Grampa Still Controls the Purse Strings

In the U.S. today there are approximately 50 million seniors over the age of 65 (Retirees). And that has been growing at a average rate of 10,000 per day since 2010. By the year 2030 the US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the number will grow to 92 million.

As we often talk about the Baby Boomer Generation and Seniors in the same breath (30% of the US Population). It is significant that this year 100% of all “Boomers” have been dragged kicking and screaming into the ranks of the 50+ age group, while more than 25% of of this group are now to old to be a Boomer.  The Baby Boomer Generation is made up of people born during the demographic post–World War II baby boom approximately between the years 1945 and 1964. Today this would make the oldest Boomer around 70 years old and the youngest about 52. Ironically though, most Boomers do not worry too much about how old they are or how long they’re going to live. Experts suggest that many Boomers as a group feel as much as 15 years younger than people the same age a generation ago. Boomers peg “old age” at somewhere around 78 or 80, and most boomers without major health problems just assume they’re going to live well into their 90’s.

It is not a surprise though that anxieties among younger seniors under 65 years of age have increased significantly. The transition from working life to retired life can be a difficult one and the anxiety of the financial, social and physical challenges of growing older weight heavily. When a middle manager realizes that his gray hair is a liability for the next job interview it touches off that aging feeling which continues to grow until a diminished physical capability in later years leads to some loss of control in their lives. Often that loss of control is accompanied by the feeling of invisibility and irrelevance.

For some of us, it’s been a hell of a ride. The fact that so many individuals followed us after World War II, created a competitive world which actually had a positive effect; sharpening skills in the professional and creative disciplines which they still operate in today. For some, the battle for resources that raged throughout their lives rages on today. The struggle for resources in retirement is often overwhelming as massive numbers of new retirement age seniors turning 65 years of age puts pressure on Social Security and Medicare.

On the other hand the 50+ age group will continue to be the most powerful consumers in the marketplace for sometime to come. There are currently over 100 million adults in the United States over the age of 50. With Gen X coming into the mix, the size, wealth and spending of mature consumers changes the landscape of the digital world we live in.  Here is a select list of stats and data surrounding adults 50+, baby boomers and seniors.

  • The last of the baby boomers turned 50 in 2014 – there were 77 million people born between 1946 and 1964, which is defined as the baby boomer era (U.S. Census).
  • The 2010 Census shows the senior age group is, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percent of the population in the U.S. Over the next 30 years, the 65+ population will be larger than the younger generations.
  • The 50+ population has $2.4 trillion in annual income, which accounts for 42% of all after-tax income in the U.S. (Consumer Expenditure Survey).
  • Boomers and seniors have seen a decrease in their median family net worth, however they still have a net worth 3x that of younger generations (Economic Policy Institute).
  • Every year, the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey shows adults 55-64 outspend the average consumer in nearly every category, from food, household furnishing, entertainment, personal care, gifts, etc.
  • Baby boomers account for nearly $230 billion, or 55% of consumer packaged goods sales (Nielsen).
  • The NAHB predicts that the aging in place remodeling market to be $20-$25 billion. That’s about 10% of the $214 billion home improvement industry.
  • Boomers spend $157 billion on trips every year (Next Avenue).
  • Americans 50+ account for half of all consumer spending but are targeted by just 10% of marketing (AARP).
  • The Internet is the most important source of information for Boomers when they make major purchasing decisions (Zoomerang).
  • Boomers outspend younger adults online 2:1 on a per-capita basis (Forrester, 2009).
How We Got Here

All this is by way of saying, “….this is how we got here!” Engaging the modern senior on the subjects of Health and Wellness, Personal Development, Retirement and Entrepreneurship; Succeeding After 50 and Winning at Life

Communicating with the senior demographic has traditionally been offline. There is a long-standing belief that people over 50 are either not on the internet at all or are only going onto sites such as AARP.org or WebMD.com.

Really?  The fact of the matter is that seniors control 70% of America’s disposable income and they are far more web savvy than most people believe.

XS Infographic 13

Recent Studies show that in 2014, 70% of the 50-65 age bracket use the internet, while 38% of those over 65 years old go online.

Of the “wired” seniors:

  • 94% use the internet for e-mail
  • 77% shop online
  • 71% are looking for health information
  • 70% use the internet to read news

The rate of senior Americans adopting social media is steadily increasing. For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use social media, Facebook in particular, according to Pew Research Center’s Social Media Update for 2014. This represents 31% of all seniors in the US.

While these numbers may pale in comparison with the 18-29 (86%) and 30-49 (61%) groups, it should be noted that as of November 2008 (a short time ago) only 16% of the 50-64-year-old group and 4% of the 65+ group were using Facebook.

Advertising on This Site

We expect a significant portion of our potential visitors and your customers to be seniors, making it important that we pay attention specific challenges in terms of design and messaging.

Our blog is “senior friendly”:

  • Our font size is large enough for easy reading. Laptops and most monitors are relatively small, making reading difficult for many seniors. At least 12pt.
  • Our navigation as simple as possible.
  • We use age appropriate photos and graphics.
  • We understand the market. We are seniors ourselves
  • Our landing pages are specifically targeted to the senior audience. If your online advertising is geared to attract a senior audience, then it makes sense to create a landing page or alternate home page specifically geared to that audience.

Join us with advertising to our 50+ audience.  We accept only institutional. Email your inquiries to info@yokalmedia.com