Baby boomers are changing the landscape of retirement living, and for seniors, it’s meaning more choices and a shift toward purposeful living.

“Retirees know what they want,” said Jennifer Knecht, Immanuel’s vice president of marketing and communications. “More and more, we’re seeing young retirees coming to us prepared. They’ve done their research, and they want a lifestyle that works toward their renewed goals and interests.”

Those interests have pushed a shift in retirement living toward more active, wellness-based living, said Knecht. And with many 60- and 70-year-olds still contributing to the workforce, seniors are looking for environments where they can explore new retirement yet enjoy no-maintenance environments of traditional adult communities.

“Retirement has changed,” said Knecht. “Baby boomers are healthy, independent and want to spend their time redefining themselves, discovering new passions and connecting with loved ones.”

Fifty-five-plus communities are adjusting to the shift of active, involved retirees and are upgrading amenities far beyond organized bingo games. Last fall, Immanuel opened Lakeside Lofts, Nebraska’s first community designed for more active baby boomer retirees. With larger, open concept apartments featuring 10-foot ceilings and upscale features, these lofts gear to young seniors who want the ease of a maintained home with on-site amenities just steps from their doors.

Just last month, Immanuel’s Lakeside Village campus celebrated the opening of Lakeside Lofts as well as Thrive by Immanuel Wellness Center and Day Spa and three new restaurants on the campus including The Reserve, an upscale, intimate fine-dining experience for residents of Lakeside Village, Lakeside Lofts and their families.

“We’re listening to area seniors as well as our current residents,” said Knecht. “They’re wanting a home that fits their lifestyle, where they have access to robust wellness amenities and dining venues they are eager to invite their families to enjoy.”

Strong families is something Knecht has seen to be a big influence for new retirees. She said many are hesitant to move to retirement communities for fear of losing family traditions.

“Life transitions are never easy. Seniors worry about downsizing their home, about staying connected to families and continuing to host holidays and birthdays. That’s why we’re designing amenities and features to answer those questions. Yes, you can still host Christmas. Yes, you can still build memories with your loved ones. Now, you just don’t have to mow the lawn or shovel the snow.”

On-site restaurants offer convenience and flexibility. With no set mealtimes and pay-as-you-go dining plans, these types of services are new to retirement living and are big hits with new retirees, Knecht said. In addition to fine dining, Lakeside offers a casual bistro for quick bites and a classic grill for American favorites.

Health and wellness is another way retirement communities are shifting to meet demand. Senior-only gyms and wellness experts provide specialized support for members in managing chronic conditions and also maintaining strength, flexibility and endurance to continue working or to explore new interests. The new Thrive Wellness Center and Day Spa at Lakeside Village provides health services designed just for retirees, even massage services.

“Retirement should mean more choices, not less. It’s no longer a one-size-fits-all model,” said Knecht. “At Immanuel, we believe retirement should be about finding purpose and our communities are designed to support that journey.”

Click here to learn more about early retirement and Immanuel’s new additions to the Lakeside Village campus. 

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