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Field Guide to Marketing to the 50+ Population

(Updated July 2014)

The over-50 population is a growing force in America and the rate of home ownership is higher among this age group than in any other. Today's seniors have more active lifestyles, are more affluent and if they "downsize" their homes it is in square footage rather than price. This field guide offers articles, statistical data and links to help REALTORS® gain insight into this lucrative demographic. (C. Dodge, Information Specialist)

Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.

2009 Home Ownership: Rates by Age 

  • 65+:   80.5%
  • 55-64: 79.5%
  • 45-54: 74.4%
  • 35-44: 66.2%
  • < 35:   39.7%

Source: Homeownership Rates By Age, (U.S. Census Bureau, Dec. 15, 2010).

Housing & the Over-50 Demographic

Frequently Asked Questions about HUD's Reverse Mortgages, (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, n.d.).

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Considering A Reverse Mortgage, (AARP, Fall 2012).

Reverse Mortgages: 10 Things You Need to Know, (Fox Business, May 31, 2013).

The Hidden Truths About Reverse Mortgages, (Forbes, July 23, 2012).

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Survey Reveals Home Buying Differences Between Older and Younger Baby Boomers, (Market Watch.com, Oct. 11, 2011)

The case for downsizing your home, (SmartMoney.com, Sept. 14, 2011).

Reverse mortgages don't always work, (USA Today, Sept. 12, 2011).

At the end of the road, (New York Times, Aug. 29, 2011).

Housing turnover by older owners, (Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Mar. 2011).

Marketing Tips & Strategies

Baby Boomers Not Showing Any Signs of Downsizing, (Reverse Mortgage Daily, June 15, 2014).

Shared Living Options for Seniors, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2014).

Creative Housing for Seniors, (Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, June 2013).

Trends in Senior Living Communities, (Senior Homes, n.d.).

Boomers hunt for smaller houses, (RIS Media, Sept. 8, 2011).

Retirees Fastest-Growing Users of Social Networks, (U.S News & World Report, Aug. 30, 2011).

Generational marketing to boomers takes business to the heart of the matter, (Huffington Post, Aug. 19, 2011).

Related Websites

Cohousing, (The Cohousing Association of the United States).

Information for Senior Citizens, (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development).

Housing Choices, (Senior Resource.com)

Leading Age (AAHSA)

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Boomer Basics (Adobe eReader)

Boomer Marketing (Adobe eReader)

Future Marketing: Targeting Seniors, Boomers, and Generations X and Y (Adobe eReader)

Generation Blend, Managing Across the Technology Age Gap (Overdrive WMA Audiobook)

Gilbert Guide to Senior Housing (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Complying with the ADA

Field Guide to Fair Housing

Field Guide to Reverse Mortgages

InfoCentral Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.