RPG Evolution: When Gamers Retire

Adults gamers are always pining for more time to play. What happens when they retire?

pensioners-3347948_1280.jpg

Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

Retirement Is Coming​

We've discussed previously how difficult it is for tabletop game designers to retire. But for the bulk of gamers who play as a hobby, retirement is a new stage of life that changes gaming opportunities.

The 76 million boomer generation in the U.S. have already retired of course, so they're finding out just what it means to be retired gamers. But the next generation of Gen X (my generation) is right behind them at 55 million in the U.S. alone, entering their 50s now with retirement looming large. The Millennials (62 million strong in the U.S.) are an even larger cohort. More important, people are living longer, with adults in their 60s having a roughly 50 percent chance of reaching 90. For many, they have around 20 years before their minds enter decline.

All this adds up to more retirees and more potential gamers.

What You Do in Retirement​

Being able to retire at all is a privilege. Not everyone can afford to do it, and the social safety nets in many countries have withered over time. But for those that can, retirement is a new phase in life, as lifestyles shift from working to what happens after the workforce.

Unfortunately, there are few guideposts as what retirees are supposed to do with their free time (besides keep working). Many turn to community efforts, giving back in some way. Still others pursue their hobbies -- the image of retirees golfing exists for good reason. So what do gamers do when they retire?

Game of course. Or they would, assuming they still want to.

Do You Want to Play a Game?​

Retirement often comes with adult children and grandchildren who put demands on the retirees time. And giving back to the community is a powerful pull, finding meaning in sharing experience with others. For those who can afford it, many seniors travel too.

But with the potential for a very large senior gamer cohort, the possibility of large groups of gamers finding each other over the Internet and playing more often is a real possibility. One of the players in my group is about to retire, and we're looking forward to her being able to play into the evening without worrying about going to work the next day.

We know that tabletop gaming is good for you: it establishes lifelong friendships through share experience, it helps players work through their emotions and frustrations, and--critically for retirees--it stimulates the mind. Many retirees try to keep busy to keep their minds sharp, and gaming requires full use of mental faculties.

Will we play RPGs after we retire with our newfound free time? If DndGrandma is any indication, most of us certainly will be.

Your Turn: Do you play with retirees? Do you plan to game when you are one?
 
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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'm now picturing ads for ttRPG cruises...

And then I had to go to google.
 

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Von Ether

Legend
I'm now picturing ads for ttRPG cruises...

And then I had to go to google.

I think there are even more cruises for board game events.
 


Nylanfs

Adventurer
I'm 48, and already thinking of this. And right now with the number of nursing homes closing, it might be the perfect time for a gaming group to look into buying a small nursing home. Or a remodeling / flipping company to use it as a business model. Buy a nursing home, redesign it with gaming in mind and then market it to the about to retire crowd using that angle. Hmm, I wonder of the HG network would fund it as a tv show?

Also those are possibly the ONLY cruises I would think of, besides the Viking ones that seem small enough to be interesting.
 


LordBP

Explorer
I think maybe there's a big question as to whether either of these groups will have the same economic solidity late in life to stop working, such that "retirement" may be much later, if ever.
The younger generations are going to be inheriting a lot of money from the boomers at some point, so that may help on their retirement plans.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The younger generations are going to be inheriting a lot of money from the boomers at some point, so that may help on their retirement plans.

Well, if their parents are rich boomers anyway.

I have a feeling a bunch of the rest of Gen X and younger (and their parents) will find out that the Medicare that kicks in for folks at age 65 doesn't pay the $8,000 a month for a long-term semi-private nursing home room. And similarly doesn't pay for long term at home care. That's Medicaid kicking in after they've burned through all of their money and assets (some set aside for a married spouse to keep living at home). There is even a claw-back if they tried to give the money away in something like the previous 5 years.
 

mythago

Hero
I'm 48, and already thinking of this. And right now with the number of nursing homes closing, it might be the perfect time for a gaming group to look into buying a small nursing home. Or a remodeling / flipping company to use it as a business model. Buy a nursing home, redesign it with gaming in mind and then market it to the about to retire crowd using that angle. Hmm, I wonder of the HG network would fund it as a tv show?

Also those are possibly the ONLY cruises I would think of, besides the Viking ones that seem small enough to be interesting.

At least in my state, you might be able to do this as an assisted living facility rather than as an actual nursing home/care facility, since aides in an assisted living facility do not need to be licensed the way nurses/nursing assistants must be in a nursing home, thus labor costs are much cheaper.
 

talien

Community Supporter
Well, if their parents are rich boomers anyway.

I have a feeling a bunch of the rest of Gen X and younger (and their parents) will find out that the Medicare that kicks in for folks at age 65 doesn't pay the $8,000 a month for a long-term semi-private nursing home room. And similarly doesn't pay for long term at home care. That's Medicaid kicking in after they've burned through all of their money and assets (some set aside for a married spouse to keep living at home). There is even a claw-back if they tried to give the money away in something like the previous 5 years.
That's the voice of experience speaking.

As someone who had to help get his mother into a home...whatever you think you're saving for elder care (for yourself or others), it's not enough. Getting on Medicaid is a humiliating experience I don't wish on anyone, and the facilities that are available are not necessarily the best, much less a place you could sit down to game at.

Health is wealth and all that, including a healthy mind!
 

Fandabidozi

Explorer
I can tell you what happens. In theory you have all the time in the world. In practice, not at all. And, don’t even get me started on health issues or those of your, also ancient, loved ones. <grumble, grumble>
 

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