How to Access Healthcare REITs Via ETFs

High-yielding, income-generating asset classes are benefiting this year as Treasury yields decline and the Federal Reserve puts off another interest rate increase. The group of beneficiaries includes exchange traded funds holding real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Within the REIT space, long-term investors may want to consider those ETFs with exposure to healthcare REITs, which are plays on the aging U.S. population. The Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSEArca: VNQ), SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF (NYSEArca: RWR) and iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate Index Fund (NYSEArca: IYR) are among the most popular REIT ETF plays. While these are some of the top-performing sector funds this year another fund gives investors exposure to healthcare REITs.

That ETF is the newly minted Long-Term Care ETF (NasdaqGM: OLD), which debuted courtesy of Janus in June.

OLD tracks global companies that profit from providing long-term care to the aging populace, including those owning or operating senior living facilities, nursing services, specialty hospitals, and senior housing, biotech companies for age-related illnesses and companies that sell products and services to such facilities.

SEE MORE: Keep REIT ETFs on Your Radar This Summer

As medical and pharmaceutical advancements prolong life expectancy, the aging population is expected to create increased demand for the long-term care industry. In 2050, the population age 65 and over in the U.S. is expected to be 83.7 million, or almost double its estimated population of 43.1 million 2012. About one in four 65-year-olds will live past 90 and one out of 10 will live past 95.