Now, as the baby boom generation is about to enter its most senior years, billions of dollars are being invested in a building surge for high-end housing. The investments will test limits of consumer spending in an industry where regulations are inconsistent or lacking, and contracts are criticized for being confusing and complex.
The potential market is huge. By some industry estimates, 20 percent of baby boomers, or about 15 million people, have saved enough to afford private continuing care, with many expected to demand a very high standard of living, according to The New York Times.
Mr. Baird and his husband, John Kennedy, moved to Sonoma in 2013 from San Francisco. Mr. Baird was skeptical of retirement communities, but “we loved the design. The quality of the finishes is quite good. It’s what you’d do in your own home.”
The community had made news as one of the first retirement communities marketed to older L.G.B.T.Q. people, a group that gay rights activists said has historically faced discrimination at care facilities. Mr. Baird and Mr. Kennedy bought a 1,800-square-foot apartment.
Fountaingrove Lodge is part of a category of housing called a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or C.C.R.C. Industry experts said there were nearly 2,000 C.C.R.C.s nationwide with about 700,000 residents. Many require entrance fees and monthly charges that cover services, care and food.
“You’re basically investing in your future health care and future needs,” said Stephen Maag, director of residential communities for LeadingAge, an association that represents organizations and businesses in the aging industry. “Then whatever you need within the continuum the community provides will be covered. So you’re basically locking in what you’re going to have to pay for the rest of your life.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.