigs, or the “online platform economy.” This includes driving Ubers, renting out their homes for income on Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO, delivering packages for Amazon, and even pet-sitting on TaskRabbit. “Retirees are also taking on these gigs because they’re certainly more fun than working part-time for your previous employer, and it’s a way for them to stay active and social,” says Gibbons.

What’s out: Relocating in retirement
What’s in: Remaining in place

While some may dream of moving south to enjoy warmer winters, many retirees want to remain in place. In fact, more than 80% of those surveyed in The American College’s retirement survey said they plan to remain in their current home as long as they can. Finding ways to stay employed allows retirees to stay close to home. “This trend continues into 2017 as boomers are redefining what it means to be ‘old’ and living life on their own terms, and in their own homes,” says Gibbons.

Fortunately, there are plenty of home upgrades that aid with aging in place. From curbless wheelchair accessible showers, to higher toilets and motion-sensor lighting, these products can be just as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional.

Another affordable solution for children who support their aging parents is to build a housing addition called accessory dwelling units (ADUs) onto their existing property. Rather than costly retirement centers, ADUs can offer practical, and affordable solutions to multigenerational households.

What’s out: Vacations
What’s in: Experiences

Despite the fact that retirees are working more than ever before, they’re still enjoying their golden years with quite a bit of travel. This “is the year of the authentic traveler and retirees are part of this trend,” says Gibbons. Looking for something completely unique, retirees are finding ways to immerse themselves in a local culture and steer clear of being a traditional tourist.

To make their experience as memorable as possible with those who matter most, multigenerational trips are getting more popular. And to save with group travel, they’re booking private homes as opposed to hotels because it costs less and allows everyone to stay under one roof.

American could be paying an additional $200 at the pump this year, according to GasBuddy estimates, but airfares are projected to remain flat in 2017. That could mean more global travel,” says Gibbons. And given the strength of the US dollar, she says destinations like Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Canada will be hot spots for budget travel in the new year.

What are your plans for retirement? Share them with us in the comments below.


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