47 BABY BOOMER CONSUMERS

47.1 Profile The oldest of the Baby Boomers – born in 1946 and 2.8 million in number – turned 65 in 2011; the youngest Boomers – born in 1964 – turned 47. Census 2010 counted 76.94 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, representing 24.9% of the population. The Baby Boomer population, by age in 2011, is distributed as follows:
Fem ale M ale Both

• • • •

Age 46-to-50: Age 51-to-55: Age 56-to-60: Age 61-to-65:

9.20 million 11.36 million 10.14 million 8.74 million

8.97 million 10.93 million 9.52 million 8.08 million

18.16 million 22.30 million 19.66 million 16.82 million

47.2 Spending Power It is estimated that Baby Boomers, designated as the wealthiest generation in history, have $2 trillion in net worth, including investments and inheritance. The recent wave of job losses has hit working Baby Boomers particularly hard. Thought the unemployment rate for older workers is lower than the overall average, once they become unemployed older workers find it harder to land a job, and they tend to remain out of work longer than younger workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Among those Boomers at or near retirement age, many have decided to continue working – most in order to shore up their shrunken retirement accounts. _________________________________________________________________

“America’s Baby Boomers face a problem that could weigh on the economy for years to come: The longer it takes for the economy to recover, the less money they’ll have to spend in retirement.”
The Wall Street Journal, 8/16/10 _________________________________________________________________

CONSUM ER BEHAVIOR 2012

• 242 •

agewave. financial transactions.org). • Just 11% of Baby Boomers plan to stop working altogether when they reach retirement age.com) provides the following facts about Boomers: CONSUM ER BEHAVIOR 2012 • 243 • .” USA Today. • Eighty-two percent (82%) of Boomers use the Internet. too. The Nielsen Company (www. partially due to the rise of “adultolescents” who’ve boomeranged back into the parental household.nielsen. and online gaming.pewsocialtrends.3 Generational Characteristics AARP (www. few Baby Boomers are downsizing. aging Boomers now are worrying about having enough money in their later years to handle their families’ needs. According the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project (www. • Four million Baby Boomers have a parent living with them. 52% of Baby Boomers say they are considering delaying retirement because of the recession. Only 6% expect to be living in a smaller home within five years.com). • Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Baby Boomers have a child age 18 or younger living in the household. • Over five million Baby Boomer parents have recently had an adult child move back into the home. 50% expect to provide assistance to other family members. _________________________________________________________________ “If financial turmoil and longer lifespans hadn’t complicated retirement planning enough.org) provides the following insight into Baby Boomer households: • Contrary to popular perception.aarp. engaging in activities such as instant messaging. the impact on their children and grandchildren has been even greater. downloading music or movies.While the Great Recession has affected the finances of Baby Boomers. According to a July 2011 study by Age Wave (www. 70% of those ages 55 and older expect to provide financial assistance to adult children. 7/12/11 _________________________________________________________________ 47.

online users.emarketer. They watch time-shift TV more than 18-to-24 year olds (2:32 vs. an increase from 70% who did so two years prior. The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (www. They comprise a of all TV viewers. As the U. less than 5% of advertising spending targets them.S.023 out of 1. while Baby Boomers account for 38. Analysis and Policy The Nielsen Company. or 75% of those ages 46-to-64.083 consumer packaged goods categories.4 Media Activities According to eMarketer (www.org) reports the following activities among online Baby Boomers: • Use email: 93% • Read news: 73% • Shop online: 71% • Gather information: 67% • Pay bills: 66% • Watch videos online: 30% According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project (www. and social media users. a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project reports mobile activities in 2010 by Baby Boomers as follows: CONSUM ER BEHAVIOR 2012 • 244 • . and a valuable target audience. They watch the most video among demographic group: 9:34 hours per day. 47% of online Baby Boomers used social networks in 2010. 51 million Baby Boomers.pewinternet.” Pat McDonough. continues to age. 1:32). 47. reaching this group will continue to be critical for advertisers. they are the largest single group of consumers. 7/19/10 _________________________________________________________________ According to Nielsen. _________________________________________________________________ “Boomers should be as desirable for marketers as Millennials and Gen-Xers for years to come.com).ctam.5% of spending on consumer packaged goods. Mobile Access.• • • • They dominate 1. used the Internet in 2010.org). Senior Vice President Insights. 20% do so daily.

eMarketer. 6th Edition. (www.emarketer.org/Reports/2010/Older-Adults-and-Social-Media. Nielsen. _________________________________________________________________ “It’s actually a myth that Baby Boomers aren’t into technology.” Patricia McDonough.• • • • Own a cellphone: Take pictures by cellphone: Send/receive text messages: Access the Internet via mobile device: 82% 67% 57% 18% According to Forrester Research. July 2009.newstrategist.nielsen. The Nielsen Company Advertising Age.cfm/product/26_14/baby-boom-americans-born1946-to-1964-6th-ed. During a three-month period in 2010.com/nielsenwire/consumer/why-marketers-can%E2%80%99t-affordto-ignore-baby-boomers/) CONSUM ER BEHAVIOR 2012 • 245 • . Baby Boomers spend more money on technology – monthly telecom fees. Boomers averaged $650 in online shopping compared with $581 for Gen Xers and $429 for Millennials. according to Forrester Research.com/store/index. and device spending – than any other demographic. Senior V.pewinternet.aspx) The Baby Boom: Americans Born 1946 to 1964. (www. New Strategist.aspx) Older Adults and Social Media. (www.com/Reports/All/Emarketer_2000772. August 2010. (http://blog. July 2010. gadget. March 2011. but they consume 40% (in total dollars spent) of technology. They represent 25% of the population.5 Market Resources Digital Lives of Boomers: Reaching Them Online. 47.cfm) Why Marketers Can’t Afford to Ignore Baby Boomers. 10/11/10 _________________________________________________________________ Boomers also spend more for online purchases. Pew Internet & American Life Project.P.

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