The Baby Boomers generation, born between 1946 and 1964, is currently the largest living generation reportedly at 76 million people standing strong. By 2020, an expected 8,000 Americans will be turning 65 on a daily basis.
Boomers are the largest, most talked-about, most influential group in American society and their triumphs and issues are areas which have the potential to affect the rest of society. It may be a good idea to pay attention to what they’re talking about!
What are the top triumphs of the Baby Boomers generation?
- Discretionary income. This age group has the greatest amount of discretionary income, controlling about 70% of the net worth of all American households.
- Young at heart. Boomers do not consider themselves to be old, according to an Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong.com poll, citing 70 years old as the new American median for ‘starting to get old’ with some even venturing to use 80 as the dreaded number.
- Tech-savviness. This generation is quite adept at surfing the web, earning the title ‘silver surfers’ – one of the top-trending words in 2014. The number of Boomers using social media networks is up to 71%, compared to 59% among seniors.
What are the top issues for the Baby Boomers generation?
- Longer retirement. One of the top Boomer concerns is the fear of outliving their savings. Many have already begun downsizing their lifestyles to prepare for their sunset years. As opposed to their parents’ generation who expected 15 years of retirement, Boomers are looking at 30 years or more. Many expect to remain in the workforce beyond 65 with full- or part-time jobs.
- Significant decrease in real estate prices. Many Boomers who purchased homes and had their values skyrocket during the housing boom of the 90s had mistakenly relied on living off the home equity in their retirement years. Now that the prices have plummeted and were valued far below those prices, many do not have a viable plan B.
- Healthcare. Boomers worry about healthcare issues about four times as much as they worry about finances. The cost of prescription drugs and eventual long-term care is at the top of these concerns.
- Medicaid. With the 65+ age group reaching 20% of the US population by 2060, many Boomers fear that the system will not be around for their long-term care. Even the current Medicaid eligibility requirements has many Boomers concerned, as without thorough knowledge of the Medicaid muddle one can easily have their application denied. A client of ours was penalized with a $45,000 fine due to a minor mistake in Medicaid paperwork. Medicaid would not pay for her moms care for duration of five months as a consequence of monies that were gifted improperly. A qualified Medicaid planning and consulting company like Senior-Planning.com can certainly guide one through this procedure.
Boomer buying trends:
- Real Estate for the ‘golden years.’ In a recent survey by Wakefield Research, 39% of Boomers want to purchase a home in a rural community or farm upon retirement, 27% chose retirement communities for 55+, 26% opted for urban living while the remaining 8% picked “lifestyle” communities centered around golf.
- RVs for retirement. Many Boomers opt to sell their homes so they can jump into RVs fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom and flat screen TV and hit the road. Many go cross country, all the while constantly meeting new people and making new friends. As one friend of a retired on-the-road boomer wistfully mentioned to me, “They’re having a grand time out there; we’re afraid they’ll forget us!”
- Boomer toys. Boomers also treasure the memory of toys, dolls and games from the 50s, 60s and 70s toys from beloved brands like Fisher-Price and Barbie. Boomers are nostalgic and have become avid collectors. For a stroll down memory lane, click here.
What do you think are some of the most important factors on this list? How can we use this information to make an impact in caring for the largest living generation? Please comment below!