Between now and 2014, 10 Boomers will turn 50 years old every minute. By 2030, 20% of Americans will be 65+. What’s most remarkable is that most of them will live at least 25 years more, creating the largest and wealthiest generation in the history of the United States. Despite the current financial situation and the fact that many Boomers have seen their 401(k)s slashed to 201(k)s, Boomers are the wealthiest generation in history and will only get wealthier as they inherit their parents’ generation’s assets. And because Boomers will possess the physical and financial means to enjoy their lives, over the next two years alone, Boomers will spend at least a trillion dollars MORE than all consumers under 45 combined.
Unfortunately, millions will discover that social security will be their only source of income. But millions more will have increased time, resources and interest in enriching their lives. What will they spend their money on? Wellness, travel and making being older cool.
Although 83% of Boomers say that eating healthy is important or very important, only 11% claim that they eat healthy all the time. 61% say they are only successful half of the time. And while 29% say they can’t afford it, most simply say they don’t have the information, availability or the time to make healthy changes to their lifestyles.
If the old saying is correct that “we spend the first half of our lives trading health for wealth and the second half trading wealth for health,” then the opportunity should be clear – Boomers will spend money, and lots of it, to stay healthy and enjoy their lives. Entire new businesses and industries will spring up to service these newly wealthy consumers eager to spend their hard-earned and inherited cash on improved lifestyles. But lots of existing businesses – restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, cruise lines, computer companies, retailers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, HMOs, cosmetic surgeons, advertising agencies, and others – will reconfigure their businesses to exploit this golden-age mine.
The Who’s Roger Daltrey (who turned 66 in March) was talking ‘bout my generation when he sang, “hope I die before I get old,” and Boomers heard the message. But instead of dying young, 50+ consumers have decided to stay young just as long as they can. How are you going to take advantage of this burgeoning opportunity?