Articles | Volume 59, issue 4
31 Dec 2004
 | 31 Dec 2004

The marketing of retirement communities and retiree lifestyles

S. Lucas

Abstract. Retirement communities offer the promise of a fulfilling life in old age. Purposefully planned and constructed with the intention of encouraging consumption through the promotion of successful ageing and a space in which to enjoy it, the success of retirement communities rests partially on the images used in attendant advertisements. Using content analysis to analyze the text of informational brochures provided to potential residents, this paper examines the images used to sell retirement communities. The sentences are classified into one of three categories: successful ageing, physical attributes of the community and old age related decline. The results show the overwhelming use of positive images to describe retirement community living and a denial of old age related physical decline. Most of the sentences in the brochures relate to the availability and plethora of leisure amenities in retirement communities, or endorse the idea of successful ageing by describing residents as active, healthy individuals with money to spend.