Which of These 7 Mature 55+ Year Old Lifestyles Describes You?

The second over 55 age group splinters into 7 lifestyle segments stretching across the midlevel of status and influence.


Photo: Visual Hunt
They have high rates for reading, travel, eating out at family restaurants and pursuing home-based hobbies like coin collecting and gardening.


Part One:  Which Classic 55+ Year Old Lifestyle Describes You Best?

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!


Gail Sheehy called this time of life the “Fearless or Flaming 50s”.

And, we’re about halfway through Erik Erikson’s Adulthood.

Existential Question:  Can I make my life count?


55+ Year Old Singles, Couples and Widows

By the time you’re in your mid-fifties your generation’s cohort splinters into 13 lifestyle segments stretching across the midlevel of status and influence.

Claritas / Nielsen PRIZM groups the more affluent seven segments into what they call Conservative Classics.

Another large group of Mature Years segments is Cautious Couples, featuring an over-55-year-old mix of singles, couples and widows.

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

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 12,266,568
  • Median Household Income : $41,303
Photo: Visual Hunt

Widely scattered throughout the nation, the residents in these seven segments typically are working-class and white, with some college education and a high rate of homeownership. 

Given their blue-collar roots, Cautious Couples today pursue sedate lifestyles. 

They have high rates for reading, travel, eating out at family restaurants and pursuing home-based hobbies like coin collecting and gardening.”

Where are you likely to these more cautious seven  lifestyles?

Southwest United States – Wikitravel

Here’s a sample of lifestyles and communities where you can find neighbors in the 55+ age group in the West.

  • Arizona: Prescott and Surprise
  • California: La Mirada and Idyllwild
  • Colorado: Lakewood
  • New Mexico: Santa Fe

The second over 55 age group splinters into 7 lifestyle segments stretching across the midlevel of status and influence.

Should you include these Birds-of-a Feather (BOF) lifestyles on your Bucket List?

  • Wealthy Influentials – Portfolio Locals (WIPL)
  • Wireless Resorters –  Two Resort Suburbans (WRRS)
  • High Country Eagles – Satellite City-zens (HCESC)
  • Permanent Temporaries – Interim Middle Managers (PTIMM) and Two Start Overs (PTSO)

Which of the following lifestyle profiles describes you best?

38M3T3, Simple Pleasures, 55+, Couples, Cautious Couples, Middle America, WRRS Resort Suburbans, Wireless Resorters (Idyllwild, CA)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 2,754,587 (2.36%)
  • Median Household Income: $43,257

Resort Suburbans (WRRS): With more than two-thirds of its residents over 65 years old, Simple Pleasures is mostly a retirement lifestyle: a neighborhood of lower-middle-class singles and couples living in modestly priced homes.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Many are high school-educated seniors who held blue-collar jobs before their retirement.

And a disproportionate number served in the military; no segment has more members of veterans clubs.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at True Value
  • Belonged to a fraternal order
  • Read fraternal magazines
  • Watched Wheel of Fortune
  • Drove Ford Taurus”

39M3S3, Domestic Duos, 55+, Couples, Cautious Couples, Suburbs, Middleburbs, PTIMM Interim Middle Managers, Permanent Temporaries (Lakewood, CO)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,398,562 (1.20%)
  • Median Household Income: $49,261

Interim Middle Managers (PTIMM): Domestic Duos represents a middle-class mix of mainly over 55 singles and married couples living in older suburban homes.

Photo: Visual Hunt

With their high-school educations and fixed incomes, segment residents maintain an easy-going lifestyle.

Residents like to socialize by going bowling, seeing a play, meeting at the local fraternal order or going out to eat

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at Kohl’s
  • Cruised on Norwegian
  • Read Smithsonian
  • Watched Live from Lincoln Center
  • Drove a Chevrolet Impala”

40M3U2, Close-In Couples, 55+, Couples, Cautious Couples, Midtown Mix – WIPL Portfolio Locals, Wealthy Influentials (La Mirada, CA)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,327,575 (1.14%)
  • Median Household Income: $40,860

Portfolio Locals (WIPL):  Close-In Couples is a group of predominantly older, African-American couples living in older homes in the urban neighborhoods of mid-sized metros.

Photo: Visual Hunt

High school educated and empty nesting, these 55-year-old-plus residents typically live in older city neighborhoods, enjoying secure and comfortable retirements.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Shopped at Macy’s
  • Traveled domestically by railroad
  • Read The New Yorker
  • Watched The View
  • Drove a Chrysler PT Cruiser”

41M3C2, Sunset City Blues, 55+ Couples, Cautious Couples, Empty Nests – City Centers, HCESC Satellite City-zens, High Country Eagles (Santa Fe, NM)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 2,083,443 (1.78%)
  • Median Household Income: $39,366

Satellite City-zens (HCESC): Scattered throughout the older neighborhoods of small cities, Sunset City Blues is a segment of lower-middle-class singles and couples who have retired or are getting closed to it.

These empty-nesters tend to own their homes but have modest educations and incomes.

Photo: Visual Hunt

They maintain a low-key lifestyle filled with newspapers and television by day, and family-style restaurants at night.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Ordered from QVC
  • Collected coins
  • Read Ladies’ Home Journal
  • Watched One Life to Live
  • Drove a Kia Borrego”

43M3T3, Heartlanders, 55+, Couples, Cautious Couples, Middle America – WRRS Resort Suburbans , Wireless Resorters (Prescott. AZ)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 2,334,924 (2.00%)
  • Median Household Income: $43,485

Resort Suburbans (WRRS): America was once a land of small middleclass towns, which can still be found today among Heartlanders.

Photo: Visual Hunt

This widespread segment consists of middle-aged couples with working-class jobs living in sturdy, unpretentious homes.

In these communities of small families and empty-nesting couples, Heartlanders pursue a rustic lifestyle where hunting and fishing remain prime leisure activities along with cooking, sewing, camping and boating.

Lifestyle & Media Traits

  • Shopped at Kmart
  • Sewed clothing from patterns
  • Read Family Handyman
  • Watched CBS Early Show
  • Drove a GMC Sierra Flex Fuel”

46M3S4, Old Glories, 55+, Cautious Couples, Suburbs, Inner Suburbs, PTSO Start Overs, Permanent Temporaries (none in Knowledge Bank)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,155,944 (0.99%)
  • Median Household Income: $31,162

Start Overs (PTSO): Old Glories are the nation’s downscale suburban retirees, Americans aging in place in older apartment complexes.

These racially mixed households often contain widows and widowers living on fixed incomes, and they tend to lead home-centered lifestyles.

Photo: Visual Hunt

They’re among the nation’s most ardent television fans, watching game shows, soaps, talk shows and newsmagazines at high rates.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Purchased Clothing In-Home
  • Played bingo
  • Read Saturday Evening Post
  • Watched Jeopardy!
  • Drove a Kia Rio”

49M3S4, American Classics, 55+, Cautious Couples, Suburbs, Inner Suburbs, PTSO Start Overs, Permanent Temporaries (Surprise, AZ)

2011 Statistics:

  • US Households: 1,211,533 (1.04%)
  • Median Household Income: $34,680

Start Overs (PTSO): “They may be older, lower-middle class and retired, but the residents of American Classics are still living the American Dream of home ownership.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Few segments rank higher in their percentage of home owners, and that fact alone reflects a more comfortable lifestyle for these predominantly white singles and couples with deep ties.

Lifestyle & Media Traits:

  • Ordered from Reader’s Digest
  • Gambled in Atlantic City, NJ
  • Read American Woodworker
  • Watched The Dr. Phil Show
  • Drove a Chevrolet Monte Carlo”

Will you find a 100% fit?


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?


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?

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