BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Apr 07, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
The nation's leading 55+ community builder has launched a comprehensive set of online tools to help people make better informed decisions about their retirement or their next stage in life, which increasingly includes home downsizing, a geographic move and some level of work activity.
The one-stop resource on DelWebb.com/value includes a cost of living calculator and information on home appreciation, taxes by state and even job opportunities for Boomers. It also includes an updated news stream of articles relevant to optimizing an active adult lifestyle. Key components of the data are provided through partnerships with Bestplaces.net and the Retirement Living Information Center, Inc. Both entities have long histories in providing information to people seeking "smart retirement" decisions.
"Having Del Webb combine these sets of data in one easy location will tremendously help people become much more educated about the many elements that go into making decisions about what retirement options you have," said Bert Sperling, founder and president of Bestplaces.net.
As part of its arsenal of retirement planning tools, DelWebb.com/value uses Sperling's cost of living calculator - a top Google destination providing information on property taxes, income tax, utilities, etc. "Once people retire, many do not have as much control of their income as they're accustomed to and need to stretch their dollars as much as possible. This new Del Webb site can help provide some smart retirement options that folks might not have considered."
Del Webb's most recent Baby Boomer Survey revealed optimism in the 55+ market with 33 percent of the respondents saying they are likely to buy a home within the next four years. The likelihood of buying skyrockets to nearly 66 percent of Baby Boomers purchasing a home in the next two years if economic and financial barriers were removed, said Deborah Meyer, Chief Marketing Officer for Del Webb parent company, PulteGroup.
"The Boomer survey told us that people want more comprehensive information to make smart retirement decisions," Meyer said. "We created this one-stop shop web tool to help people who want to take that next step in making a life change. Understanding that information seems to be the key to removing what often are only perceived barriers."
Meyer said now is a better time to sell than most people think, especially for those people who have owned their home for more than seven years. In fact, the percentage of Baby Boomers planning to use equity from their current home to help finance retirement has not changed in the past 15 years, according Del Webb Baby Boomer Surveys polled in 1996 and 2010. In both surveys 23 percent said they plan to use their home equity for retirement.
"With more than 78 million people aged 55 or older by 2014, their interest level and likelihood to purchase a home in the next several years may be a key component in leading the housing industry toward recovery. Many economists and new builders expect people 55+ to capture at least 25 percent of the total housing market," Meyer said.
Del Webb consumer research also found that people thinking about a move wanted to hear from "real people" about their experiences, Meyer said. The DelWebb.com/value resource includes testimonials from active adults talking about the home they sold, why they moved and describing the emotional side of a move, she said.
Obtaining information on job opportunities and tax information is also important to many people considering a move, said E. Thomas Wetzel, president and founder of the Retirement Living Information Center. DelWebb.com/value includes Wetzel's data on the site.
"This is the only database with this kind of comprehensive tax information on the web," Wetzel said, adding that the data answers common questions, such as whether a specific state taxes pensions and social security income. "A pre-retiree can compare the tax laws of where they are currently living with laws in states where they are considering moving to. This definitely helps ease the unknown, which is so important in facilitating a move."
About Del Webb
Award-winning Del Webb communities provide a vibrant, enriched lifestyle for those ages 55 and older, creating an unmatched experience for the next phase of life. Del Webb communities began with the original Sun City which opened outside Phoenix, Arizona in 1960 and have grown to include more than 50 communities currently open for new home sales in 21 states. Del Webb is the undisputed leader of active adult communities in America and draws on its 50 years of experience of providing residents an engaging life which fulfills their creative, physical, mental, and social needs. Together with Del Webb residents, the brand is redefining retirement. For more information on Del Webb, visit www.DelWebb.com.
About Sperling's Best Places:
For over twenty years, Bert Sperling has been helping people find their own Best Place to live, work, play, and retire. As the foremost creator of these studies, his work appears in the national media nearly every month, where they enlighten and entertain millions. Sperling has made his information available on the web site, www.bestplaces.net. Annually, his "Healthiest Cities for Women" study is featured in SELF magazine. Other projects include "Best Places to Live" and "Best Places to Retire" (Money), "Best Cities for Women" (Ladies' Home Journal), "Great College Towns" (Newsweek), "Best Places to Buy a Second Home" (Smart Money), "Hot Dating in Small Towns (MTV), "America's Best City to Live" (USAWeekend). Sperling's firm has also performed a number of "Best Places" studies for corporate campaigns such as AARP (Best Retirement Spots) and more.
About The Retirement Living Information Center:
The Retirement Living Information Center, through its web site - www.RetirementLiving.com - provides essential information to assist seniors in planning for their retirement years. Known as "The Gateway to Resources for Senior Living," the site guides visitors to information that will support their decision-making. It contains information on retirement communities, reports on great places to retire, state taxes, news about new communities under development, and a retirement destination decision guide. Based in Redding, Conn., the company has been helping seniors plan the next phase of their life for 14 years.
SOURCE: Del Webb
Media Contact: Jacque Petroulakis