Baby Boomers Are The Last Line of Defense From a Recession – The Average Joe

    Baby Boomers Are The Last Line of Defense From a Recession

    Victor Lei — Head of Research

    October 10, 2023

    October 10, 2023

    Need help with those ballooning loan payments? Call mom and dad. That is, if they aren’t too busy basking in retirement living to pick upt. While younger generations drove spending during COVID, spending has retreated for all but one age group: baby boomers.

    No time like the present: Earlier this year, a Bank of America survey found that baby boomers have outspent younger generations in every income bracket — helped by an 8.7% increase in social security payments this year to adjust for last year’s high inflation.

    • Baby boomers are more likely to own their home outright, better protecting them from rising rates — and are less likely to be impacted by the resumption of student loan payments.
    • Between February and April of 2023, the average number of retail subscriptions among baby boomers increased from 1.1 to 1.3 — while the average among all consumers fell from 2.9 to 2.6.

    And they’ll be spending on more than just healthcare. Research firm Circana’s chief retail advisor told WSJ, “The lifestyle of the senior has changed dramatically — they’re more active than ever… They’re riding e-bikes, they’re hiking, they’re traveling.”

    Major spending shift underway

    The youngest baby boomer is 59, and by 2030, all will be 65 or older. Aging boomers, the second-largest age group after millennials, will have significant implications on spending in the coming years. Since 1982, spending among baby boomers has grown 34.5% — compared to the 16.5% of younger generations (WSJ).

    • According to MagnifyMoney, boomers have a median net worth of $207K and an average net worth of $1.2M — compared to an average of $101K among younger generations.
    • Boomers now make up ~17.7% of the American population and 22% of total spending in 2022, up from 13.8% in 2005 (WSJ). But with $78T in their possession, they own half of America’s assets.

    And before the great wealth transfer (where 52% of millennials expect an inheritance of at least $350K), the younger generations will be hoping there’s still money left for them.

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