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Retiring Baby Boomers May Shift Suburban Debate on Taxes, Social Services

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An increasingly older generation may look for a new deal on taxes, schools, and social services.

Baby Boomers rule the ‘burbs. The generation born between 1946 and 1964 grew up in suburban homes, raised their families in suburban neighborhoods, and soon, plans to retire in the same communities in large numbers. By 2035, the number of people aged 65 and over is projected to explode from 48 million to 77 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

These shifting suburban demographics portend a major upheaval around government services and taxes, according to an article published by the Pew Charitable Trust. Boomers who were happy to pay school taxes when their own kids were enrolled are now fighting for enhanced senior services, exemption from school taxes, and more accessible transit systems.

This is happening at the same time millennials, now the largest group of homebuyers, are looking to start families and buy their first homes in the suburbs.

Clashes between older populations and younger transplants in suburbs will only become more and more frequent as boomers age and advocate for the city services and suburban infrastructure that will best meet their needs.

"Their kids are graduated. Their interests are not taking care of the next generation of kids," explained Housing in America author John McIlwain to Pew Charitable Trusts. "The people who show up at local government meetings are going to be the boomers. The pressure will come from the boomers and, as one mayor told me, they push for what they want."

As Suburbs Shift, Funding Fights Loom [Stateline]

Millennials Look to the Suburbs, Not Cities, for First Homes [Curbed]

Baby Boomers, Downsizing for Retirement, Create Niche Real Estate Market [Curbed]