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Is 60 the New 40? Interesting Statistics About Baby Boomers

By De-de Mulligan

Baby Boomers, individuals born between 1946 and 1964, are now reaching their golden years. With 10,000 of them coming to the age of 65 every day, it made me wonder what makes this niche unique in their aging approach.

 

Boomer Buying Power

 

Baby Boomer purchasing statistics are impressive as compared to other demographic segments. They -

  • Spend 75% more on vacations
  • Buy 60% of all packaged goods
  • Purchase 50% of all new cars
  • Possess 50% of all Mac computers
  • Own 33% of all iPhones

 

Boomer Worries

 

According to the Associated Press, Boomers worry about the following four items the most:

  • 45% are deeply concerned a physical ailment will take away their independence
  • 44% worry about losing their memory
  • 43% are troubled that they may not be able to pay their medical bills
  • 41% are anxious about losing financial self-sufficiency

 

Boomer Abilities

 

According to a Del Webb study, Boomers generally feel a lot younger than they are. Most 60-65-year-olds feel like they are 50, as long as they remain healthy. Equally optimistic, 67% expect to live until they are at least 76 years of age.

Regarding mental capacity, the Dana Foundation found that 20% of 70-year-olds performed as well on cognitive tests as those in their 20s, leading researchers to conclude the brain does not necessarily degenerate over time.

Dr. Matthew Fink, Chairman of Neurology at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, backed this up by saying, “Our ability to make decisions gets better (over time), and our ability to understand complex problems gets better.”

However, Baby Boomers have to work at it. A study by Dana Goldman from the University of Southern California found that Boomers who are healthy, both physically and mentally, do the following:

  • Eat healthily
  • Exercise regularly
  • Are in a healthy weight range
  • Socialize
  • Challenge their mind
  • Don’t smoke and
  • Drink in moderation

 

Boomer Housing

 

Allison Arief, the Editorial Director of SPUR, stated, “Thoughtfully designed housing for older adults is not being created on a scale commensurate with the growing need. A disproportionate amount of attention has been focused on the presumed desires of Millennials (ages 19-33).”

 

Ten Tips for Baby Boomers

 

Given all the information above, here is a course of action  you might undertake to help enjoy your 60s and beyond without fear and worry:

  1. Meet with your financial advisor and talk about your investment strategy. Determine, given the living standard of which you wish to live, a reasonable timeline for retirement. Let them know your intentions to travel as that may take up a good portion of your yearly budget.

  2. Schedule time at a Social Security office. As many boomers are divorced after long-term marriages, determine when you are eligible for Social Security and whether it is beneficial to tap into your ex’s account or take your own.

  3. Meet with a nutritionist to find better ways to eat healthier.

  4. Check to see if you are in a healthy Body Mass Index.

  5. If you smoke, this an excellent time to ask your physician about the best way to quit.

  6. If you drink, keep your consumption to 7-14 drinks per week, with no more than two drinks per day. 

  7. If you belong to a gym, schedule time with a personal trainer to help put together a personalized aerobic, strength, and balance plan. Silver Sneakers is terrific for boomers, and for most, it is free. They offer virtual classes, as well.

  8. During this time of COVID-19, stay connected with friends and family. Pick at least 1-2 days per week to call or Zoom with each other. If you can meet outside, do so as this is the safest way to enjoy each other's company.  

  9. Challenge your mind by doing such activities as playing bridge, reading, playing piano, subscribing to Luminosity, and completing Sudoku and crossword puzzles.

  10. Lastly, determine if now is the time to downsize. Do you need all the space you have? Is all that yardwork difficult? Do you want to live closer to your children?

 

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