Since the holidays are just around the corner, it seems like every time you turn on the TV or listen to the radio there’s a new sale going on at the local big box store. In fact, brands make the most money this time of year through the use of count-down sales, Black Friday deals, and last-minute shoppers who wait until Christmas week to do their shopping. But, there’s another shopping trend sweeping the country by storm. Dubbed the experience economy, consumers are spending more money on experiences rather than things. Instead of buying an expensive bottle of wine, consumers are choosing to spend hundreds of dollars for the ultimate experience of a bottle of champagne, chocolates, chef-catered meals, breakfast in bed, and a limo ride to and from your chef-catered meal.

But, why not buy a nice box of chocolates and a bottle of wine to enjoy at home? Why should you spend all your hard-earned money on experiences instead of things? Read on for a different take on how seniors are taking part in this experience economy and why this may be a good thing in moderation.

Seniors’ Expectations for Retirement Communities Are Changing.

In a presentation by Sodexo, seniors’ expectations for their retirement communities seem to be changing. More and more, seniors are looking for places which provide lifestyle experiences instead of just goods and services.

They are expecting a varied menu catering to their dietary restrictions — such as kosher and low-carb menu options. Additionally, seniors want more than just a workout facility in their communities. They want fitness classes which will enable them to be socially and physically engaged. Seniors are gravitating more toward yoga, tai chi, and Pilates classes and eschewing more traditional workout options.

How to Participate in Experiences Outside Retirement Communities.

But, there are other ways of broadening your social and experiential horizons. If you’d rather socialize with people from all different age groups, meetup groups provide a relatively safe environment to do just that.

Revolving around a particular theme, meetup groups enable people to, well, meet up and share experiences. With meetup groups ranging from booklovers to foodies, there are ample opportunities for the active senior to get involved in their community, make new friends, and create new memories.

Why Do Experiences Trump Physical Things?

After reading all this, you may be wondering about our earlier question: Why should I pay hundreds of dollars for an experience instead of spending $100 on a nice bottle of wine? Well, the answer lies in the value you place on the experience. When you pay for an experience, you’re free to relax, enjoy dinner, and not worry about the dishes or cleaning up. Likewise, you get to experience something out of the ordinary, and temporarily at least, leave your cares behind you.

With the advent of social media and cameras on our smartphones, these experiences will live on for an eternity. Through the clips and the pictures we take, we can share pieces of ourselves with generations to come, ensuring that our legacy has a tangible face to a name.