The “Baby Boom” generation, born between 1946-1964, is undoubtedly one of the largest age groups of our nation and consequently greatly influenced our economy and culture. As marketers research this consumer segment, they must take maturing investments and spending habit changes into account. These are the 3 trends that we will see over the next 5 years.
Previous generations have stopped working at retirement; this is not true of the baby boomers. Roughly 65% of Boomers plan on working past the age of 65. A study by Voya Financial noted that 60% of retirees were forced to end their careers earlier than planned, due to layoffs and health concerns, and then found that their savings were not as sustainable as expected and needed to find additional income. Taking this time to ensure ends meet results in less free time for leisurely activities and travel.
Changes in purchasing habits
With continuing to work comes the need for professional attire and reliable transportation. Along with that, more and more time and money is being spent online. Medical care, security, entertainment options, obtaining and maintaining pets and community activities are all varying factors taken into consideration. Medical care in general is a huge budget item as Boomer’s rely heavily on both traditional and innovative medical technology and healthcare support.
Skew even more female
With the life expectancy of women exceeding that of men, a greater and growing percentage of this generation will be women. Products mostly bought by men won’t have the same consumption rate as before, so items like golf gear and men’s grooming tools will not be in high demand. Respectively, women’s products will increase.
We see major changes ahead as our country’s infrastructure stains to supply housing, medical care and entertainment for the oldest members of our society.
The “baby boomer” generation will be the fastest-growing age group in the workforce next year. In 2018 almost 20% of Americans over the age of 65 were employed or actively looking for work according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is considerably up from less than 12% twenty years ago. The youngest of this generation, born in 1964, turned or will turn 55 this year.
With science and medicine making longer lives possible, people are more eager to continue to learn and make productive use of their time. For most, contributing to society means continuing to work. Additionally, the aging population is finding that pensions may not be sufficient sources of income to sustain the rest of their life. With a longer and healthier life expectancy comes needing retirement funds to last that much longer.
The World Health Organization has flagged workplace ageism as an ongoing issue, saying “employers often have negative attitudes towards older workers… even though older workers are not necessarily less healthy, less educated, less skillful or productive than their younger counterparts.” A survey was conducted this past year by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, finding that 1 in 3 Americans under the age of 50 felt the aging workforce had negative implications for their own careers.
Contrary to this however, a study from Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research analyzed data from 1977-2011 to conclude that younger workers opportunities were in no way diminished by older workers presence in the workforce. The data researched actually suggested that the exact opposite was true!
As we enter the digital age, seniors are finding it easier to meet their security, safety, and comfort needs with smart home technology.
Home assistance devices such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa offer user friendly voice controls that are much simpler than navigating a complex app. With simple commands users can operate security, lighting, climate control, entertainment and privacy. This proves very helpful when dealing with limited mobility or poor vision.
Smart devices can also help older adults manage things like their medications and connect with community services, as well as stay in touch with family and friends. Family and caregivers are now able to save time and money with everyday tasks such as grocery delivery and transportation.
Safety is the number one concern in your home. Technology is available for automatic doors with security features, automatically adjusting counter-tops, motion or voice-activated faucets for water temperature control. Other accommodations and features include
- Slip-fall detection and medical alert monitors
- Adjustable sit-to-stand toilets
- Controlled light systems & controlled blinds
- Water filtration systems and leak sensors
- Temperature sensors that can be precursors to house fires
- Smart shower systems
- Smart thermostats
Don’t waste a ton of money this winter repairing or replacing costly effects that could have been avoided. Take these 7 quick and easy winter weather precautions and save the headache!
Buy a protector for your outdoor faucet
- What can start as just a little frozen water can end up filling an inch of water in your basement which can cost up to $15,000 to pump out and dry out
- Outdoor faucet protectors come in many styles, and you can order them through Amazon or at pick them up at your local home improvement store.
- Check that any exposed pipes are insulated too
Invest in insulation to prevent ice dams
- Icicles can be a sign of buildup on your gutter or roof, preventing the melting snow and ice from coming down through the gutters
- Once the dam forms the resulting water can leak into cracks and opening in the attic, or drip down and create large and dangerous icicles
- Attic insulation is key, but if you don’t have the money to fully insulate then you can temporarily affix heated gutter cables
- Getting an ice dam steamed off can generally cost between $300-600 per hour
- Get help finding the right contractor and know the questions to be asking
Clean your gutters
- When water can’t get through your gutters, it redirects into your foundation
- Plugging foundation cracks can cost from $1,500 to $3,000+
- A full foundation excavation or rebuild can cost $30,000 or more
Seal up Leaks
- Cracks can be found in window sills, baseboards, fireplace or dryer vents,etc
- Inexpensively seal cracks with caulk; look for a brand that water based or waterproof and paintable
- Learn how to caulk a crack in your wall
Program your thermostat
- Align with your schedule to save on heating bills
- Invest in a Wi-Fi programmable thermostat to easily control the temperature in your home, whether you’re home or away
Get a furnace tune-up
- Maintain your current system as new units run around $4,000
- Thoroughly clean the unit; blower, fan blades, and drain line
- Replacing furnace filters regularly can shave another 15% off your energy bill
- You can perform the tune up yourself or call a contractor to do it for you, which will include an inspection for other furnace issues as well as testing for leaks, fuel pressure, and airflow
Get a fireplace inspection
- This inspection checks the liners, smoke chamber, chimney exterior and firebox to detect for structural problems
- If you haven’t used your fireplace in a while, check for fallen debris or nests that may have been formed by pests that can clog the chimney which can lead to a chimney fire, carbon monoxide poisoning & toxic fumes
- Take the time to schedule a maintenance appointment to avoid a fire than can cost thousands of dollars in repairs to your home or injury to you and your family