The Impact of the Baby Boomer Population on Real Estate
The Baby Boomer population is perhaps one of the largest demographic groups in the country with approximately 28% of the total adult population bearing its name. In more concrete terms, there are roughly 74 million adults in the baby boomer population. This is an unprecedented amount of people for one generation and can be traced back to the post-WWII social and economic booms that can be attributed to the United States’ growing presence as a major world power.
Baby Boomer Characteristics
Perhaps the most characterizing aspect of the Baby Boomers is that they are the first generation to be raised with television in the home. This brought a sense of cultural unity to a generation separated by hundreds of miles and scattered all across the United States. Television brought them together through shows like Leave it to Beaver or Father Knows Best as well as through life changing moments like the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War.
Television also helped the Baby Boomers create a distinct rock and roll generation. The Ed Sullivan Show featured The Beatles and spawned a generation of rock and roll. Transistor radios also helped create this same cultural identity. They all could listen to the Motown Sound, Jefferson Airplane, and those associated with Woodstock. Baby Boomers are also characteristically more liberal than their parents and are often associated with the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Movement, and varieties of social and sexual experimentation.
Boomers as adults, however, became some of the most reliable, stable, and traditional people in the United States. Many were married at least once, had two children, and became more like their parents than their teenage selves would have wanted. As adults, conservative Baby Boomers outrank liberals two to one. Why the sudden change from the turbulent, law defying teenagers in the 1960’s? They grew up and realized that rock and roll wouldn’t provide for their children.
Where is the Baby Boomer Money Headed?
Critics of the Baby Boomer Generation believe that they are neglecting the next generation’s future because of their tendency to “live for today” and excessively spend money on items and infrastructures that benefit themselves but not any future generations. Whether or not the critics are correct, trends seem to indicate that a lot of that boomer retirement money is headed south.
The first wave of Boomers is expected to retire this year. Florida is expected to receive a significant portion of Boomer’s retirement funds because it is one of the most popular places for retirement. The Boomers may empty the coffers of the nation, but they’ll be emptying them into Florida’s economy by demanding new buildings, places to shop, entertainment, and dining establishments. The massive impact of this generation is expected to continue as Florida investors look to this segment to provide income via real estate, shopping and numerous other investment opportunities.
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