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Baby Boomers: Top Trends

Baby boomers are known for being trendsetters. We moved families into the suburbs; began the peace trend of the 60s due to the Viet Nam War; entered college in droves; more women climbed the corporate ladder than ever before; gave birth to less children; bought mini-vans and station wagons to lug our kids around; began the exercise craze – plus many other trends that have staying power.

Working with baby boomer women on a daily basis, allows me to have my finger on the pulse of this spirited generation during this life stage. This past year, I\’ve noticed at least ten trends that pertain to the baby boomer generation. I\’ll share five so you can see how you fit in with your generation. Perhaps you\’re a trendsetter and don\’t even know it.

Boomers are postponing retirement, whether it\’s by need or choice, boomers intend to work longer. While some will remain in the same job, others are re-inventing themselves at retirement age and embracing a passion that allows them to follow a dream and earn an income while doing so. There\’s an increasing number of small businesses being launched by people in their middle years.

Health management is big, and I call it this because boomers want to be involved in their health care. They do not go to the doctors and respond with “yes sir and no sir” as prior generations have done. The baby boomer generation does not take what the doctors say as gospel. Baby boomers want to take part in their health care. They do so by researching online and sharing their thoughts and knowledge with doctors who are willing to listen.

The desire to stay forever young is definitely a continuing trend as the oldest boomers turn age 63 in 2009. “Adult teenagers” is the way Phil Goodman, co-author of the Boomer Marketing Revolution, described boomers. A consultant to the NTA on its boomer market assessment plan, Goodman noted, “Boomers will always try to act much younger than their chronological age.” As a result, boomers still want to fulfill the dreams they had at 25 – even if their bodies aren\’t always willing or able.

Working and playing online, and embracing technology seems to be a big trend for boomers. Boomers are going digital, visiting social networks and watching videos on the Web. It was reported that 41 % visited social networking sites such as Facebook, and 61% of boomer internet users had visited sites that offer streaming and downloadable video. Boomers have Ipods, Web cams, digital cameras, Kindles, etc. Baby boomers make up the Web\’s largest constituency, accounting for one-third of the 195.3 million Web users in the U.S.

Volunteering – boomers want to give back. VolunteerMatch.com is being used by baby boomers to get them started. According to a study done in 2005, nearly a third of boomers were volunteering. That\’s the highest volunteer rate than any other age group, and the number is growing as we have more free time.

Here\’s what I\’m finding. Boomers are volunteering for a cause that is near and dear to their hearts. A perfect example is a baby boomer whose mom experienced hospice care during her death and dying. Her daughter was touched by the service and is choosing to give back to a local hospice center by volunteering during her free hours. I never believed we should have been referred to as the “me generation.” Boomers want to give back!

There are five of my top ten. How do you fit in? Do you have plans to jump on any of the latest trends? Are you a baby boomer trendsetter? If you can think of another trend baby boomers are involved with, email me at dots@nabbw.com. I\’d love to hear from you.

Dotsie Bregel NABBW Founder and CEO
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