Aging Gracefully - The Retirement Industry in South Florida

Apr 13, 2014

Four residents of the 55 community of Ponte Vecchio in Boynton Beach shuffle mahjong tiles in the community room. Ponte Vecchio's 650 homes are among the 35,000 geared toward retirees in South Florida managed by FirstService Residential.
Credit Tom Hudson

Today, tomorrow and all the tomorrows for the next 15 years 8,000 Americans will reach retirement age.  If history is any guide, millions of those Baby Boomers will find their way to Florida for their golden years. The share of Florida's population 65 years old and over is the largest in the nation. For all the glamor and attention paid to youth in Florida, the retirement industry is big and growing.

FirstService Residential manages 35,000 housing units in South Florida geared toward retirees.  A third of the company's revenue from this region comes from these 55-plus communities.  The continued demand for housing for retirees is shaping and reshaping neighborhoods.  In June, The Palace Group opened The Palace Coral Gables near the Miracle Mile after years of negotiations with the city.  In less than a year, and despite rents which begin at $4,650 per month, the building is 50 percent occupied.  With 10 residents moving in per month The Palace Group expects it to be full by next year, well ahead of schedule.

Real estate is only one industry impacted by the continued migration of retirees to South Florida.  Quality and convenient health care is driving new business models for caregivers, such as care managers.  These managers are hired, usually by adult children not living in the area, to help watch over older retirees.  But the industry is challenged by confusing titles to consumers and a low barrier of entry for business operators.

Monday's Sunshine Economy: Aging Gracefully - The Retirement Industry in South Florida.