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The 74 million US Babyboomers (born 1946-1964) are a hot topic these days, being blamed for many of society's current ills. I won't touch that subject. But I will remind everyone yet again how important this demographic is as it relates to wealth and buying power, and a continued force to be reckoned with in the economy at large. Here are some facts to ponder as so many of us continue to fixate on younger generations when its the baby boomers that are the generation we should never, ever ignore....in fact, they should be an important focus of our marketing!
1) Almost 20% of Americans over the age of 65 were employed or actively looking for work in 2018: that is up from less than 12% twenty years ago. (The youngest baby boomers, born in 1964, turned or will turn 55 this year.)
2) Americans inherited $427 billion in 2016, according to the most recent data available, up 119% from 1989 after adjusting for inflation. Those who have inherited wealth also are older. The average age of recipients over the past 30 years rose from 41 to 51. More than 25% of bequests now go to people who are 61 or older.
3) Americans who are younger than 50 held only 16% of investable assets in 2016, a decline from 31% in 1989, according to the Fed's Survey of Consumer Finances. The remainder is held by households 50 and older.
4) The median household age 65 to 75 in 1989 held eight times more wealth than families headed by 25- to 35-year-olds.
5) In 2016 the median baby boomer had close to 13 times more wealth than average millennials.
6) During the next 30 years, a staggering $36 trillion is expected to flow from Baby Boomers to Generation X, those born between the early 60's and the late 70's. (Most stats from Bloomberg, thanks to Jaques Cohen)
This Babyboomer wealth has its upside, besides being a potent home-buying audience. Inheritance will reduce the burden on younger taxpayers to fund Babyboomers' retirement. And younger generations can expect lots of gifting prior to death too, a trend that keeps growing even on a more junior level.