Born before the arrival of the internet and smartphones, baby boomers are too often judged as being technologically backward and stuck in the past – hardly lifestyle trends influencers.
Pigeon holed as a ticking pension bomb, there is a misconception that boomers will suddenly retire on en-mass bankrupting national social security coffers.
This is misleading and incorrect.
As a matter of fact, the 15th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey found that 65% of Baby Boomers said they planned to work past age 65. Whilst 34% said they want to continue working for enjoyment,18% said they still want to stay involved in employment after retirement and 16% said they enjoy what they do and didn’t want to stop.
The truth is, there is a range of complex factors contributing to the baby boomer experience. Called the lucky generation, they are proving 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. This is reflected in the type of lifestyle decisions they are making.
5 baby boomer lifestyle trends that may surprise you.
1. Tech Smart
Just because the baby boomers didn’t grow up taking selfies and downloading apps, it 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. Contrary to the stereotype that they’re not even online, the boomers are becoming savvier at using the internet than other generations, even the millennials.
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 of4.6 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. Enabled by 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 the 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 and ultimately all you need is a great idea and a website and you’re ready to go.
For boomers who want to generate an income but still want to enjoy life, the entrepreneurial lifestyle is increasingly appealing. A recent survey found that an impressive 45% of Baby Boomers thought of themselves as more entrepreneurial now than earlier in their lives.
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. The National Association of Baby Boomer women predicts that by 2030, there will be a staggering 71.5 million Americans aged 65 or older. More than 50% will be women. As women tend to have a longer life expectancy than men, we will see more women becoming the financial head of households giving them even more consumer power.
Leisure time is really important to the boomers. It’s not all work and no play and this is reflected in their lifestyle choices. For instance, AARP estimates that Baby Boomers spend an impressive $120 billion annually on travel. In this survey 99% of Baby Boomers said they were planning on traveling, with many planning once-in-a-lifetime international adventures.
An increasingly growing boomer lifestyle trend, we are seeing more and more adults aged 60+ are 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 by U.S. News and World Report Opens a New Window.found that 20% of new college students were aged 40 to 64.
The baby boomers back in the 60’s held the mantle for being trend trailblazers, changing the social and economic landscape for generations to come. From marching for equal rights to going to college and challenging the glass ceiling, baby boomers were actively involved, so it’s no surprise they continue to embrace and influence new lifestyle trends in the 21st century.