Lifestyle Trends of Baby Boomers
Born before the arrival of the internet and smartphones, baby boomers are too often judged as being technologically backward and stuck in the past. They are not generally considered lifestyle trend influencers.
Pigeon-holed as a ticking pension bomb, there has been a misconception that boomers would suddenly retire on en-mass, as soon as they possibly could, and live the high life off whatever they could get from the government.
This is far from the truth. Australian Bureau of Statistics findings of Retirement and Retirement Intentions indicate that 20% plan to work until they are 70 years or older. While 50% plan to retire somewhere between 65 and 69.
A 2018 Australian Financial Review article stated
“Australia has reached a major milestone, with most new retirees having enough savings to be self-funded rather than reliant on the age pension, new research shows.
More than half of 66-year-olds were not accessing the age pension at December 2018 because their assets and income were too high, while 20 per cent were on a part pension.”
[July 2020] I wonder if those figures have changed much as a result of share market fluctuations during the Covid-19 pandemic?
The truth is, there is a range of complex factors contributing to the baby boomer experience. Called the lucky generation, Baby Boomers prove yet again that they are a business and consumer force to be reckoned with. Increasingly we’re witnessing this generation bucking the trend of being technological luddites and conservative spenders and this is reflected in the type of lifestyle decisions they are making.
5 baby boomer lifestyle trends that may surprise you.
1. Tech Smart
The baby boomer generation didn’t grow up taking selfies and downloading apps. But that doesn’t mean they’re not adept at using today’s technology. After all, this generation witnessed the evolution of computers and the emergence of the internet. Many were early adopters of technology. Contrary to the stereotype that they’re not even online, most boomers are savvy at using the internet and technology in general.
Most are online
A recent Google survey reported an astonishing 82% are actually online using the internet for everything from banking, downloading music and films to staying in touch with friends and family. Not shying away from social media either, they have an average of 4.6 social media accounts, with Facebook and LinkedIn being top favourites.
The boomer generation is working longer and retiring later. Increasingly driven by seeking a better life balance, a large number are taking the plunge and setting up their own business ventures. With technology, they’re no longer tethered to the office desk but instead free to pursue their leisure interests and work remotely, anywhere they want.
Compared to millennials who practically invented the idea of the digital nomad, boomers are now twice as likely to set up their own online business. This is a big shift from only just 10 years ago. Today’s technology has created a new level of connection. Ultimately all you need is a great idea and a website and you’re ready to go.
Becoming more entrepreneurial
For boomers who want to generate an income but still want to enjoy life, the entrepreneurial lifestyle is increasingly appealing. New research by the Swinburne University of Technology and Queensland University of Technology has revealed that Australians aged 55 to 64 are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country. This same age group also represents 34 per cent of all Australian business owners currently.
3. Women power
One of the biggest boomer lifestyle trends is the emergence of women as powerful influencers. They have pushed and fought for economic parity more so than any generation before. Empowered with a new economic confidence, boomer women are quickly becoming a force of influence both in the workplace, the consumer market, the home and on the global platform.
Longer life expectancy
By 2030 one fifth of the Australian population, that is 5.7 million people, is expected to be aged over 65. As women tend to have a longer life expectancy than men, we will see more women becoming the financial head of households. This gives them even more consumer power.
Leisure time is really important to the boomers. Their lifestyle choices show that they’re not all work and no play. Australian Federation of Travel Agents research suggests that 40% of over 65’s are spending between 11k and 50k per person per annum on travel. 53% of boomers aged over 65 plan on doing 2-3 domestic trips this year. 15% plan on doing 4-5 domestic trips this year.
The same document, looking at this generation as prospective clients, recognised that baby boomers were ‘travelling before the Internet, Tripadvisor and Instagram – they just had to go there to find out what was there.‘
Yes, we were, and we have the photos from Kathmandu and other far flung places to prove it!
An increasingly growing boomer lifestyle trend is that we are seeing more and more adults aged 60+ actively engaged in learning and entrepreneurial activities. Whether it’s to up-skill or re-train totally to embark on encore careers, baby boomers want to study.
A survey commissioned by the National Broadband Network revealed that more than a third (35%) of baby boomers have an interest in studying and almost half of these (48%) would study online, seeking learning opportunities both formally and informally.
The baby boomer generation has always created trends
The baby boomers back in the 60’s held the mantle for being trend trailblazers. They changed the social and economic landscape for generations to come. The people who are now retiring once marched for equal rights. They embraced tertiary education and challenged the glass ceiling. It’s no surprise they continue to embrace and influence new lifestyle trends in the 21st century.
What will you do when you retire? Start your retirement game plan now. Decide on the retirement lifestyle that you want; activities that you want to do. We’re giving everyone our comprehensive and professional Retirement Planning Guide (“Create A Future You Will Love”). Download it now! And if you need help to achieve that lifestyle contact us for retirement coaching.