As part of the Baby Boomer generation the recent third Quarterly Boomer Report “How Well Do You Know Boomers? Counting Down the Top 10 Boomer Myths” from AARP Services and Focalyst, a market research company. For my Australian readers we are not talking about Kangaroos. A Baby Boomer is a North American-English term used to describe a person who was born between 1946 and 1964. How much influence do they have on the market. Well this is debatable, but:
- In 2004, the BBC News reported the UK baby boomers held 80% of the UK’s wealth and bought 80% of all top of the range cars, 80% of cruises and 50% of skincare products.
- The Boomers number about 78 million people or nearly 28% of the adult US population.
- In Canada there are about 8.5 million baby boomers or about 25% of the population.
Myth #10 – Boomers are retiring early
In reality, omnly 11 percent plan to stop working entirely when they reach retirement age. 72 percent plan to keep working, either part- (65 percent) or full-time (7 percent).
Myth #9 – Boomers are downsizing their homes
6 percent of Boomers plan to live in a smaller residence five years from now. 76 percent plan to live in either a same-sized (their current home or a new home of the same size) or larger home.
Myth #8 – Most Boomers are married empty nesters
Only about one in four Boomers fit the profile of married with adult children who have left home. 37 percent of Boomers still have children under 18 in the home — and one-third of Boomers are single.
Myth #7 – You can capture Boomers with mainstream advertising
66 percent say ads have gotten more crude in recent years; another 67 percent are less likely to purchase a product if they find the advertising offensive. 23 percent consider ads geared toward their age group insulting.
Myth #6 – Boomers are brand loyal and will not switch
Boomers are as likely as younger cohorts to experiment with new products.
Myth #5 – Boomers are all wealthy
Although the wealthiest generation in history, only 9 percent are truly affluent (defined as having pre-tax incomes of $150,000 or more if working, or $100,000 or more if retired). In fact, one quarter of Boomers have no savings or investments at all.
Myth #4 – Boomers are winding down with age
The typical Boomer regularly participates in an average of 10 activities — and participation extends beyond going to church or gardening. They travel (60 million took at least one trip last year), attend live sporting events (22 million) and bicycle (11 million), among other activities.
Myth #3 – Boomers are technologically challenged
82 percent of Boomers use the ‘net and 64 percent have been online.
Myth #2 – Boomers are the “Me Generation”
Their actions in later adulthood suggest “We Generation” is more accurate. They are caring for others and for the world: 70 percent feel they have a responsibility to make the world a better place, and 57 percent try to buy from companies that give back to their communities.
Myth #1 – Boomers are all the same
Often portrayed as a monolith — 77 million people thinking, acting, behaving and buying all in the same way — Boomers more than other segments undergo more major life events, which occur in greater frequency between the ages of 50-65 than in any other time in a person’s life.
The typical Boomer experiences an average of two major life events surrounding career, family, finance or health each year. These events can have a major impact on attitudes, life goals and consumer behavior.