“Baby Boomers” are a global economy unto themselves. Boomers as a group rank No. 3 in the world after the U.S. and China in economic power. They came into the workforce during the robust economic expansions of the 70s and 80s and made the most of these opportunities with their renowned work ethic. Now Boomers’ consumer spending power and longevity are an economic force to be reckoned with.
Boomers own 80% of all money in savings and loan associations. They will inherit $15 trillion in the next 20 years. And, they pay $420 billion a year in federal taxes and $250 billion at the state and local levels. Boomers will continue to be a worldwide growth market for the next twenty years.
Yet statistically, Boomers are the “Ignored Generation.” While Boomers spend the most across all product categories, they are only targeted by 5% of marketing dollars. Too often Seniors are considered “an unaffordable cost and financial burden.” But in reality, Seniors are a huge, unified market that more than pays its way in society and can handsomely reward companies that grasp its importance.
But, there are not enough legal, financial, social and medical professionals adequately educated and trained to handle the influx of issues that Seniors will need help with in the coming years. Despite being a highly-educated generation, Boomers are not being connected with the resources necessary to make sound decisions when it comes to retirement spending, asset protection, insurance and risk management, long-term care planning and end of life planning.
According to Pew Research Center, 70% of Americans do not have advanced directives, such as healthcare powers of attorney or living wills, leaving their medical wishes unknown should they become incapable of articulating them. To properly put together an end-of-life plan, Seniors will need to work with qualified elder law attorneys to navigate areas such as: Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, Veterans’ Benefits and Special Needs Planning.
Much the opposite of the depression-era babies, Boomers are likely to have luxurious retirement ideas that include travel and relocation to attractive destinations. For realtors, this is an opportunity cultivate expertise in the issues that matter to Seniors such as cities that benefit from public transportation and cultural attractions, or small beach towns that cater to an older demographic.
But to live a longer, more extravagant life is expensive and requires a plan. Financial planners need to be ready to construct sounds financial plans that consider asset protection, risk management and long-term care costs.
Needless to say, watching Boomers come of age will be an exciting time for professionals who wish to focus on this industry.