DISCUSSION TOPIC: Study: Boomer Shoppers to Become Pragmatic with Age
According to a survey of 1,100 Baby Boomers, 86 percent plan to be more practical and pragmatic in their purchases when they reach the age of 70, and much less concerned about trendiness and indulgences.
The study providers, FH Boom and the National Marketing Institute, believe the turn to the pragmatic is highly correlated to the fact that only 41 percent of Boomers state they have a secure, financially sound plan for retirement. After paying their basic living expenses, Boomers anticipated that they will have on average 22 percent of their income left to spend on discretionary purchases.
But the buying pragmatism may also reflect Boomers readapting more hippie-like values held in their younger days.
“The key is to think of boomers at 70 not so much as revolutionaries, but as ‘retrolutionaries,'” says Dr. Carol Orsborn, co-chair of FH Boom. “By this definition, retrolutionaries are the vast majority of Boomer-aged consumers who are aiming to get their monetary expenditures in better alignment with values formed at earlier stages in their lives. Think the 2016 version of Birkenstocks and VW in the 60s and 70s: living affordably, but with style.”
Discussion questions: Do you also expect Boomer spending tendencies to become more “more practical and pragmatic” as they reach the age of 70 and older? Why or why not? What credence do you give to the theory that Boomer spending habits might be reshaped by a return to hippie attitudes?
I always find it amusing when studies attempt to categorize and describe the tendencies of the Boomers. The generation is simply to large and spread over too many years to neatly label and predict. However, some of the observations are likely to be true: Boomers will continue to avoid “getting old” and will spend on products and experiences that keep them feeling, if not looking, young. Also, Boomers will remain connected to current happenings via technology and continued linking with Gens X & Y. Therefore, they will always adopt those new products, services and experiences that feel “cool” and contribute to the desire to remain forever young. For example, I regularly share on-line music with my college-age sons both because it is a shared interest, but also because I genuinely like much of the new music. I expect this will continue well into my 70’s and beyond!
Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist
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