We Boomer Grandparents are Seventy Million Strong and Now Have the Greatest Power To Change Our World

grandparents_grandkids_playing_board_gameThe May 2017 AARP Bulletin had a lead story on how we Boomers are “The Grandparent Boom! A Record 70 Million Americans have Grandchildren.”  One third of American adults (adults defined by AARP, not this Grandma, as those over age 30) are grandparents as of 2014.

One AARP statistic that was of interest to me was that we have an average of 5 to 6 grandchildren per grandparent.  Grandpa and I are below the average statistic but we hope we may still be able to reach it.  AARP talked about how much money we grandparents spend on our grandchildren.  An AARP study found that 25% of us spent more than $1,000 annually on our grandchildren on gifts and multi generational travel.  The amount “more than $1,000” annually can be a significant number more when you compare it to the statistics that follow.

If we look at past generations, once an adult became a “senior” the adult became irrelevant  and ignored.  I Love this Forbes article, “7 Reasons Why Marketing To Baby Boomers Is Unique,” in which the author, Steve Olenski, writes in  number seven, “Baby boomers are not ‘old.’”  He continues (quote in italics):

If you think ‘aged’, ‘senior’ and ‘elderly’ are effective buzzwords for baby boomers – think again. They don’t want to be reminded of their age, but of their accomplishments and of their future. Marketer Ann Fishman advises marketers to concentrate on the ‘bucket list’ concept when pitching to baby boomers; they may have to buy adult diapers, but what they want to hear about is the best place to eat in Sturgis, South Dakota, when they ride their Harley Davidson there for the Rally in August.

And we want to hear how to make our grandchildren’s lives the best they can be.

I feel that our power to change the world has been underestimated as we are longer (we never say older). The world is learning we refuse to be referred to as “senior” and refuse the limitations of the term.  We Boomers are “Forever Young.”  Take a look at our Boomer friends and neighbors who have become politically active now, when they might never have spent their time and energy on politics before.  Take a look at our Boomer friends who just returned from Antarctica or Machu Picchu.

We should not be surprised that in 2017 we Boomers have entered a new phase as “the largest group” of grandparents to date.  We have always had numbers so large we affected society and societal changes throughout our lives.  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 grand parenting 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.  Remember the 60’s and 70’s.  When we have a goal, no one can stop us, and we each have 5 to 6 reasons to find our passion and pursue it in betterment of our grandchildren’s lives.

In 2013, this Grandma wrote a post about How we Boomers are a force to be reckoned with.

It is even more relevant now that we have made the record of 70 million Boomer grandparents out of 77 million of us.  We are almost at full capacity grand parenthood!  And if we add step grand parenthood we surely exceed the mark.

77 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).

In 2013, the senior age group was, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percentage of the population in the U.S.

In 2013, the website www.immersionactive.com put together interesting statistics about us, including those in italics above and below.   Immersion Active’s website looks different today. I could not find the statistics that were listed in 2013.  I did find that they have grown immensely and even represent AARP!

Back in 2013, Immersion Active claimed to be the only company targeting advertisement specifically to us Boomers.  Today, on Google, I found many marketing companies targeting us.

Why?  Here is part of what Immersion Active compiled in 2013. To see all of the statistics go to the 2013 post http://grandmother-blog.com/blog/2013/06/13/boomer-grandmas-how-we-are-a-force-to-be-reckoned-with/:


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

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

When I look at our spending habits, this Grandma finds that we Boomer grandparents are willing to spend and love to spend on our grandchildren.  We are interested in what our grandchildren are interested in and that is where we spend our money.  And, apparently, we are worth looking at by marketing companies because we spend a lot of time and money on the internet, more than we might realize.


Adults aged 50+ represent the Web’s largest constituency. (Jupiter Research).

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

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 Boomer grandparents can finally acknowledge that we are truly a force to be reckoned with.  We care about remaining healthy and vital to enjoy our grandchildren and our lives.  We talk about our grandchildren’s proficiency on the internet, but it is actually us with the proficiency in large numbers.

We may be entering retirement at greater numbers, but we still have the power of the purse.  Take a look at the family travel tab on the blog home page for ideas for multigenerational travel.  I am going to add our adult only couples travel to the wonders of the world.  Take a look at the “gifts for grandchildren’ tab on the blog home page for gifts of all kinds for grandchildren of all ages.  Enjoy!

Most important, we now have the power of time to effect change.  We have our grandchildren to think about if we make charitable contributions or take on political causes.  We have a reason to care about THEIR future as well as our own.

Let’s think about how we can use these statistics and our power as Boomers to effect the change we want to see.  Each one of us can make a difference that makes a difference for our grandchildren.  We may find that which is individually important is important to the collective BOOMER grandparent us, as it has been at every stage of our lives.

We have the power to use our numbers and dollars to impact the present and create a future world that benefits our grandchildren.  Let’s focus our attention on the best interests of our grandchildren front and center.

We 70 million strong  grandparents  now have the greatest power to change our world and have the best reason, our precious grandchildren.

If not us 70 million Boomer grandparents, who?






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