Many news reports discuss how the Baby Boomer population is going to weigh down Social Security in the US, affect the quality of health care around the world, and generally cause a negative situation on the general population as they age. Is there really a large problem looming on the horizon for society because of this population?
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that there are 76.4 million baby boomers.
Baby Boomer Population
That number is actually up from US Census Bureau data on births that occurred between 1946-1964. Records show that there were 76 million births in total. Immigration of this generation into the country has supplemented the deaths that have occurred within the generation, however, to account for a 400,000 population increase.
- Baby Boomers make up 24.3% of the total U.S. population. In 1964, they actually made up 40% of the total population.
- In 1964, 33% of the US population was under the age of 19.
- The biggest year of the boom was 1957 when 4.3 million boomers were born.
- Approximately $8.4 trillion will be inherited by boomers from their grandparents, parents and others.
- On December 31, 2029, the last of the Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65.
- The 65+ population segment is projected to double to 71.5 million by 2030.
- Baby Boomers were the first elementary school generation to attend integrated schools.
- The Vietnam War was the first combat duty for the generation and the average age of a soldier in this war was 19.
- The first Baby Boomer in the White House in the US was Bill Clinton.
Baby Boomers have seen a lot of changes in the world, some of it good and some of it bad. This generation had to partake in a draft, just like their parents. Even the youngest of the Baby Boomers had to register for Selective Service with the 1980 law that required registration in case another draft was implemented. They have even seen the official retirement age pushed upward from 65 to 67. This generation is expected to live longer and that expectation is projecting financial problems, but the inheritance statistic speaks volumes. There is over $8 trillion in wealth waiting to be inherited by this generation. That amount will certainly offset some of the expected financial difficulties that are projected to take place.
Why Is There So Much Concern For The Baby Boomer Population?
- The 65+ age group grew at a faster rate [15.1%] than the total population [9.7%] between 2000 and 2010.
- More people were 65 years and over in 2010 than in any previous census.
- Boomers and seniors have seen a decrease in their median family net worth, although the average net worth of a Baby Boomer is 3x greater than their children or grandchildren.
- Baby Boomers have an average annual disposable income of $24,000.
- Baby Boomers outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion each year on consumer goods & services.
- In 2009, spending by the 116 million U.S. consumers age 50 and older was $2.9 trillion, which is up 45% in the past 10 years.
- Baby Boomers outspend their children and grandchildren nearly 2 to 1.
The issue isn’t the wealth of the Baby Boomer. The problem that this generation is facing is a spending problem. Baby Boomers account for half of all the vacation spending that occurs in the United States. They account for more than half of all packaged good sales. $21 billion is even spent by Baby Boomer women on clothes every year. Their generation, in fact, outspends the younger generations in almost every single consumer category. If the Boomers want to have a meaningful retirement, have access to quality care, and be self-reliant as they age, then their spending habits may need to be reigned in.
Baby Boomers And Retirement
- About 17% of Baby Boomers now report that they are retired.
- 2 out of 3 Baby Boomers are still in the active workforce right now.
- There are 11 states with more than a million people age 65 and older.
- The average life expectancy for a 65-year-old American is 17.7 years for a male and 20.3 years for a female. That’s about 4 more years than previous generations were able to have.
Baby Boomers are living longer and will have fewer people in the workforce to support them during their retirement. This is why it is so important for them to be investing in their retirement and future care needs right now instead of spending in the present.
Boomers Are Surprisingly With The Times
- The average Baby Boomer spends 2 more hours on the internet every week than their grandchildren do.
- 89% of seniors 65+ have personal email and use it regularly .
- 72%. That’s the percentage of Baby Boomers that have installed broadband internet in their home.
- Boomers account for 80% of all luxury travel spending, with more than 40% of that spending happening online.
- Facebook is the #2 website visited by Baby Boomers. Google is #1.
- In 2011, baby boomers increased their usage of social media by 60%.
- Only 1 in 3 Baby Boomers have attempted to create a retirement plan.
- The average Baby Boomer feels like they haven’t saved enough money, yet outspend every other generation in virtually every category.
- In the next 10 years, Boomers will spend $1 trillion annually on wellness services, up from the $200 million that is spent right now.
If Baby Boomers are looking to secure their future, then the time is now to begin saving for a retirement, making quality investments, and being smart about their spending. Billions could be saved just by cutting out simple things, like only purchasing half of the clothes that are wanted or taking a shorter vacation than desired. This generation has worked hard, sacrificed a lot, and seen some incredible things. Now they have one more challenge on their hands: making sure that they can afford to retire well.