Boomer Grandmas–How We are a Force to be Reckoned With

GRANDPARENTS-WITH-GRANDCHILDREN77 million people were born between 1946 and 1964, which is defined as the baby boomer era (U.S. Census).  The first baby boomer turned 65 on January 1, 2011.  An American turns 50 every 7 seconds—that is more than 12, 500 people every day (U.S. Census).

The senior age group is now, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percentage of the population in the U.S.

We are not surprised.  As members of the Boomer generation, we have had to deal with the difficulties as a large segment of society seeking college entrance at the same time, looking for jobs and housing at the same time, and now looking at how we are going to change growing old in the U.S.  We have also had the benefits and privileges of a safe childhood in the boom years after W.W. II. We have always been a force that shaped our American society and we are again.

The website put together interesting statistics about us, including those in the first paragraph above.  They have an ulterior motive. They claim to be the only company targeting advertisement specifically to us.  Why?  Here is what they claim:

Wealth of Baby Boomers and Seniors:

The 55+ age group controls more than three-fourths of America’s wealth (ICSC).

78 million Americans who were 50 or older as of 2001 controlled 67% of the country’s wealth, or $28 trillion.  (U.S. Census and Federal Reserve).

Baby Boomers control most of the net worth of American households and they account for 40% of total consumer demand. . . .

The 50+ have $2.4 trillion in annual income which accounts for 42% of all after-tax income (U.S. Government Consumer Expenditure Survey). . .

Spending Habits of Adults 50+:

Baby Boomers outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion each year on consumer goods and services (U.S. Government Consumer Expenditure Survey). . . .

Baby Boomers account for nearly $230 billion, or 55% of consumer packaged goods sales . . . .

Americans over 55 spend 50% of all vacation dollars in America (ICSC). . .

On Line Habits of Adults 50+:

One-third of the 195.3 million internet users in the U.S., adults aged 50+ represent the Web’s largest constituency. (Jupiter Research).

Two thirds of Americans 50+ buy from e-retailers online (Pew).

89% of seniors 65+ have personal email and use it regularly (Nielsen).

72% of baby boomers have broadband internet in their homes (thirdAge and JWT Boom). . . .

Adults 50+ spend an average of $7 billion online annually (SeniorNet).

72% of adults 55-63 and even 47% age 73+ shop online (Forrester). . .

The internet is the most important source of information for baby boomers when they make major market purchases, such as automobiles or appliances (Zoomerang).

42% of all travel industry purchases happen online, and adults 50+ account for 80% of all luxury travel spending (PEW Internet and American Life Project).

82% of adults aged 50+ who use the internet research health and wellness information online (Pew Internet and American Life Project).

The top four online websites for people over 60 are Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and YouTube (AARP).

With the knowledge above, we Grandmas are truly a force to be reckoned with.  We talk about our grandchildren’s proficiency on the internet, but it is actually us with the proficiency in large numbers.  Let’s think about how we can use these statistics and our power as Boomers to effect the change we want to see.  It is our responsibility to use our numbers and dollars to create a future environment that benefits our grandchildren.  If not us Grandmas, who?

In the meantime, I, for one, now understand why most of the commercials on television seem to have people with gray hair!





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