Demographic Shift

Blog1Today 10,000 people in the US will turn 65. In another 5 to 7 years, that number is going to take a quantum leap further into the stratosphere. All the while more people are going to be living longer than their parents did.

How does this huge demographic shift and upward migration along the timeline relate to thoughts we are wrestling with and decisions we are making (or should be making) today? What does it all mean for the future of real estate?

Homes are the biggest assets most of us will ever own.  They also serve as the all-important physical, emotional, psychic centering places for our lives. So it makes perfect sense that homes often occupy center stage in so many of the larger life discussions people have.

But here’s the thing… there’s not really much of a mindful, open,  broad public dialogue happening about the rapidly changing nature of the age or the loosening fabric of the culture.

It’s more of an isolated web of separate discussions that’s taking place among small, compartmentalized groups of friends and family members. Or between a steady stream of inner voices loudly talking inside each person’s head.

All looking for some larger voice recognition pattern to fit into.

This is my own small attempt to connect the thousand disparate  threads of the same conversation that is already happening. Now more than ever.  If it sounds familiar, welcome to the club.  Go to to catch up and join in.

Change. There’s nothing more certain.  The entire universe is constructed by it, around it, through it.

Any single thing along the continuum we choose to call real or permanent only exists as the whisper of a fragment.  The shutter of a quick snapshot taking place in an interlude between infinitesimal moments. A short stop along the periodic table while elements transforms into energy and then back again.

We are all verbs that like to harbor the illusion that we are nouns.  Narratives that keep trying to get a fix on our own story by incorporating some kind of abstract calculus as a plot device.

Even though we are all creatures of change and there’s nothing more certain, there’s also nothing that resists the “idea of change” more than certain parts of our brains do.

Those neural pathways are like well-worn deer trails. The more they get used, the more embedded and fossilized they become in the underlying strata.

When that happens, they hunker down and start to operate on survival mode. Dig in and fight to preserve themselves.

Why do so many people stay in houses that they actively dislike? Or places that just don’t work for them either now or specially in the future?  Because the prospect of change is so scary.

The known known, no matter how unpleasant, is often less frightening than the unknown known.  That as yet unqualified spectre of change that feels like the shadow of your former self is about to step off the dark edge of a precipice into a bottomless abyss.

We convince ourselves that without the same accustomed neural pathways in play, we won’t know who we are anymore. With our ego structure gone, we’ll have to start all over again like a stroke patient learning how to walk and talk like they used to. Or in this case, intriguingly, perhaps in a brand new way.

And that’s where we’ll stop. With the tiny idea that change could be an introduction to something new rather than fearful.  It might be something to embrace rather than resist. By opting for the default position of choosing not to change.  Kicking the can down the road until life inevitably steps in and does what it always does… makes the choices for you whether you are ready or not.

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