Monday, November 28, 2005

Baby Boom Wealth Transfer - Major Trends Shaping the Future

The baby boom’s leading edge is turning 60 this year. That means roughly speaking, 1,000,000 more adults will turn 60 each year than has been the case prior to the baby boom. Now, of course, this has been true of this age group for 60 years. They have been impacting schools, politics, consumer spending, and much more as they have moved through the age groups like a pig in a python.

One need not be a prophet to predict that the coming dramatic increase in us old people will result in great business opportunities in health care, leisure living, and golf clubs. However, there is a little talked about impact that may be the biggest headline of all.

The baby boom’s parents are just about to transfer the biggest stack of wealth in the history of the world to their kids. With the USA’s current average life expectancy at 79 or so, at least one parent of most baby boomers are still alive and trying like crazy to spend their money on themselves.

What will be the impact of this wealth transfer to this huge population bulge? Will they be even more hedonistic than now, lavishly spending the money on themselves? Will they become philanthropic, believing that they can secure a place in heaven by spending some of their money on others less fortunate? Will they merely accumulate more bucks in preparation for handing down an even greater largess to the smaller X gen that follows?

How the boomers deal with this mountain of dough will have enormous impact on the US and World economy over the next 10 years. Getting a handle on that trend and its effects may greatly impact your own personal fortune. What do you think the effect will be? Have you figured any of this into your company projections or plans?

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