Grandparent Power

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Marketers obsessed with selling to young people may want to start looking at the other end of the age spectrum for big buying dollars. A new study commissioned by reveals that grandma and grandpa are more likely to be flush with cash, and their cohort represents one of the most powerful and underestimated drivers of the U.S. economy. Thanks to the aging Baby Boom generation, the number of grandparents is growing at more than double the rate of the overall population, and they outnumber teenagers by more than 2-to-1 (70 million vs. 30 million). Approximately 30% of adult Americans are grandparents, an all-time high.

With their average real income rising faster than any other age group, grandparents are in an ideal position to spend. According to the report, they buy $2 trillion worth of goods and services each year. “Today’s grandparents are younger and more financially secure than those in generations past,” the report states, and “many own their homes outright (or have very small mortgages).” In addition, fewer grandparents are retiring at age 65 and are instead electing to continue working.
By 2010, households headed by 55- to 64-year-olds will earn the highest average income, surpassing that of families headed by 45- to 54-year-olds for the first time in the nation’s history, according to the report.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
The Grandparent Economy (by Peter Francese, (PDF)


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