Baby boomers are the huge population that was born right after World War II, from 1946 to 1964, an 18 years span. This generation created a huge natural economic bubble that has been the major key player in influencing every market trends around the globe; when the first of the baby boomers came to existence, baby products and services boomed; when they reached around their young adolescents age around the 60’s to 80’s, the music, movie, amusements or entertainment industry reached their peaks; this was also the time when many famous rock bands like The Beatles entered the music industry; when they reached their 30’s around the mid of 1970’s to early 2000’s the sales of the auto industry skyrocketed to record high; when most of the baby boomers got married and had their own families the real estate business started to flourish, which started the real estate bubble from 1987 to 2008, where 2006 was its sales peak; when the first of the baby boomers reach their 60’s and started to retire around 2006, and as consumers their spending habits and preferences changed to spending less, meaning businesses has been earning less, which forced them to cut-cost by doing mass-layoffs or worse shutting-down; it was one of the factors that paved way to the latest economic recession that started in 2008, which somehow recovered and stalled; since most of them are now aging, we can now observe the rise of health and wellness related businesses, which might probably lead to another economic bubble – health or anti-aging bubble; this is just one of the many market opportunities.
The baby boomers were responsible for founding the technology we are in right now such as the Internet, telecommunications, computers, mobile phones, other electronics and gadgets and more; because of them the industrial age paved way to information age. They even established prestigious and prominent companies and businesses, where most of the young professionals, children of the baby boomers, are employed. Basically, they sculpture our economy as their great wave passes through their economic time capsule; a time capsule, or a huge bubble, spanning around 18 to 20 years.
By 2011, the pioneering baby boomers will be 65 years old, and the last of the baby boomers will be retiring around 2024; this is a huge aging population with many specific market trends and opportunities. In the United States alone, around 77 Million baby boomers are retired by 2024; their huge population alone attracts a lot of opportunities, and one way to identify to their needs is to understand their possible lifestyles and spending habits; obviously, majority of their concerns will involve health issues, 3 out of 4 of the baby boomers wants to stay healthy, which is 76% of the total boomer population, and how to feel good and vitalize as they approach their golden age.
Majority of the baby boomers worked hard for their wealth, meaning plenty of them are well-off or wealthy after retiring; this is a good market sign, but, we also have to understand that majority of them will be living frugally in order to maximize wealth, while there are also a number of them who will spend extravagantly on other indulgences. In the span of 18 to 20 years, it’s more likely that the common global consciousness is about healthy living and spending more on needed, affordable things compared to their luxurious wants.
So, as entrepreneurs and affiliate marketers, how are we going to ride this giant wave of opportunities? Let’s start with their basic necessities regarding food, shelter, clothing, money, travel, recreation, business, Internet and other media channels, and spirituality, which are based upon their age and lifestyles.
Basic Necessities that are Baby Boomer Friendly
Food and Other Healthy Intakes
Basically, anything that is healthy and within their food budget; meals, multi-vitamins, and food supplements that will slow down the aging process and sickness prevention; they want to live longer and enjoy the life they missed. And since they are no longer bound to working hours and fixed meal times, instant and mobile healthy foods will be the next big thing, which they can bring around while enjoying the activities they desire like traveling for instance. Most likely the boomers will be considering a vegetarian diet, a good hot green tea and sparingly taking herbal medicines just to save money.
Shelter and Living Conditions
Somewhere warmer, greater accessibility to hospitals, health and fitness centers, lots of amenities for recreation and fun activities, and most importantly low-cost of living. It’s more likely that majority of the boomers who lives in cold and expensive locations will transfer to a more livable condition for their age; it’s also not surprising that a lot of these boomers are migrating to tropical countries where it’s warmer and more affordable to live a happy life; a possible air, sea and land transportation related boom.
The real estate industry will somewhat experience a localized bubble; boomers will be either sell their existing house and lots, or have it rented and go for a cheaper minimalist housing as explained above; housing conditions built for the aging generation; smaller houses are ideal since it takes shorter distance to travel inside it and less maintenance although it still depends upon their personal preferences.
Furniture might be redesigned to cope with their living conditions; simplicity, movable, durable and light will be part of the design process. Appliances should be more automatic and boomer friendly.
Clothing, Gadgets and Accessories
Aside that adult diapers will gain popularity again, the boomer’s clothing will be according to their traditional taste; it’s possible that there are boomers who still desire for luxurious clothing, but, most likely, majority of them are no longer concerned about fashion trends compared to the younger generations. Gadgets and accessories should be simple and boomer friendly; it should have features that monitor their health if possible. Also, baby boomers will rely more on trusted brands, which they grew accustomed to during the years.
Money and Business
It’s possible that most baby boomers would still want to work even in their 60’s, so jobs for seniors, which are simple for them to do, would be lucrative. Also, some will consider taking a second education for their new career; online education would be much preferable. For boomers who retired wealthy, it’s more likely that they will hire professionals to plan and manage their wealth and businesses; financial and investment consultants and companies will be needed these times.
Travel Leisure and Recreation
For more than 30 years the baby boomer generation work hard for their wealth, and it’s reasonable that they should enjoy what they worked for; having quality time with their family and patching-up those missed moments, social networking with friends personally or through the Internet, taking care of pets, traveling to places they haven’t traveled before, enjoying the food, sceneries, hobbies and joys of life; sports and hobby shops, travel agencies, tourist destinations, major transportations, hotels and restaurants will experience a localize boom.
Internet and Other Media Channels
Information technology and the Internet are expected to boom again around 2014 and everything related to it; computers, electronic gadgets, mobile phones, online jobs and businesses, online shopping will be in demand these days. The baby boomers were responsible for creating the technology we have today, and they will be using it to their advantage; with simplicity, boomer friendly designs, and accessibilities in mind.
It’s expected that majority of the boomers will prefer to stay and relax in the comforts of their homes, and these common media channels are great means to contact their families, relatives and friends from afar, also the Internet is the perfect medium, very accessible, for them to purchase their everyday needs, as well as a means to make extra money online. Regarding online shopping, banks and debit/credit services will peak again, as well as established online companies and delivery companies will experience another boom.
Spirituality and Beliefs
As a matter a fact, there are more people who are religious, as the boomers comes to age, they grow more mature and their faith also strengthens, religious communities, churches and other groups will experience a significant increase in membership and practitioners.
These are just the general trends, which will be affected as the baby boomer population comes to age around 2011 to 2031, and there are still other specific trends and opportunities based upon the insights above, but I prefer to share them in details in the next succeeding articles. The purpose of this article is just to open your mind about the major part of the equation that affects our economy worldwide – the baby boomer generation.