Which 45+ Year Old Lifestyle Describes You Best?

In their bucolic communities noted for their recently built homes on sprawling properties, the families of executives live in six-figure comfort.

 

Photo: Visual Hunt
The wealthiest segments in this group are classified Affluent Empty Nests, and they feature upscale couples who are college educated, hold executive and professional positions and are over 45.

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Lifestyles Segments by Ages

40-Somethings

On the “older side” of the Authenticity Crisis lies the rest of adulthood.

If you chose renewal when you faced your mortality, life opens to an age of mastery.

Photo: Wikipedia

If you chose to look the other way and settle than your life feels stale.

Getting used to beginning your second stage of adulthood , you identify less with the kids who were in your high school class.

Or members of your generation’s cohort than you do with other people in your neighborhood.

And more with neighbors and friends dealing with common issues facing families, couples or empty-nesters.

45+ Families and Empty Nest Couples

Photo: Visual Hunt

The seven segments in their “Mature Years” live in households that have “empty-nested” or are in the process of doing so.

We find them primarily in Wealthy Influential neighborhoods (5 lifestyles) and Wireless Resorter zip codes (2 lifestyles).

  • Wealthy Influentials – Four Affluently Elite (WIAE) and one Digitally Mobiles (WIDM)
  • Wireless Resorters –  Two Premier Resorts (WRPR)

We use Claritas / Nielsen PRIZM lifestyle segmentation profiles to evaluate best places for relocation to more authentic, quality-of-life communities.

And, if your community already includes the following profiles, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on in your neighbors’ lives.

We know the number of households and income levels for comparison purposes based upon Claritas / Nielsen PRIZM 2011 Statistics:

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 7,975,015
  • Median Household Income : $89,013

 “While those on the “MTV side” of fifty may debate their inclusion in this group, Americans in the Mature Years tend to be over 45 years old and living in houses that have empty-nested. 

The wealthiest segments in this group are classified Affluent Empty Nests, and they feature upscale couples who are college educated, hold executive and professional positions and are over 45. 

Balboa Island Ferry – Getty Images

While their neighborhoods are found across a variety of landscapes—from urban to small-town areas—they all share a propensity for living in large, older homes. 

With their children out of the house, these consumers have plenty of disposable cash to finance active lifestyles rich in travel, cultural events, exercise equipment and business media. 

These folks are also community activists who write politicians, volunteer for environmental groups and vote heavily in elections.”

Where are you likely to these seven over 45 years old family and couple lifestyles? 

Four in California, and one each in Utah, Oregon and Florida

  • Lake Arrowhead, CA
  • Mammoth Lakes, CA
  • Half Moon Bay, CA
  • Seal Beach, CA
  • Alta, UT
  • West Linn, OR
  • Ft. Myers, FL

Which of these seven over 45 years lifestyles  describes you best?

01M1S1, Upper Crust, 45+, Couple, Affluent Empty-Nests, Elite Suburbs, Affluently Elite – WIAE, Wealthy Influentials (Half Moon Bay, CA)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,770,473 (1.52%)
  • Median Household Income: $114,402

Affluently Elite (WIAE):  “The nation’s most exclusive address, Upper Crust is the wealthiest lifestyle in America a haven for empty-nesting couples over 55 years old. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

 No segment has a higher concentration of residents earning over $100,000 (now $200,000) a year or possessing a postgraduate degree. And none has a more opulent standard of living.

Lifestyle & Media Traits

  • Shopped at Saks Fifth Ave.
  • Belonged to a country club
  • Read Conde Nast Traveler
  • Watched Golf Channel
  • Drove a Mercedes SL Class”

02F1S1, Blue Blood Estates, 45+ Families, Elite Suburbs, Affluently Elite – WIAE, Wealthy Influentials (West Linn, OR)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,129,199 (0.97%)
  • Median Household Income: $119,314

Affluently Elite  (WIAE):  “Blue Blood Estates is a family portrait of suburban wealth, a place of million-dollar homes and manicured lawns, high-end cars and exclusive private clubs. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

The nation’s second-wealthiest lifestyle, it is characterized by married couples with children, college degrees, a significant percentage of Asian Americans and six figure incomes earned by business executives, managers and professionals.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at Thomasville
  • Played tennis
  • Read Architectural Digest
  • Watched video-on-demand
  • Drove an Audi A8″

05F1T1, Country Squires, 45+, Family, Accumulated Wealth, Landed Gentry, WRPR Premier Resorts, Wireless Resorters (Lake Arrowhead, CA)

2011 Statistics

  • US Households: 2,011,809 (1.72%)
  • Median Household Income: $101,507

Premier Resorts (WRPR): The wealthiest residents in exurban America live in Country Squires, an oasis for affluent Baby Boomers who’ve fled the city for the charms of small-town living.

Country Squires enjoy country club sports like golf, tennis and swimming as well as skiing, boating and biking.

Photo: Visual Hunt

In their bucolic communities noted for their recently built homes on sprawling properties, the families of executives live in six-figure comfort. 

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Ordered from amazon.com
  • Went snorkeling
  • Read Family Fun
  • Watched pay-per-view movies
  • Drove a GMC Yukon Denali”

06F1S1, Winner’s Circle, 45+, Families, Accumulated Wealth, Elite Suburbs, WIAE Affluently Elite , Wealthy Influentials (Alta, UT)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,283,240 (1.10%)
  • Median Household Income: $105,785

Affluently Elite (WIAE):  Among the wealthy suburban lifestyles, Winner’s Circle is the youngest, a collection of mostly 25- to 34-year-old couples with large families in new-money subdivisions.

Surrounding their homes are the signs of upscale living: recreational parks, golf courses and upscale malls. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

With a median income of nearly $90,000, Winner’s Circle residents are big spenders who like to travel, ski, go out to eat, shop at clothing boutiques and take in a show.

Lifestyle & Media Traits

  • Shopped at Neiman Marcus
  • Went jogging
  • Read Wall Street Journal
  • Watched Wimbledon Tennis
  • Drove a Mercedes GL Class”

07M1U1, Money & Brains, 45+, Couples, Affluent Empty Nests, Urban Uptown, WIAE Affluently Elite, Wealthy Influentials (Seal Beach, CA)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 2,257,088 (1.93%)
  • Median Household Income: $88,813

Affluently Elite (WIAE): The residents of Money & Brains seem to have it all: high incomes, advanced degrees, and sophisticated tastes to match their credentials. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

Many of these city dwellers are married couples with few children who live in fashionable homes on small, manicured lots.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at Nordstrom
  • Contributed to NPR
  • Read Sunday newspaper
  • Watched Ebert & Roeper
  • Drove a Jaguar XJL”

09M1T1, Big Fish Small Pond, 45+, Couples, Affluent Empty Nests, Accumulated Wealth, Landed Gentry WRPR Premier Resorts, Wireless Resorters (Mammoth Lakes, CA)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 2,498,189 (2.14%)
  • Median Household Income: $82,470

Premier Resorts (WRPR) “Older, upper-class, college-educated professionals, the members of Big Fish, Small Pond are often among the leading citizens of their small-town communities.

Photo: Visual Hunt

These upscale, empty-nesting couples enjoy the trappings of success, belonging to country clubs, maintaining large investment portfolios and spending freely on computer technology.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Ordered from L.L. Bean
  • Contributed to PBS
  • Read Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
  • Watched The Triple Crown
  • Drove a Cadillac DTS”

10M1C1, Second City Elite, 45+, Couples, Affluent Empty Nests, Second City Society, WIDM Digitally Mobiles, Wealthy Influentials (Ft. Myers, FL)

2011 Statistics

  • US Households: 1,449,265 (1.24%)
  • Median Household Income: $77,612

Digitally Mobiles (WIDM): “There’s money to be found in the nation’s smaller cities, and you’re most likely to find it in Second City Elite.

The residents of these satellite cities tend to be prosperous executives who decorate their ($200,000 not any longer) homes with multiple computers, large screen TV sets and an impressive collection of wines. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

With more than half holding college degrees, Second City Elite residents enjoy cultural activities-from reading books to attending theater to dance productions.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at Talbots
  • Belonged to a civic club
  • Read Coastal Living
  • Watched Washington Week
  • Drove a Lincoln Town Car Flex Fuel”

Will you find a 100% fit?

No.

These lifestyle descriptions are intended to paint a picture of a new neighborhood you’d enjoy, because you share some of the same traits with current residents.

If you plan to relocate, start visiting communities on your short bucket list.

Don’t have a short list yet?

Steps:

26) If you know the zip code you can discover the lifestyles living in the community. You can compare your profile with theirs to estimate your degree of fit.

27) Estimate how well suited you are for the resorts. Refer to “Profiles-at-a-Glance” comparing 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 for changes in Life Stages – Singles, Couples, Families, Midlife, Empty Nests, Baby Boomers and Seniors; Ages – 20-29, 25-54, 30-44, 45+ 45-65, 55+ and 65+; and mix of Lifestyles in neighborhoods. Does the resort still offer the age, life stage and lifestyle profiles you prefer?

Which 30-44 Year Old Couple Lifestyle Fits You Best?

The eight segments in Midlife Success make up more affluent  Younger Years class.

These lifestyle descriptions are intended to paint a picture of a new neighborhood you’d enjoy, because you share some of the same traits with current residents.

 

Lifestyles Segments by Ages

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

20-Somethings

You’ll notice that, in general, the older you get, the more affluent you become.

According to Claritas / Nielsen PRIZM 20-29 Singles “make up the most downscale” of the four 20-something lifestyle groups.

Especially when compared to the next older set of single lifestyles – 25-54 year olds.

And the younger 20-44 year old families occupy the  lowest affluent rankings for lifestyle profiles even within other family groups, no matter what age.

That comparison also includes the last of the seven 20-something families lifestyles in the 25-54 age group.

30-Somethings

Now let’s turn your attention to the first of two more affluent groups within the “30-Something” age range.

Gail Sheehy

According to Gail Sheehy,  this is the Making It  stage … they set a timetable for fulfilling their goals.

It is of consuming importance to become acknowledged as a junior member of their occupational tribe.

Men who continue to focus narrowly their external goals can be, more than at any other time in their lives, shallow and boring.

My have mastered early adult tensions, or still working on them.”

30-44 Singles and Couples

The eight segments in Midlife Success make up more affluent  Younger Years class.

  • Wealthy Influentials – One Affluently Elite (WIAE), Two Exurb Society (WIES) and  two Digitally Mobiles (WIDM)
  • Wireless Resorters – Premier Resorts (WRPR) and two Maturing Resorts (WRMR)
  • One Permanent Temporary – Interim Middle Managers (PTIMM)

We use Claritas / Nielsen PRIZM lifestyle segmentation profiles to evaluate best places for relocation to more authentic, quality-of-life communities.

And, if your community already includes the following profiles, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on in your neighbors’ lives.

We know the number of households and income levels for comparison purposes based upon Claritas / Nielsen PRIZM 2011 Statistics:

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 14,633,208
  • Median Household Income : $69,063

The segments in Midlife Success typically are filled with childless singles and couples in their thirties and forties. 

Attracting Trend-Setting Couples Photo: Visual Hunt

The wealthiest of the Younger Years class, this group is home to many white, college-educated residents who make six-figure incomes at executive and professional jobs but also extends to more middle class segments. 

Most of these segments are found in suburban and exurban communities, and consumers here are big fans of the latest technology, financial products, aerobic exercise and travel.

Where are you likely to these eight more affluent single and couple lifestyles?

Four in California, two in Colorado, and one each in Arizona and New Mexico: 

Downtown Bolder, Colorado Photo: Visual Hunt
  • Irvine, CA
  • Mission Viejo, CA
  • Truckee, CA
  • Westwood, CA
  • Boulder, CO
  • Louisville, CO
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Santa Fe, NM

Which of the following 30-Something, Midlife Success Lifestyles  describes you best?

03Y1S1, Movers & Shakers,  30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Elite Suburbs, Affluently Elite – WIAE, Wealthy Influentials (Scottsdale, AZ)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,878,356 (1.61%)
  • Median Household Income: $103,357

Affluently Elite  (WIAE): Movers & Shakers is home to America’s up-and-coming business class: a wealthy suburban world of dual-income couples who are highly educated, typically between the ages of 35 and 54 and often with children. 

Given its high percentage of executives and white-collar professionals, there’s a decided business bent to this segment: 

Photo: Visual Hunt

Movers & Shakers rank number one for owning a small business and having a home office. 

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Ordered from J.Crew
  • Attended NHL games
  • Read Inc.
  • Watched Saturday Night Live
  • Drove a Land Rover Range Rover”

08Y1S2, Executive Suites, 30-44,  Couples, Midlife Success, Affluentials, Exurb Society, WIES, Wealthy Influentials (Mission Viejo, CA)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,068,292 (0.91%)
  • Median Household Income: $73,951

Exurb Society (WIES): “Executive Suites consists of upper middle class singles and couples typically living just beyond the nation’s beltways. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

Filled with significant numbers of Asian Americans and college graduates-both groups are represented at more than twice the national average.

This segment is a haven for white-collar professionals drawn to comfortable homes and apartments within a manageable commute to downtown jobs, restaurants and entertainment.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at IKEA
  • Played racquetball
  • Read Wired
  • Watched The Office
  • Drove an Acura TSX”

11Y1T1, God’s Country, 30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry, WRMR, Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters (Boulder, CO)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,699,924 (1.45%)
  • Median Household Income: $83,935

Maturing Resorts (WRMR): When city dwellers and suburbanites began moving to the country in the 1970s, God’s Country emerged as the most affluent of the nation’s exurban lifestyles. 

Photo: Stephen G. Howard

Today, wealthier communities exist in the hinterlands, but God’s Country remains a haven for upper income couples in spacious homes.

Typically college-educated Baby Boomers, these Americans try to maintain a balanced lifestyle between high-power jobs and laid back leisure.

Lifestyle & Media Traits

  • Ordered from zappos.com
  • Took golf vacations
  • Read Yachting
  • Watched Bloomberg Television
  • Drove an Audi S6″

12Y1C1, Brite Lites Lil City, 30-44, Couples, Midlife, Second City Society, WIDM Digitally Mobiles, Wealthy Influentials (Santa Fe, NM)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,832,821 (1.57%)
  • Median Household Income: $72,461

Digitally Mobiles (WIDM): “Not all of the America’s chic sophisticates live in major metros. 

Brite Lights, Li’l City is a group of well-off, middle-aged couples settled in the nation’s satellite cities. 

Santa Fe, New Mexico Photo: Visual Hunt

Residents of these typical DINK (double income, no kids) households have college educations, well-paying business and professional careers and swank homes filled with the latest technology. 

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at Crate & Barrel
  • Participated in fantasy sports
  • Read Skiing
  • Watched Lost
  • Drove a Volkswagen CC

13F2C1, Upward Bound, 30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Second City Society, WIDM Digitally Mobiles, Wealthy Influentials (Louisville, CO)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,955,876 (1.67%)
  • Median Household Income: $83,651

Digitally Mobiles (WIDM): “More than any other segment, Upward Bound appears to be the home of those legendary Soccer Moms and Dads. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

In these small satellite cities, upper-class families boast dual incomes, college degrees and new split-levels and colonials. 

Residents of Upward Bound tend to be kid-obsessed, with heavy purchases of computers, action figures, dolls, board games, bicycles and camping equipment. 

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Ordered from target.com
  • Bought toys by Internet
  • Read PC Gamer
  • Watched The N
  • Drove a Toyota Sequoia

19Y1S2, Home Sweet Home, 30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Suburbs, Affluentials, WIES Exurb Society, Wealthy Influentials, ( (Irvine, CA)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 2,127,048 (1.82%)
  • Median Household Income: $68,185

Exurb Society (WIES): Widely scattered across the nation’s suburbs, the residents of Home Sweet Home tend to be upper-middle-class married couples living in mid-sized homes with few children. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

The adults in the segment, mostly between the ages of 25 and 54, have gone to college and hold professional and white-collar jobs.

With their upscale incomes and small families, these folks have fashioned comfortable lifestyles, filling their homes with toys, TV sets and pets.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Ordered from BarnesandNoble.com
  • Bought collectors Items online
  • Read Macworld
  • Watched Discovery Health Channel
  • Drove a Volkswagen Passat”

25Y1T1, Country Casuals, 30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry, WRPR Premier Resorts, Wireless Resorters (Westwood, CA)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,741,070 (1.49%)
  • Median Household Income: $71,235

Premier Resorts (WRPR):  “There’s a laid-back atmosphere in Country Casuals, a collection of middle-aged, upper middle-class households that have started to empty-nest. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

Workers here-and most households boast two earners-have wellpaying blue- or white-collar jobs, or own small businesses. 

Today these Baby-Boom couples have the disposable income to enjoy traveling, owning timeshares and going out to eat.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at priceline.com
  • Did woodworking
  • Read Everyday With Rachel Ray
  • Watched Great American Country Channel
  • Drove Ford F-Series Diesels”

30Y1S3, Suburban Sprawl, 30-44, Singles Midlife, Suburbs,  PTIMM Interim Middle Managers (none in knowledge bank)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,529,350 (1.31%)
  • Median Household Income: $50,584
Photo: Visual Hunt

Interim Middle Managers (PTIMM):  “Suburban Sprawl is an unusual American lifestyle: a collection of midscale, middle-aged singles and couples living in the heart of suburbia. 

Typically members of the Baby Boom generation, they hold decent jobs, own older homes and condos, and pursue cocooning versions of the American Dream.

Among their favorite activities are jogging on treadmills, playing trivia games and renting videos.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at FedEx Kinkos
  • Sung karaoke
  • Read Cycle World
  • Watched Scrubs
  • Drove a Mazda 6″

37Y1T2, Mayberry-ville, 25-54, Families, Couples, Midlife Success, Country Comfort, WRMR Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters (Truckee, CA)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 2,756,347 (2.36%)
  • Median Household Income: $53,744

Maturing Resorts (WRMR): “Like the old Andy Griffith show set in a quaint picturesque berg, Mayberry-ville harks back to an old-fashioned way of life.

Photo: Visual Hunt

In these small towns, middle-class couples and families like to fish and hunt during the day, and stay home and watch TV at night.

With lucrative blue-collar jobs and moderately priced housing, residents use their discretionary cash to purchase boats, campers, motorcycles and pickup trucks.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at Sherwin-Williams
  • Went hunting with a gun
  • Read Bassmaster
  • Watched Daytona 500
  • Drove a GMC Sierra Diesel”

Will you find a 100% fit?

No.

These lifestyle descriptions are intended to paint a picture of a new neighborhood you’d enjoy, because you share some of the same traits with current residents.

If you plan to relocate, start visiting communities on your short bucket list.

Don’t have a short list yet?

30-Somethings Part Two: 35-54 Families

Steps:

26) If you know the zip code you can discover the lifestyles living in the community. You can compare your profile with theirs to estimate your degree of fit.

27) Estimate how well suited you are for the resorts. Refer to “Profiles-at-a-Glance” comparing 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 for changes in Life Stages – Singles, Couples, Families, Midlife, Empty Nests, Baby Boomers and Seniors; Ages – 20-29, 25-54, 30-44, 45+ 45-65, 55+ and 65+; and mix of Lifestyles in neighborhoods. Does the resort still offer the age, life stage and lifestyle profiles you prefer?

Which of These 20-29 Year Old Lifestyles Fits You?

You may find a description similar to how you spend what you earn and some lifestyle traits you’d have in common residents of neighborhood you should check out on a vacation.

 

Winter Season
These lifestyle descriptions are intended to paint a picture of a new neighborhood you’d enjoy, because you share some of the same traits with current residents.

 

Let’s help you put together a travel itinerary.

Summer Outdoors

Your goal is to plan two vacations, one for opposite seasons – winter and summer.

In the regions of your top bucket list destinations.

To sample the good, bad and ugly community factors.

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Lifestyles Segments by Ages

Not too long ago we stayed at the Hotel Santa Barbara  on State Street.

We mingled with all twenty-somethings working in bars, restaurants and at our hotel.

We’re interested in three overlapping age groups, each with their own lifestyles.

20-29 year olds, the transitional 28 – 32 year olds overlapping with 25 -54 year old singles and couples out on the town of this beach resort in California.

20-Somethings

Students from University of California, Santa Barbara or Santa Barbara Community College living nearby in Goleta and Isla Vista.

Not only on the exclusive coast of California, but up in the mountain resorts you’ll find what Claritas originally called Striving Singles.

We’ve bumped into them in resort towns like Whitefish, Montana, Pagosa Springs and Durango, Colorado (before and after the Great Recession) working on the mountain, lakes and rivers and in bars and restaurants to support outdoor adventures.

20-29 Singles

The seven segments in Striving Singles make up the most downscale of the Younger Years class.

  • Three High Country Eagles – two living on Small Town Borders  (HCESB) and one as a Rural Cowboy (HCERC);
  • Two Wireless Resorters – two Distant Exurbans (WRDE) and one Resort Suburbans (WRSS); and
  • One Permanent Temporary lifestyle – Starting Overs (PTSO).

Based upon Claritas 2011 Statistics we know the number of households and income levels for comparison purposes:

  • US Households: 12,665,698
  • Median Household Income : $33,160

Claritas tells us that as a group what you have in common with these twentysomething singles is they can be found in:

… in exurban towns and satellite cities, typically have low incomes—often under $25,000 a year—from service jobs or part-time work they take on while going to college.

Housing for this group consists of a mix of cheap apartment complexes, dormitories and mobile homes. 

As consumers, the residents in these segments score high for outdoor sports, movies and music, fast food and inexpensive cars.

Let’s take them in one by one in order of status and influence rankings from higher to lower by Claritas in 2011.

You may find a description similar to how you spend what you earn and some lifestyle traits you’d have in common residents of neighborhood you should check out on a vacation.

  • Healdsburg, CA,
  • Santa Cruz, CA,
  • Dillon, CO,
  • Eureka, CA,
  • Park City, UT,
  • Coeur d’Alene, ID, and
  • Telluride, CO.

42Y3T3, Red, White & Blues, 20-29, Striving Singles, Middle America, WRRS Resort Suburbans, Wireless Resorters (Healdsburg, CA)

“2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,278,769 (1.09%)
  • Median Household Income: $42,995

Resort Suburban (WRRS): “The residents in Red, White & Blues neighborhoods typically live in exurban towns rapidly morphing into bedroom suburbs.

Starbuck’s Signal Upscale Growth

Their streets feature new fast-food restaurants, and locals have recently celebrated the arrival of chains like Wal-Mart, Radio Shack and Payless Shoes.

Claritas provides sample Lifestyle & Media Traits. They:

  • Shopped at Lowe’s
  • Went fishing
  • Read Four Wheeler
  • Watched Speed Channel
  • Drove a Dodge Ram”

Do you feel your life is in transition?  Next up is a similar lifestyle where others like you call home.

44Y3S4, New Beginnings, 20-29, Singles, Striving Singles, Suburbs, Inner Suburbs, PTSO Start Overs, Permanent Temporaries (Santa Cruz, CA)

“Filled with young, single adults, New Beginnings is a magnet for adults in transition. 

Start Over (PTSO) :  “Many of the residents are twentysomething singles and couples just starting out on their career paths who live in communities attractive to older neighbors who may be starting over after recent divorces or job losses.  

Ethnically diverse-with nearly half its residents Hispanic, Asian or African-American-New Beginnings households tend to have the modest living standards typical of transient apartment dwellers.”

2011 Statistics

  • US Households: 1,837,994 (1.57%)
  • Median Household Income: $31,226

Here are some examples from Claritas Lifestyle & Media Traits. They:

  • Shopped at Express
  • Read comic books
  • Read Vibe
  • Watched Maury
  • Owned a Kia Spectra”

So, what if you want to get away from the city and confining features of congested suburbs.  You may work on a resort mountain, but you live in more remote communities.

45Y3T3, Blue Highways, 20-29 Striving Singles, Middle America HCERC Rural Cowboy, High Country Eagles (Dillon, CO)

Rural Cowboy (HCERC): On maps, blue highways are often two-lane roads that wind through remote stretches of the American landscape.

Among  lifestyles, Blue Highways is the standout for lower middle-class singles and couples who live in isolated towns and farmsteads. 

They like to hunt and fish, the women enjoy sewing and crafts, and everyone looks forward to going out to a country music concert.”

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,809,961 (1.55%)
  • Median Household Income: $43,023

Lifestyle & Media Traits. They:

  • Shopped at Wal-Mart
  • Owned satellite dish
  • Read Guns & Ammo
  • Watched auto racing
  • Drove a Chevrolet Colorado

Too remote?  How about in and around college towns like Santa Barbara?  But a little or a lot more affordable as you support your active lifestyle?

47Y3C3, City Startups, 20-29, Singles, Striving Singles, Micro-City Blues – HCESTB Small Town Borders, High Country Eagles (Eureka, CA)

Small Town Border (HCESTB): “In City Startups, young, multi-ethnic singles have settled in  neighborhoods filled with cheap apartments and a commercial base of cafes, bars, laundromats and clubs that cater to twentysomethings. 

One of the youngest segments in America-with ten times as many college students as the national average-these neighborhoods feature low incomes and high concentrations of Hispanics and African-Americans.

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,525,847 (1.31%)
  • Median Household Income: $23,777

Lifestyle & Media Traits. They:

  • Shopped at The Limited
  • Attended college football games
  • Read Spin
  • Watched Game Show Network
  • Drove a Suzuki Forenza”

Not ready to settle down for long? Decided to postpone or to skip college?  But, long for a more rustic lifestyle?

48Y3T4, Young and Rustic, 20-29, Striving Singles, Rustic Living, WRDE Distant Exurbans, Wireless Resorters (Park City, UT)

Distant Exurban (WRDE): Like the soap opera that inspired its nickname, Young & Rustic is composed of young, restless singles. 

Photo: Visual Hunt

Unlike the glitzy soap denizens, however, these folks tend to be lower-income, high school-educated and living in tiny apartments in the nation’s  towns. 

With their service industry jobs and modest incomes, these folks still try to fashion fast-paced lifestyles centered on sports, cars and dating.

2011 Statistics

  • US Households: 2,224,366 (1.90%)
  • Median Household  Income: $32,238

Lifestyle & Media Traits. They:

  • Ordered from Columbia House
  • Bought science fiction books
  • Read Car Craft
  • Watched WWE Wrestling
  • Owned a Dodge Ram Diesel

Are you more inclined to change towns with the season? Snowboarding here, water rafting there?

53Y3C3,  Mobility Blues, 20-29, Single, Striving Singles, Micro-City Blues – HCESTB Small Town Borders, High Country Eagles (Coeur d’Alene, ID)

Small Town Border (HCESTB): “Young singles and single parents make their way to Mobility Blues, a segment of working-class  neighborhoods in America’s satellite cities. 

Racially mixed and under 25 years old, these transient Americans tend to have modest lifestyles due to their lower-income blue-collar jobs.

Surveys show they excel in going to movies, playing basketball and shooting pool.

2011 Statistics

  • US Households: 1,522,347 (1.30%)
  • Median HH Income: $29,419

Lifestyle & Media Traits. They:

  • Shopped at Circuit City
  • Went whitewater rafting
  • Read WWE Magazine
  • Watched Telemundo
  • Drove a Hundai Tiburon”

Tourists may come and go with the season, but if your love of rural living isn’t a fad, then you might feel closer to other self-reliant neighbors.

56Y3T4, Crossroads Villagers, 20-29 Striving Single, Rustic Living, WRDE Distant Exurbans, Wireless Resorters (Telluride, CO)

Distant Exurban (WRDE): Residents are high school-educated, with lower-middle incomes and modest housing; one-quarter live in mobile homes. 

With a population of middle-aged, blue-collar couples and families, Crossroads Villagers is a classic  rural lifestyle.

Winter Season

And there’s an air of self-reliance in these households as Crossroads Villagers help put food on the table through fishing, gardening and hunting.

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 2,466,414 (2.11%)
  • Median Household Income: $32,084

Lifestyle & Media Traits. They:

  • Shopped at Wal-Mart Pharmacy
  • Owned a motor home
  • Read Motorcyclist
  • Watched The Jerry Springer Show
  • Owned a Chevrolet Aveo

Will you find a 100% fit?

No.

These lifestyle descriptions are intended to paint a picture of a new neighborhood you’d enjoy, because you share some of the same traits with current residents.

If you plan to relocate, start visiting communities on your short bucket list.

Don’t have a short list yet?

Part Two:  Which 20-44 Year Old Family Lifestyles Fits You?

Steps:

26) If you know the zip code you can discover the lifestyles living in the community. You can compare your profile with theirs to estimate your degree of fit.

27) Estimate how well suited you are for the resorts. Refer to “Profiles-at-a-Glance” comparing 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 for changes in Life Stages – Singles, Couples, Families, Midlife, Empty Nests, Baby Boomers and Seniors; Ages – 20-29, 25-54, 30-44, 45+ 45-65, 55+ and 65+; and mix of Lifestyles in neighborhoods. Does the resort still offer the age, life stage and lifestyle profiles you prefer?

Copper Mountain, Dillon and Frisco

So even though he gave up a 6-figure salary, a big house and luxury cars, he made the best out of a horrible situation.

Not sure where we were really, in relation to all we could be seeing, doing, eating and drinking, we left the itinerary up to our local guides.

 

Dillon:  Part One

An excerpt from Book Four in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Rocky Mountain State.

Recall author David Petersen’s interview about leaving Laguna Beach, California for the higher quality-of-life he found between Pagosa Springs and Durango, Colorado.

It wasn’t the magic of living off the grid that he wrote about in “On the Wild Edge.

It was more about self-reliance than self-sufficiency.

I find self-sufficiency an impossible dream in this modern world.

You can’t get away from it entirely, and frankly, there’s a lot of good stuff there that you don’t want to get away from.

The important thing, no matter where you live, is for a self-directed life, a recognition that by choosing simplicity in whatever ways you can, you reduce your reliance on materialism.

But, over time what he feared about Durango’s development came true.

The big houses, the Humvees, the SUVs, all of that is just the same here and in a way, people are really conspicuous consumers here in the country just like in the city.

In the shorter term, Finnmark would have quite a few “Landed Gentry” towns to choose from.

The first one is the same one we first discussed that connects Parker, Colorado with Austin and Lake Arrowhead.

It shares the neighborhood profile with another famous springs – Steamboat Springs in Colorado, as well. Look, there are connections to some of the better Colorado ski resorts – Breckenridge, Snowmass and Beaver Creek.

He (and you) could consider like-minded resort towns outside of Colorado.

In Utah, look what pops up – Park City and Deer Valley.

Even Sun Valley in Idaho and Incline Village in Nevada.

In each you’d be happy to find others like you:

Ages 35 to 45 and 45 to 64  – these are the knowledge worker profiles — well-educated executives, professionals, and technical white-collar workers.

They prefer to live away from the city.

Most families have more than one income.

So, they’re affluent and enjoy spending money on an active, outdoor recreational lifestyle, and on remodeling their homes – or at least reading about it or watching the cable channels devoted to the homeowner.

Colorado Regions

Where did Finnmark imagine living next, all things being equal?

If he moved he’d probably look in other exurb areas north, northwest and west of Denver.

How did they end up in Dillon?

Parker isn’t that far from the mountains.

Remember, mountains pulled them away from their Chicago suburb.

And, Dillon is in the mountains, duh!

And, for Finnmark a part of his Norwegian DNA probably drove him, right?

Things change.

As a couple, both of them were still relatively happy, until …

Finnmark lost his job like so many others.

In the local Denver job market, the telecom industry resembled a roller coaster of ups and downs.

Working in marketing and business development and product development, like in human resources, meant you weren’t critical to the success of the business.

If you have to cut back, start in those functions.

And, once you’ve turned 50 years old, as we’ve already acknowledged, it’s hard to compete with the “lower priced spread.”

Those eager, techno savvy Millennials.

If the roller coaster finally starts to climb out of its bottom depths.

But when one door closes …

Another door opens.

Though it may be hidden.

He volunteered, networked, and searched for jobs during the week.

But, on the weekends he began doing what he loved.

Teaching others how to ski at Copper Mountain Resort.

He found a job in the medical imaging technologies industry that lasted for about six years.

But didn’t quit doing what he loved on the weekend.

Finnmark wasn’t alone.

Later, when we profile Northstar in Lake Tahoe you’ll discover a 100-day bucket list story.

A 38-year-old landed a host position for the 2009 – 2010 winter season.

Stationed strategically on the mountain, he helped visitors figure out where they wanted to go and how to get there.

It was something he always wanted to do.

Ski the entire season at one of the premier resorts.

Plus he got to ski for free.

And, as it turned out he could do it, because of all the free time he had.

Unfortunately, it was due to the bankruptcy of his real estate business he had built over eight years.

He shared a three bedroom apartment with other roommates to make ends meet.

So even though he gave up a 6-figure salary, a big house and luxury cars, he made the best out of a horrible situation.

Luckily, for Finnmark, his Copper Mountain Resort position lasted more than one season.

He didn’t face such a dire situation.

And he was doing something he always wanted to do.

His ski instructing job gave him stability, when his new job of six years came to an end during the 2012 – 2013 ski season.

But, the long commute between Copper and Parker on certain weekends, similar to the Southern California traffic, got to him.

It could take him a couple of hours or as many as seven in the I-70 winter season congestion  triggered by tourist drivers out of their element and snow-driven accidents.

No one likes Monday mornings.

But, to kick off the work week after one of those commutes?

It’s enough to drain the passion right out of doing what you love to do.

His solution?

Buy a condo and stay for the weekends.

And choose a different day to travel, since Monday morning was no longer a work requirement.

As a couple with no children to complicate matters, they began to wonder.

What’s keeping them from relocating to where they want to really, really live?

They revisited the same process that led from Chicago to Parker.

  • What if?
  • Could they?
  • Should they?
  • Neither one worked for bosses they could respect any longer.
  • So why not?
  • But, how long would it take to sell their Parker home?
  • What about the timing?
  • Maybe not at the peak of the real estate market, but …

And, they felt a major problem might be how steep their driveway was for those frequently icy days and nights.

No problem.

Everything happened faster than they expected.

  • Their new owners told them they should have seen the driveway leading up to their last home.
  • Finnmark’s was child’s play in comparison.
  • Then things became real.
  • The pace quickened.
  • They had to step up their house buying process and pick a neighborhood near enough to Copper Mountain.
  • The clock ticked down to the deadline for moving everything out of Parker so the new owners could take possession.

But to where?

On scouting trips, they stayed in their condo.

Two of Parker’s Wireless Resorter lifestyle profiles, 05F1T1 and more specifically to them, 11Y1T1 match several of Summit County’s Monied ‘Burbs.

Premier Resorts – WRPR

05F1T1 Country Squires 45+ Baby Boomer, Families, Accumulated Wealth, Landed Gentry

And …

Maturing Resorts – WRMR

11Y1T1 God’s Country, 20-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry

Those two, it turns out, matched nicely what they cherished in Parker to what they found  in Summit County – friendly neighbors welcoming them with open arms.

Both profiles show up together in Frisco, and as we’ll see later, in resort towns on the banks surrounding Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada.

Finnmark’s closest lifestyle, 11Y1T1, populates neighborhoods in

They chose Dillon.

With the built up equity from sale of their home they were able to take advantage of local real estate market.

For all intents and purposes, they retired early while doing what they love.

With a rental and long-time renter at Copper Mountain providing a cash flow.

A few days a week in a helping out in a Frisco boutique.

Winter ski instructing.

Summer seasonal temp work – festival and event security – and some construction work.

They earn time off for good behavior while paying their bills without depleting their longterm investments.

That was then.

This was now.

The next day, we dropped off our rental at the local Enterprise office in Silverthorne.

Who knew?

For the first time in rental car history the price of gas per gallon offered by Enterprise turned out to be significantly cheaper than what we could see along the way to Dillon and during our local tour of the mountain communities.

I know!

With that out-of-the-way, and the long drive fading into memory, we were eager to vacate.

We had only one question on our minds, how much can you squeeze in, into one day?

Not sure where we were really, in relation to all we could be seeing, doing, eating and drinking, we left the itinerary up to our local guides.

So, there’s this little restaurant we both love in downtown Breckenridge, so let’s start there.

We like to eat.

He’s driving.

Why not?

Steps:

(8) Sit down with your spouse, partner or friends and write-up your bucket list of places.

(20) Pivot. Maybe the lists of best places don’t appeal to you. Where can you go to make a fresh, new start? Don’t limit your imagination. Think anywhere — across the globe. Where do you really, really want to live, work and play?  Why not live where it’s a vacation all year round?

(21) Spend the time to find the best places to live and invest. It will be worth your while. The great thing about living where others spend their vacation is the year round quality-of-life. 

Dillon

“What would you do if you had ten years to live and $10 million in the bank?” and “Where Would You Live, Anywhere On The Planet?”

Two what we now describe as “Wireless Resorters” – Premier Resorts and Maturing Resorts – called Parker home.

 

An excerpt from Book Four in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Rocky Mountain State.

When Siri told us we had arrived our host, Finnmark, waved down to us from his slightly worn natural-colored wooden deck.  

He leaned over his dark green metal railing as we pulled into his driveway and greeted us. 

From behind him we could see the smoke from his grill drifting up into the cooling dusk night-time sky.

When he called inside, his two large poodles scampered out.  

He climbed down his entrance way steps to quickly help us bring in our suitcases and ran back to his deck barbecue to flip the chicken one more time.

And then in minutes we sat at his kitchen table which probably was set much earlier than the time we arrived.  

We visited, settled into our room and then hit the bed early since we were clearly worn out from our drive. 

For the next few days we would enjoy our own base camp for hiking, touring, visiting, eating and drinking at the best of what Summit County would offer.

  • Dillon.
  • Frisco.
  • Breckenridge.
  • Loveland Pass.
  • Shrine Mountain Ridge.
  • The Continental Divide.
  • Keystone Resort.
  • Copper Mountain Resort.
  • Vail Resort.

And, discover what the attraction was to our hosts when they followed their dreams.

For the second time.

Colorado Regions

A decade earlier we visited them when they called Parker, Colorado, their home, an exurb Southeast of Denver.

They went out of their way to show us the off-the-beaten-path experiences no tourist would find in and around Denver.

How did they end up in Parker?

From Southern California, by way of Chicago. 

As a couple, they inspired me to write this “Guide for Leaving California.”

Both of them missed the outdoors, sports and mountain living – hiking, backpacking, and skiing. 

Both  grew up nearer the Pacific Ocean.

Both frequented the local mountains and the Sierra Nevada’s – Mammoth Mountain.

Finnmark worked summers near Tom’s place, where we’ll visit later following the Birds-of-a-Feather (BOFs) resort bucket list itineraries in California.

Rock Creek and Little Lakes Valley to be more exact. 

After the move out west again, everything they loved was in driving distance. 

Except the ocean, of course.

Finnmark told me it was the congestion.  

How all of Southern California became overdeveloped.

It forced him entertain second thoughts about returning to California, when he realized Illinois just didn’t suit him any more.

And what was wrong with the Windy City? 

The Great Lake comes close to being an ocean.

For a Southern California boy, it was the fact that he had to wear long underwear under his suit during the first winter there.

It wasn’t the cold so, much, he told me – Denver gets cold, but the humid cold of Chicago was something else. 

And no access to “real” mountains gnawed at them.

He told me it hit him when he waited to cross a downtown street at a pedestrian cross walk. 

A big SUV came barreling through the intersection, hit a puddle and drowned him with gray slush.

That slush broke the camel’s back! 

All the little things just added up into a general recognition of dissatisfaction for them.

They both had jobs.

They owned a home.

But, they recognized if they didn’t act the opportunity to move might just slip slide away.

He and his wife sat down that weekend – at a little resort hotel they both enjoyed — and answered two questions: 

“What would you do if you had ten years to live and $10 million in the bank?” and 

“Where Would You Live, Anywhere On The Planet?”

They listed their passions and their dissatisfactions. 

When they combined and prioritized their two lists into one common one they discovered they were in synch on the vast majority of their “Musts” and “Wants.”

So they transferred their jobs to a better quality of life location?

That was the hard part. 

They tried.

But, in the end they took a leap of faith.

They took a big risk. 

They gambled that they could both find jobs to support their lifestyle in a climate and geographical location where they’d be happy.

But, it was a calculated risk. 

  • They did their homework and tapped into their “Birds of a Feather” – tribal connections, if you will — ahead of time.
  • They knitted together a small group of like-minded people for the sole purpose of trading inside information and referrals.
  • They needed inside sources of business intelligence and introductions to make the best life decision they could.
  • And, they took several scouting trips – some on business trips, some on vacations to confirm what they had researched. 

They double-checked advice they had received from family, friends and new acquaintances they met along the way.

They set up their own “outpost” by renting outside of the Denver urban area while they explored where they wanted to live. 

As it turned out, Finnmark managed to finagle a position with his Chicago-based company by opening an office for them in Denver.

Shortly after arriving his wife landed her job.

In the same industry and function, with the flexibility to work from her home office since she conducted audits “in the field.”

In fact, like a farmer you could say she was outstanding in her field.

Look, I didn’t say you would, but you (I) could.

Point?

She earned an outstanding reputation recognized by her new employer.

And in a few months both began living their version of the “Colorado Dream” lifestyle in a beautiful home in Parker. 

Over a decade ago we profiled Finnmark in “The Journal of 2020 Foresight.”

On our chart it is in the upper right hand corner at the intersection of “Doing What You Love in Current Geographical Location.” 

We visited some of these neighborhoods in Parker, Colorado to which our friend moved from an exclusive Chicago suburb. 

They don’t have to live in congested, urban areas so you find like-minded residents in the elite suburbs. 

Statistically, these neighborhoods house a high concentration of the wealthiest in the United States. 

If you are familiar with the Southern California – you’d find them in … 

  • La Jolla, 
  • Torrey Pines, and 
  • Escondido (San Diego County) and 
  • Newport Coast, 
  • Newport Beach, 
  • Corona del Mar, 
  • Huntington Beach, 
  • Irvine and 
  • Mission Viejo (Orange County).

Not all of Parker’s neighborhood lifestyle profiles grouped together within the elite suburbs.  

Two what we now describe as “Wireless Resorters” – Premier Resorts and Maturing Resorts – called Parker home.

Here’s how we described the broad grouping and then two lifestyle segments – Country Squires and God’s Country –  in the “Journal of 2020 Foresight.”

And Landed Gentry?

They’re the fourth most affluent with multiple incomes from executive, professional and technology-related knowledge workers. 

They prefer to live in the exurbs – beyond the suburbs and dense urban areas.

And the Country Squires and God’s Country?

Both yearn to escape urban stress and prefer to live away from the city. 

Country Squires have been called “big bucks in the boondocks” by Claritas. 

God’s Country neighborhoods apply their dual incomes to support an active, outdoor lifestyle.

Slowly neighborhoods change.

You can see the fit that Finnmark and his wife found when they first moved to Parker many years ago. But over time, what once was exurban now becomes suburban, and almost urban as communities mature.

If they had to do it over again, they might check out Parker’s 2025 Master Plan to decide if there was as much fit as they had anticipated.

Here’s a kernel of an idea that grew over time. 

It evolved.

When the opportunity presented itself, it burst to the forefront of Finnmark’s planning.

In the long term Finnmark said he wouldn’t mind living off the grid – becoming more self-sufficient like in the Lone Eagle scenarios. 

We now call the Lone Eagle scenarios – High Country Eagles.  

And, in many of the mountain resort communities you’ll find them living farther away from the towns in Rural Cowboy ranches, farms and other sparsely populated rivers, lakes and open land.

Steps:

8) Sit down with your spouse, partner or friends and write-up your bucket list of places.

20) Pivot. Maybe the lists of best places don’t appeal to you. Where can you go to make a fresh, new start? Don’t limit your imagination. Think anywhere — across the globe. Where do you really, really want to live, work and play?  Why not live where it’s a vacation all year round?

21) Spend the time to find the best place to live and invest. It will be worth your while. The great thing about living where others spend their vacation is the year round quality-of-life. 

65+ Years Old: Maturity, Integrity and Wisdom

“The real question is, what does it mean to live to full effect? How do you know if you are fulfilling your time, or wasting it?”

 

These days, all my sixtysomething friends seem to be taking care of aging parents. Too many — most of them male — are fighting serious health issues of their own. They are tough old boots, all of them.

 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

The final installment in a 9-part Life Stage series:

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three:  Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Part Four:  Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

Part Five:  Making It – Ages 30 – 38

Part Six:  Authenticity Crisis for 35 – 45 Year Olds

Part Seven:  Renewal or Resignation in Your Mid-40s

Part Eight: 55 Year Olds- Millennials and Empty Nests

So there’s this generation that used to be all that.

The one born between 1946, beginning nine months after World War II ended and 1964 more or less.

Look it up, but the number stuck in my brain is about 75 or 78 million.

They used to dominate all those demographic lifestyle segments advertising executives drooled over.

They were the Millennials of their time.

A time so long ago …

Turning 60

Chris Erskine. Meanwhile, many of my friends are turning 60, and though I have a long way to go till I reach that particular benchmark (six months), witnessing so many milestones at once can really take a toll on a fella.

“You’re turning 60?” I always tell my friends.

“That’s just so great!!!”

Really?!!

Integrity or Despair

Erik Erikson’s last and eighth developmental stage is called Maturity.

Approximate Age: Maturity ( 65 – death)

Significant Relationship: Mankind, my kind

Existential Question:  Is it okay to have been me?

Examples: Reflection on life

Psychosocial Crisis: Integrity vs. Despair

Virtues: Wisdom

A lot of stuff comes with approaching the traditional retirement age.

That age when Erskine’s generation viewed their parents living their second half of life – the Golden Years – with a pension, receiving monthly social security checks and picking up divots on a par five in Sarasota, Florida as boring.

A given.

But, now not so much.

And tomorrow, probably not at all.

Entering Act III with Doctors and Adult Kids

Daditude: The Joys & Absurdities of Modern Fatherhood by Chris Erskine

Turning sixty is a weird time, Erskine says, for him and his friends.

A time when they look back to times they spent when they were younger.

A time when their kids were younger.

I sometimes wish our kids were all 10 again, how that period was a holiday season all its own; it was magical, finite and flew by too fast.

A time when the kids needed coaching and rough housing.

A time when the parents had to remind them about chores and unfinished homework.

Now things are just different.

Erskine.  “Truth is, I find this a weird time for me and my buddies.

Most of our children are now adults, working for tyrants, finding their way.

That’s just how the real world works.

Erskine’s friend puts what’s different into perspective for him – like a three act screen play.

Act I ends with college graduation.

Act II ends with the empty nest.

“Act III,” my buddy Siskin calls it.

So now, most of us are entering Act III.

Ask any writer, Act II is the toughest.

The middle of any story meanders, drifts, struggles and is often the death of art itself.”

Wisdom and Life Acceptance

Erskine’s writes about what comes with the Act III territory.

Coming to grips with what it means when you’ve reached the last chapter of your life.

When retirement is approaching or has already taken place.

Stories about “Is it okay to have been me?”

And other reflections on life.

Examples of leaving the second half of adulthood and embarking on maturity.

Erikson (at least the Wikipedia version) describes what happens.

“Ego-integrity means the acceptance of life in its fullness: the victories and the defeats, what was accomplished and what was not accomplished.

Wisdom is the result of successfully accomplishing this final developmental task.

Wisdom is defined as “informed and detached concern for life itself in the face of death itself.””

Erskine reflects on a book review, a memoire written about turning 60.

Erskine. “Like a pro athlete just retired, he seems pretty convinced that most of life’s good times are behind him.

Likewise, there is very little chirpy, New Age navel-gazing to his writing.

His mind is keen and active, and his pages are full of fine references to poets and artists who he knows also dealt with the minefield of late middle age.

Erskine says the book takes on topics like his love life, physical changes, marriage struggles with, family relations brother and more.

He speaks of his existential crises:

“The real question is, what does it mean to live to full effect?

How do you know if you are fulfilling your time, or wasting it?

Fulfillment  or Despair, Depression and Hopelessness

As we grow older and become senior citizens, according to Erikson’s theory, we tend to slow down our productivity and explore life as a retired person.

It is during this time through retrospection that we look back to contemplate our accomplishments and are able to develop integrity if we see ourselves as leading a successful life.

If so we develop feelings of contentment and integrity if we believe we have led a happy, productive life.

But if we see our life as unproductive, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness.

Instead of contentment, we  may instead develop a pervasive sense of despair when we recall a life of disappointments and unachieved goals.

This stage can occur out of the sequence when an individual feels they are near the end of their life (such as when receiving a terminal disease diagnosis).

Stage 4 Cancer

Erskine.  “Well, the doctors had said “cancer, Stage 4,” so I suppose Posh was a little desperate.

Chris Erskine at the Los Angeles Times

I was there to help, and eager as a dumb puppy.

I didn’t feel responsible for her cancer, just every other challenge in her life: the plain little ranch house, the minivan with the “check-engine” light aglow, the dryer that kept scorching the shirts.

Most of all, a topsy-turvy marriage.

Like taking on the day in and day out responsibilities of caring for an aging parent Erskine’s normal routine dramatically  changed.

And he was the funny one.

Churning out humorous weekly syndicated essays about what it was like living in the Los Angeles suburbs with four children during his own middle age years.

Bad as all that was, she had cancer, which is worse than about anything else that can ever happen.

How could I gripe about the missing tax records — or anything — when she was enduring injections, transfusions, lab tests, fatigue, nausea and hair loss?

A good day was one where they didn’t poke her with a 4-inch needle.

Traditional retirement age used to be 65, but not so much any more.

So depending upon your situation, it may be easier to start the countdown process five years before you expect to retire.

Will it be 70 or 75 or 55?

These recommendations will still hold up.

You pick the time when you want retirement to start and work backwards to the time left.

Seriously, do this.

You know you put a lot of time and effort into planning your annual vacations.

So, put in the same time and energy into a project that protects your nest egg and well-being with piece of mind.

Erskine. “Meanwhile, my friends and I are at a more bittersweet stage, with five or so years left in our careers.

Every conversation has started to include talk of doctors.

Any car we buy might be our last.

Pre-Retirement Countdown

Time Left Before Retiring – Five Years

Finances: 

Take a stab at answering The Big Question: Will you  have saved enough to retire in five years?

Erskine.  Which one of you handles the finances?” the advisor asked.

From Posh, a sideways glance.

“Money does,” Posh said.

“Who’s Money? the advisor asked.

“We call my husband ‘Money,'” Posh explained, “but he’s sooooo not.

Lifestyle:  

How you and your spouse wish to spend time in retirement.

Take an inventory of your past and current interests, hobbies and activities.

One of the mentors in our Executive MBA program told me he wrote a book and set up his consulting practice, because so much golf and so much traveling didn’t cut it any more.

Estate Planning:

Make sure you have a will, an appointed power-of-attorney, health-care directives and an estate plan.

Otherwise, someone else will be calling the shots and siphoning off your hard-earned savings.

Time Left Before Retiring – Four Years

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Finances:

Start thinking about Social Security. Talk to your financial advisor.  Check out all the tools and resources on the Social Security Administration’s website.

Lifestyle:

Start exploring your ideas.

Erskine.  “Oh, I jest because after living here for nearly 30 years, I love L.A. and its open minds … its empty minds, and every now and then, its very brilliant minds.

In L.A., you’ll run across the smartest people you’ll ever meet, and they’ll probably be driving for Uber.

Still, it is a magnificent and inspiring place — America’s shining city on a hill.

For active Millennials, Gen-Xers, Baby Boomers, and well everyone else living in California the high cost of living, taxes and congested living conditions in and around Los Angeles pushes “Golden Staters” like Erskine to actively consider moving.

But …

You’d have to move to Monaco to find mountains this close to beaches, or wild animals this close to ingénues.

In the foothills, we keep black bears as pets.”

Potential outbound movers need to draw up a bucket list of best places that offsets living near the Pacific Ocean and local mountains.

Start with the no- or low-tax states and carefully weigh the tradeoffs.

A quality-of-life resort community may be so remote that it lacks adequate healthcare locally, for instance.

Erskine’s advice for potential inbound vacationers-turned-residents?

“If you live right, most of the time you will have seawater in your hair.

Most of the year, your bare feet will have a leathery bottom, as if it is always summer.

It isn’t.

Densely Populated Urban Neighborhoods

All that “endless summer” stuff comes from the ’50s and ’60s.

The bohemian vibe from that time is slipping away, quashed by gentrification and surprisingly long work weeks.

If you’re considering relocating, research the communities you’re interested in.

In addition to Claritas and City-data.com you may want to add helpful resources  like: Relocationessentials.com, NeighborhoodScout.com and RetirementLiving.com.

Time Left Before Retiring – Three Years

Lifestyle:

If you plan to relocate, start visiting communities on your short bucket list.

Don’t have a short list yet?

Southwest United States – Wikitravel

Take a look at these western towns with seven 65+ lifestyles that might just get your started:

Arizona: Elgin

California: Palm Desert, Eureka, Long Beach, Seal Beach

MontanaWhitefish

New Mexico: Taos

Seven Lifestyle Profiles: 65+

Singles and Couples: Wireless Resorters, High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries.

Communities

Wireless Resorters

55M4T4, Golden Ponds – WRDE Distant Exurbans (Elgin, AZ)

Communities

High Country Eagles

60M4C3, Park Bench Seniors – HCESTB Small Town Borders (Palm Desert, CA)

57M4T4 Old Milltown – HCERE Rustic Eagles (Taos, NM)

58M4T4, Back Country Folks – HCERE Rustic Eagles (Whitefish, MT)

Communities

Permanent Temporaries

62M4C3, Hometown Retired – PTTC The Cutters (Eureka, CA)

59M4U3, Urban Elders – PTUT Urban Trapped (Long Beach, CA)

61M4U3, City Roots – PTUT Urban Trapped (Seal Beach, CA)

Finances: 

Request an estimate of any pension or retiree medical benefits you are eligible to receive from your employer.

Health Care:

Get educated about Medicare.

You won’t want to be penalized for signing up for basic coverage when you were supposed to, but didn’t.

Find out what’s covered and what isn’t.

Investigate all those supplemental plans you’ll need if you want vision or dental care.

Realize that you’ll have one plan while your spouse will have another.

Time Left Before Retiring – One Year

Wait, where did the time go, right?

Lifestyle: 

If you plan to start a business, draw up a detailed business plan.

Check out the 10 step process at the Small Business Administration (SBA) to get you started.

Consider all your ‘Preneurial options weighing the risks and rewards and the pros and cons before you commit your hard-earned nest egg to the vagaries of being in business for yourself.

If you want to work, check the listings at websites including RetiredBrains.com, RetirementJobs.com and SeniorJobBank.org

Finances:

Figure out how to convert your savings into a reliable stream of lifelong income.

Get a final estimate of benefits from your employer.

Don’t put it off too long or you might conveniently forget about it.

Forgetting Why You Entered the Room

Chris Erskine.  “This week marks 60 laps around the sun for me.

Sixty is pretty sexy, of course.

Sixty is AARP discounts, cruise ships and cholesterol tests.

Sixty is forgetting why you entered the room, the number of that first baseman, the name of that girl you worshiped back in high school.

The whole thing started 15-plus years ago, after our sons and daughters aged out of youth sports.

Aging Parents and Their Own Health Issues

Chris Erskine.  “Eric dodged serious cancer and has rebounded well.

Social Ties and Deep Friendships

Paul had a relapse of his cancer and with gallows humor kids about a Viking funeral on a flaming raft in Jennifer Aniston’s pool.

Posh continues her fight, as does a family friend, LP, who used to coach with me long ago.

Not far from those thoughts are recollections of another great pal, Rhymer, who died five years ago.

At 51, he was just a baby.

“Focus on the good,” Rhymer always said, even in the times when we both had to squint to find the good.

Maybe, just maybe, all you can really do is to find your own path.

Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. Leave a Legacy.

Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

The story of your life may change dramatically, tragically, or so quietly you don’t ever notice. It’s never any fun, but it can’t be avoided.

The work involves great change, turmoil, and often a crisis — a simultaneous feeling of rock bottom and the urge to bust out.

 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three: Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Gail Sheehy made the “Catch 30s” transitional stage popular .

Basically,  it’s a period of turmoil and transformation occurring at roughly the halfway mark during Erik Erikson’s Early Adulthood life stage which ranges  from ages 20 to 39.

You’ll recall that Early Adulthood is a time of dating, marriage, family and friendships.

Erikson said by successfully forming loving relationships with other people, individuals are able to experience love and intimacy.

Those who fail to form lasting relationships may feel isolated and alone.

Sheehy described the Catch 30s transition as a time when 20-somethings feel narrow and restricted.

From Teenager to Early Adult

You know you experience it when you realize it is time for something else.

It’s a time for revisiting and sometimes dramatically tearing up choices you made during your traditional school-to-work transition.

A time when you trade in the restricting voices of teachers and parents for bosses and co-workers.

And a time when a new vitality springs from within us them as you approach age 30.

 

John Hodgman. There are transitions in life whether we want them or not.

John Hodgman’s Humorous Take On His 20s, 30s and 40s

You get older.

You lose jobs and loves and people.

The story of your life may change dramatically, tragically, or so quietly you don’t ever notice.

It’s never any fun, but it can’t be avoided.

Sometimes you just have to walk into the cold dark water of the unfamiliar and suffer for a while.” pg. 238 – 239.

 

Life happens to you.

Early adults experience the Catch 30 transition usually between ages 28 to 32 when they suddenly realize they’ll no longer be 20 years old.

They’re getting older.

For most, it is the first of other life’s transitions to come.

Transitions usually bookend the entrance to or the exit from a developmental life stage.

As you approach your 30-somethings during this transition your first impulse may be to blame others.

For what feels like relentless turmoil.

Crisis.

Often the restrictions boil down to career and personal choices of the twenties.

They may have been choices perfectly suited to that stage, but now the fit feels different.

No one loves change thrust upon them at any age.

Especially triggered by a significant disaster that forces those changes in your life.

Like the loss of your mother.

Hodgman. “What more is there to say than it was traumatic, a moment that breaks your life in half?

That you never heal from it, and it blankets your life in sadness and fear forever?” pg 225

“I’m a P.C”, John Hodgman

I was twenty-nine when she died.

She was fifty-eight.

I had been married to my wife less than a year, but we had been together already for ten.

In many way she had become my mom’s daughter too.” pg 225

“A month later my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and eight months later she died.

My father attempted to go to the house a few times but found it emotionally unbearable, and so he offered it to us for a dollar.

At the time I was a freelance writer for magazines, and I think he presumed – reasonably – that this would be my one chance to ever have an asset in my life.

He asked if we could keep up with the taxes and expenses, and the answer to that was no.

But I did have a dollar, and I missed my mom, so I took it.” pg 225

Navigating through this transition means concentrating on a ourselves.

Reflecting upon what is important and what no longer is.

Making new or renewed choices.

Like each generation before them, millennials are poised to pass through the early years of adulthood almost in lockstep over the next two decades.

And, given we live in a new era those new or renewed choices look different from the outside.

Especially as they emerge.

Especially to empty nest parents.

Chris Erskine. “The lovely and patient older daughter now makes more money than I do yet seems to lead a life of semi-retirement.

Chris Erskine at the Los Angeles Times

I know she works very hard, but her Snapchat account is brimming with photos of boiled crabs and smiling boyfriends.

Evidently, she is dating a tray of frozen margaritas.

She lives like the characters in a Kristen Wiig movie, except her friends have sunburns, like real people, and their smiles are more authentic.

As you can see, this roommate situation is working out pretty well.

No one has stolen anyone’s bank card, and there have been no attempted murders over who ate the last yogurt.

To be fair, their relationship benefits from the fact the younger daughter spends about half her nights back at our place (mostly because she misses her dad so much).

Over time each generation further segments into single, couple or family lifestyles.

This begins to get complicated, but stay with me.

Within the Claritas psychographic and demographic segmentation the Catch 30s enter a 30-year age range, 25-54.

They enter Erikson’s Early Adulthood ( ages 20 – 39)  and grow into Full Adulthood (ages 40 – 64).

Why is this important?

We use Claritas lifestyle segmentation profiles to evaluate best places for relocation to more authentic, quality-of-life communities.

And, if your community already includes the following profiles, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on in your neighbors’ lives.

Here come further complications.

The lifestyles.

Fourteen, if you are keeping track.

  • Seven mainstream single lifestyles.
  • A single couple lifestyle.
  • And six mainstream family lifestyles.

Lifestyle Profiles: 25-54

Mainstream Singles, Couples and Mainstream Families: Wealthy Influentials, Wireless Resorters, High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries.

Mainstream Singles

What happens when single Birds-of-a-Feather find each other?

Chris Erskine.  She is turning 31 and is full of blarney, with a flash of summer lightning in the eyes.

On the way to her birthday bash, she notes that Santa Monica is a dangerous mix of tourists and locals — too slow and too fast — making driving here pretty frustrating.

“But they bring the money in,” she says of the tourists, as if they are her city’s lifeblood, as if Santa Monica were a depressed Third World port sleepily awaiting the next cruise ship.

My daughter then asks me if Pabst is acceptable for her bash at the beach, making me secretly proud, for I always feared no one in the family shared my refined tastes.”

Where will you find other single Birds-of-a-Feather in Arizona, California, Colorado and Texas neighborhoods?

Consider these towns and seven lifestyle profiles for additions to your bucket list:

Wealthy Influentials

04Y2U1, Young Digerati –  WIPL Portfolio Locals (Chandler, AZ)

16Y2U1, Bohemian Mix – WIPL Portfolio Locals (Huntington Beach, CA)

31Y2U2, Urban Achievers – WIPL Portfolio Locals (Tempe, AZ)

Wireless Resorters

23Y2T2, Greenbelt Sports – WRMR Maturing Resorts (Aspen, CO)

High Country Eagles

24Y2C2, Up-and-Comers – HCESC Satellite City-zens (Napa, CA)

35Y2C2, Boomtown Singles – HCESC Satellite City-zens (San Marcos, TX)

Permanent Temporaries

22Y2S3, Young Influentials – PTIMM Interim Middle Managers (Tempe, AZ)

Couples

Hodgman. “We were in our early thirties when we took on our house in rural western Massachusetts.

We were grown-ups, but only theoretically.” pg. 113

If instead John chose coupling Birds-of-a-Feather in California’s Sierra Mountain region he might enjoy the Lake Tahoe region.

Wireless Resorters

37Y1T2, Mayberry-ville – WRMR Maturing Resorts (Truckee, CA)

And let’s turn to what life’s like for six mainstream family lifestyles.

Mainstream Families

Chris Erskine. “Once you let them out of the cage like that, you never really get them back in that same cozy way.

But just when you come to terms with the change and adjust to a less kid-centric life, they are back.

Babies, Babies, Babies …

Suddenly, the nest is no longer empty.

My life was once a convention of crying babies.

Now, 25 years later, my life is a convention of adult children living back home — of hangovers and job woes, of sleeping too late on Saturday mornings (them, not me).

There is almost a poetry to the parental plight.

Six potential bucket list neighborhoods with Mainstream Birds-of-a-Feather Families in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Texas and Utah

Wealthy Influentials

54F3U2, Multi-Culti Mosaic – WIPL Portfolio Locals (Lakewood, CO)

Wireless Resorters

32F3T2, New Homesteaders – WRMR Maturing Resorts (New Braunfels, TX)

33F3T2, Big Sky Families – WRMR Maturing Resorts (Park City, UT)

High Country Eagles

34F3C2, White Picket Fences – HCESC Satellite City-zens (Aurora, CO)

50F3T3, Kid Country, USA – HCERC  Rural Cowboy (Coeur d’Alene, ID)

51F3T3 Shotguns & Pickups – HCERC  Rural Cowboy (Surprise, AZ)

Whether you’re single, living as a couple or already begun your family what you have in common with each other at the Catch 30 transition is a growing dissatisfaction.

Choices perfectly suited to your 20s now the don’t fit as well.

Something feels different.

Some inner aspect that was left out is striving to be taken into account.

Until, like Jon Hodgman you find the motivation to pursue new competencies.

Hodgman. “I had been finishing my seventh year working at a literary agency.

I loved my colleagues and my clients.

I loved an industry that encouraged long lunches and still closed early on Fridays once the summer started sneaking up.” pg 225

Clearly he was unhappy.

Hodgman. “I wanted to be a writer, and that meant I could not be an agent in good faith and compete with my own clients.

Oh, I also was unhappy because my mom was dying.

So one Friday I left work and I did not go back.

I went home to help my father take care of her.”  pg 225

Important new choices must be made, and commitments altered or deepened.

Sheehy. “The work involves great change, turmoil, and often a crisis — a simultaneous feeling of rock bottom and the urge to bust out.

Gail Sheehy’s Passages

One common response is the tearing up of the life we spent most of the 20s putting together.

It may mean striking out on a secondary road toward a new vision or converting a dream of “running for President” into a more realistic goal.

Consumed with the work of making personal critical life-steering decisions, the person demonstrates the essential shift at their age: an absolute requirement to be more self-concerned.”

 

John Hodgman returned to New York to his friends and colleagues and abruptly quit his job.

Hodgman. “I was back home in Massachusetts within a week.

A friend at a magazine assigned me to write an article about cheese for money.

I became a professional writer.

I spent the summer there with my dad and my wife.

I did not cry until the summer was over.

We went back to New York, and I started a new life.” pg 228

Part Five:  Making It – Ages 30 – 38

Plug In Dreams

What if you knew those Wireless Resort profiles that attracted you?

Searching Wireless Dreams
For example, cappuccino shops and hip cafes give a different signal than a Wal-Mart or McDonalds.

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part Three in a 4-Part Series.

Part One: You

Part Two: Taking Calculated Risks

What if you used Nielsen’s MyBestSegments and plugged in any of the Wireless Resorter lifestyle profiles, could you find you dream neighborhoods?

You couldn’t except by trial and error.

Searching Claritas One Zip Code at a Time
  • Find the zip code for the town on your short list.
  • Plug it into Nielsen’s MyBestSegments online database and find out if it was.
  • Or in the majority of cases – not.

What if you knew those Wireless Resort profiles that attracted you.

  • Or those higher status and income profiles?
  • Or those age and life stage profiles?
  • You couldn’t simply plug them in and find the town or your dreams.

But, being a “What If” guy I reverse engineered the process.

And lived to write a book about it.

Following Harry Dent’s logic – the more affluent people always seek the best areas and the number of these areas is limited.

Therefore, such areas will see  the most money chasing the fewest properties. 

In the simple math of supply and demand, that adds up to the best real estate appreciation and, for some people, to the highest quality of life.

Luckily, he included a list of Western resort towns that fit his criteria to begin with.

  • Each one included a mix of lifestyles.
  • I painstakingly plugged zip codes of potential towns on my bucket list and compared them to Dent’s originals.
  • Over time patterns emerged.

And with enough patience a workable knowledge bank provided what I wanted.

All the Towns One Lifestyle at a Time

An easy way to search on 09M1T1 and identify a subset of all the Western towns and a way to group them into geographical travel itineraries for vacations.

  • Get out and smell the wildflowers.
  • Become entranced with waterfalls
  • Feel the cool breeze blowing through the golden aspen leaves.
  • And take note about the bucket list town’s amenities.
  • Whether or not it’s making substantial investments in its public facilities.
Shimmering Autumn Aspen Leaves

More specifically Dent offers a short list

Is it expanding the airport, improving public transportation, and building sports complexes, schools, cultural facilities, convention and meeting centers? 

Airport Expansion Clues?

What kinds of tourist attractions and family entertainment facilities is the city building or improving, and what do you think of them? 

How about the community’s attitude towards an influx of new people?

If it is creating an environment to attract more, this is another sure sign that the town is expanding and planning for more expansion.

Remember the online feud over chickens as pets in Bishop?

“It is obvious that you are a young, smart-a– who probably moved from LA to Mammoth, couldn’t afford to live there and ended up here.” 

Birds-of-a-Feather or Chicken Wars?

“I was born here. You’re obviously a hypocrite.”

“Go back to Metropolis, where superman protects you from all the big, scary and stinky farm animals. 

Bishop will be ok without one more flatlander type.”

A quick rule of thumb isn’t one universally appreciated by the locals, either.

  • Franchises are moving in.
  • Franchises such as Starbuck’s Coffee, McDonalds and Wal-Mart. 
Starbuck’s Signal Upscale Growth

These companies do extensive demographic and lifestyle analysis before moving to an area and they don’t make such an investment unless they are convinced that there is strong growth potential.

An important side note.

You’ll recall as a ‘Preneur, after weighing the pros and cons of buying a business or a franchise, investing in a franchise may also provide you with a proven business system and an established local customer base.

Growth by itself, however, is not the only factor to evaluate for keeping your bucket list town on the shortlist, and later when you set up shop.

Dent says to …

Consider what types of businesses are moving in, what kinds are already present, and determine whether or not they reflect and support the kind of lifestyle you’re seeking. 

Maybe just as important, you’ll get a feel for what types  of people you can expect to move into the area in the near and longterm future.

For example, cappuccino shops and hip cafes give a different signal than a Wal-Mart or McDonalds.

Becoming the Next Aspen?

The high-end businesses suggest you may be walking down Main Street of the next Aspen, whereas a Wal-Mart probably indicates another low-cost business town or an exurb that eventually will look more like an extended suburb. 

In reality, you’ll find both in your bucket list town.

Steps:

(8) Sit down with your spouse, partner or friends and write-up your bucket list of places.

(21) Spend the time to find the best places to live and invest. It will be worth your while. The great thing about living where others spend their vacation is the year round quality-of-life.

 

Taking Calculated Risks

As a real estate investor you’re looking for the equivalent of a stock market mantra, “Buy low, sell high.”

Attracting Trend-Setting Couples
Well off empty nest 45 – 65-year-old couples and successful midlife 30 – 44-year-old couples signal the transition to higher appreciation in real estate.

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part Two in a 4-Part Series.

Part One: You

Look for a real estate market just taking off or, as in the Lake Tahoe market, accelerating again after a consolidation or drop in prices.

Lake Tahoe Homes

Contact local brokers for property price statistics and discuss vacancy rates for the town

  • Falling vacancy rates indicate demand is outstripping supply.
  • And that translates into enduring price appreciation.
  • Another quantitative variable to check is any factor that would limit the amount of land available for development.

Harry Dent advises you to look for any clues

These would include environmental constraints, water shortages, adjacent hills and lakes that count towards the acreage totals but cannot be developed, zoning laws, and so on.

  • As a real estate investor you’re looking for the equivalent of a stock market mantra, “Buy low, sell high.”
  • Or in retail, “Location, location, location”
  • A limited supply of suitable land plus growth equals appreciation.

    Explosive Las Vegas Growth

Dent turns to Nevada, Florida and Colorado for examples.

  • In Las Vegas at the time of his report had been growing by 14% every year, exactly the kind of statistic you’d want to find.
  • But with so much cheap land surrounding the gambling and entertainment mecca housing supply easily kept ahead of demand.
Desert Surrounding Vegas

This is why, for example, Las Vegas is growing at an astonishing rate of 14% per year but homeowners are enjoying only modest appreciation. 

Here’s the contrarian position.

  • When “timing is everything.”
  • There is a physical limit after all.
Mountain Range Halting Limitless Expansion

But Las Vegas is approaching the limits set by the surrounding mountain ranges. As a result, it may see more substantial price appreciation in the future.

What about Florida, an irresistible  magnet for snowbirds and retirees?

High population growth rates?

Check.

But, Dent says to consider two anti-appreciation factors.

Florida Lifestyle

Lots of flat land suitable for development and plenty of water have kept the price appreciation in most areas relatively modest. 

Look for pro-appreciation factors at work.

Limitations which limit growth (supply) while the attraction (demand) drives population growth.

  • California’s priciest areas limit growth by geographical, think Pacific Ocean, and ecological limitations.
  • Finally, at the top of our bucket list, Telluride, Colorado, is surrounded by mountain walls.

    Canyon Surrounding Telluride

The appreciation in such areas due to a growing population has been phenomenal.

The idea for this book germinated from a simple question my son asked on the porch of Tom’s Place.

He pointed to the houses, cabins and vacation homes perched on the winding terrace lots.

“How to live in one of those while doing what I want to do.”

My quest to build my knowledge bank came from Dent’s insight.

The final piece of quantitative data that can give us insight into a potential boomtown tells us about the local lifestyles, known as psychographics. 

Without having to visit each and every boomtown you can first filter a long “Birds-of-a-Feather” bucket list down to a more manageable regional itinerary.

  • Then visits to your short list you can confirm what lifestyle profiles suggest.
  • Take extended vacations in both the summer and winter test the fit, get a “feel” for the place and check out what’s going on.
  • You can correlate numerous measurable demographic factors with specific lifestyle preferences as we’ve shown beginning in Whitefish, Montana and ending with Mammoth Lakes, California.

A lifestyle analysis of any city, town, zip code, or neighborhood …

can help you identify a new town that is  attracting people like you whom you’d enjoy as neighbors. 

It is also important to use such data to identify which towns are attracting the trend setting lifestyles of the more affluent sectors of the population. 

The towns with Wireless Resorter profiles attract trend setting lifestyles.

Center of Mammoth Lakes Development
  • Over time Mammoth Lakes shifted from a Maturing Resort lifestyle magnet – informal, bluejeans  unpretentious – to a growing Premier Resort  attraction over the years we tracked them.
  • The appearance of both the 09M1T1 and 25Y1T1 profiles — well off empty nest 45 – 65-year-old couples and successful midlife 30 – 44-year-old couples signal the transition to higher appreciation in real estate.

Dent originally wrote …

If a Claritas (now Nielsen PRIZM Segmentation) report on the town you are researching shows a significant or growing influx of any of these lifestyle segments, then it confirms that you have selected a boomtown. 

But if it didn’t, how could you find Wireless Resort profiles?

Steps:

22) Selectively evaluate the best quality-of-life communities to live in and weigh the tradeoffs of risk and rewards for accruing real estate appreciation along a progression of rural and small towns that meet what your pocket books can afford.

 

You

“… it is necessary to invest time to personally visit and evaluate each one—there are many qualitative factors affecting your final decision that can’t be wrapped up in neat columns of data.”

Is This The Right Investment for You?
On the other hand, if real estate prices have been growing for a long period of time, there is a risk that prices could peak and consolidate for a period of time.”

 

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part One in a 4-Part Series.

Part Two: Taking Calculated Risks

What about you?

It’s time to clarify your own priorities.

Is This Lifestyle Right for You?

There are not shortages of best places lists, but what is the best fit for you personally?

  • To what type of place do you want to relocate?
  • What type of boomtown would be a wise investment? 

The challenge and the opportunity lying before you falls into two parts.

First, use quantitative data to research potential towns that interest you for your own bucket list.

Second, Harry Dent says

it is necessary to invest time to personally visit and evaluate each one—there are many qualitative factors affecting your final decision that can’t be wrapped up in neat columns of data or expressed in a terse written description.

Is there a threshold below which or above which you should look for?

For the first, Dent cautions you as you consider towns with fewer citizens.

As a general rule, you will want to invest in a small town only when it has a minimum population of 3,000; an even safer bet is 5,000 people. 

If the town has between 3,000 and 5,000 people, make sure that there are solid plans for growth and that it offers some qualitative advantages over other areas before investing in it. 

Too Far Away To Appreciate

Another rule of thumb.

The growing towns following their development strategies often take off after reaching a population of 20,000.

The next threshold Dent identified was 50,000.

The critical mass for many new growth cities (or formerly small towns) making the transition to a growth city, is often around 50,000.

But, that’s not all.

At each of those minimum population thresholds you will also want to find out if their continuing growth trend is growing or, better yet, accelerating.

This is a strong indicator that real estate is appreciating, not depreciating, and confirms that you have selected a town that other investors find attractive as well. 

Absolute population growth or even population growth as a percentage can be misleading, though.

A better measure is relative growth calculated over the last 10 years.

How does it compare to the rest of the country, state or region in which the town is located.

To calculate the relative growth, simply divide the town’s population growth for each year by the population growth of the country, state or county for that same year, and then plot the figure on a graph. 

Before Google and Wikipedia, you’d have to spend a tremendous amount of time at the library sorting through statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

And, then you’d have to visit or subscribe to reports from state and local agencies, and from demographic marketing companies.

Now most of that information exists online at two or three sources.

For future projections, you might have to dig a little.

I’ve grown to depend on city-data.com

Mobile Analysis While You Enjoy Your Visit

By collecting and analyzing data from numerous sources, we’re able to create detailed, informative profiles of all cities in the United States. From crime rates to weather patterns, you can find the data you’re looking for on City-Data.com.

For a snapshot, Wikipedia usually provides the top-level statistics, as it does for Mammoth Lakes.

As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 8,234, reflecting an increase of 1,141 from the 7,093 counted in the 2000 Census.

And, if Mammoth makes the first cut consult Wikipedia for a little more detailed data. 

In this case what the 2010 Census revealed.

The population density was 325.4 people per square mile (125.6/km²). The racial makeup of Mammoth Lakes was 6,643 (80.7%) White, 29 (0.4%) African-American, 49 (0.6%) Native American, 128 (1.6%) Asian, 5 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,151 (14.0%) from other races, and 229 (2.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,772 persons (33.7%).

But, if projected population data are available, plot future years as well.

Let’s say you’ve done you homework researching your bucket list.

And you discover that the town has grown in the past, but it is not growing faster than the surrounding regional area.

Red flag.

While not always included in other Wikipedia’s pages, for Mammoth Lakes a sidebar tracks population growth from each Census beginning in 1880 (473) through 2010 (8234) or an increase of 16.1% from 2000.

Wikipedia’s sources project for last year in 2015 a drop of 3.5% from 2010 to 7946 residents.

It is not a genuine growth town.

In all categories of boomtowns you’re considering, with the exception of areas that appeal to affluent retirees, look for growth in job markets and a rising level of income.  

Without the growth there simply isn’t enough money circulating to boost  real estate prices.

  • Are there extenuating circumstances?
  • An economic downturn that all resorts suffered?
  • Does that signal a buying or investment opportunity?
Center of Mammoth Lakes Development

Dent says

Even in a growing resort area with a large percentage of retired homeowners, you would expect to see job and income growth for the people who provide goods and services to the town.

Dent recommended engaging demographic marketing firms for economic and job data.

In addition to providing past data, they can give you good estimates for 25 years into the future, based on demographic factors and business and employment trends. 

Today that once expensive knowledge can be found online.

Specific to Mammoth Lakes

As more powerful “Big Data” cloud technologies aggregate it for you.

No matter what the source, you should review data for an entire county as a reliable way to evaluate a single town.

Mammoth Lakes, California Zip Code 93546

“But, only when that town comprises most of the county’s population,” Dent says. 

“Or, such data also can help you easily identify high growth counties in which to look further for high growth towns.”

Searching on City-Data.com for “Mammoth Lakes” and by Mammoth’s zip code “93546” yield slightly different, but useful data sets.

I’m not sure why, but you should consider both when you are serious.

And, another search of “Mono County” shows you all the growth comparison calculations you’ll need plus the distance to nearby towns and nearby zip codes to explore.

Details About Mono County from City Data

All within minutes.

If you find growth in the town’s real estate prices, Dent says treat it as a simple positive indicator.

“Strong appreciation indicates that other people think this town is a good investment, too. 

On the other hand, if real estate prices have been growing for a long period of time, there is a risk that prices could peak and consolidate for a period of time.”

Steps:

21) Spend the time to find the best place to live and invest. It will be worth your while. The great thing about living where others spend their vacation is the year round quality-of-life. 

22) Selectively evaluate the best quality-of-life communities to live in and weigh the tradeoffs of risk and rewards for accruing real estate appreciation along a progression of rural and small towns that meet what your pocket books can afford.