Truly Affluent Boomers Make Their Own Financial Decisions

by , Jun 28, 2007, 7:15 AM
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Truly Affluent Boomers Make Their Own Financial Decisions

According to new research from Focalyst, though virtually all members of the Boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) are portrayed as wealthy by the media and in advertising, only a few Boomers are truly affluent, and of these "elites" only one third relies on outside advice when making financial decisions.

In this study of more than 30,000 adults over the age of 42 in the continental U.S., only 1 in 10 Baby Boomers can be classified as Boomer Elites, defined as having an annual household pre-tax income of $150,000 or $100,000 if retired. Almost all Boomer Elites are married; college educated; and live in a residence valued at almost twice that of the average Boomer. Ninety-five percent of Boomer Elites have some sort of savings or investments versus 75% for the total Boomer population.

Profile of Average Boomers vs. Boomer Elite

 

  Average Boomers

Boomer Elite

Percentage Male

  49%

64%

Married or Partnered

  69%

92%

Children in HH

  37%

42%

College Educated

  73%

92%

Health Status Rated Very Good/Excellent

55%

75%

Avg. Market Value of Home

  $282,000

$519,000

Source: Focalyst, June 2007

Heather Stern, Director of Marketing, Focalyst, says "... Elites... are less likely to rely on a financial planner... what (Boomer Elites) value most is no-frills information from a trusted institution that can help guide... their decisions. Boomer Elites pride themselves on having control over their finances so appealing to their need for information, but ultimately helping them feel in charge of their financial destiny, is key."

Boomer Elites have plans to invest in big ticket items such as technology products, furniture and appliances at a rate of almost twice the spending of the average Boomer. And they are willing to pay a premium for quality goods and place brand names in high regard. This is particularly true for spending on their homes which they see as an investment as well as an extension of their own image.

Planned Spend on Big Ticket Items in the Next Year (Of those consumers that plan to spend in the next 12 months)

 

Total Boomers $

Boomer Elite $

Difference %

Household Items

$2,198

$4,608 

110%

Technology Products

1,092 

1,886 

73

Travel - Next Trip

1,593 

2,580 

62

Home Improvement

6,034 

9,632 

60

Source: Focalyst, June 2007

Boomer Elites are avid consumers of media, says the study, more so than Boomers in general. On a daily basis,

  • 91% watch TV  
  • 87% read a newspaper or magazine
  • 76% listen to the radio
  • 75% use the internet

Print is particularly effective with this group as they spend an average of 30 minutes a day each on newspapers and magazines, with 4 in 10 saying that they read the ads in the magazines they subscribe to.

Read the complete release here, or contact Focalyst through their website.

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