Baby Boomer Research

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Baby Boomers - Apps and/or Technology

Two apps that baby boomers are adopting and currently using are Facebook and Instagram. Information detailing why these apps are popular with baby boomers is below.


  • A June 2019 survey conducted on 1,000 baby boomers found that the number one app they are using is Facebook and they spend about 60 minutes each day using this app on their mobile devices.
  • According to Forbes, baby boomers use Facebook to share content and do so 19% more than any other generation.
  • Baby boomers also enjoy watching videos on Facebook (54%) for entertainment and informational purposes.
  • This generation is more likely than others to "respond to product and service advertisements," with 36% visiting a video's website, 31% forwarding a video or link, and 22% posting the video or link on social media.
  • Baby boomers also enjoy using Facebook to connect and interact with others. As one baby boomer stated, "I use Facebook daily because so many of my peers and older friends use Facebook, and I like to catch up on [updates]."
  • This generation also prefers to post images on Facebook (52%) rather than updates, quotes, or opinions.


  • Although far more baby boomers are on Facebook than Instagram, the survey found that the second-most popular app baby boomers are using is Instagram and they spend about 44 minutes each day using this app on their mobile devices.
  • Baby boomers are increasingly using Instagram as a place to find ideas from influencers as the "premise of social influencer marketing — trustworthy and charismatic individuals incorporating a brand into posts — resonates with boomers who prefer word of mouth marketing."
  • This generation spends significant time researching products and many baby boomers are using Instagram for that purpose.
  • Many of Instagram's top influencers are over the age of 50, which attracted baby boomers to the platform.
  • Baby boomers respond to video and images on Instagram and use the platform to visually express themselves.
  • How-to videos on Instagram are the most popular type of content with baby boomers.
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Baby Boomers - Advertising Campaigns

Two recent examples of advertising campaigns that have resonated with baby boomers include Unlimited 55 by T-Mobile and Snow Ball Real Estate by Geico. Details regarding these campaigns have been provided below.

T-Mobile Unlimited 55

  • T-Mobile targeted baby boomers by unveiling a new data plan.
  • The phone carrier’s marketing strategists leveraged on the fact that older adults were mostly interested in connecting with their family and friends when purchasing phones.
  • For this reason, the company unveiled the Unlimited 55 data plan, which targeted customers who were 55 years and older.
  • The campaign resonated with baby boomers since it concentrated on meeting their primary needs. The plan focused on giving them unlimited talk time, text, and high speed data. The company also used older adults in their advertisements to appeal to the target market.

Geico Snow Ball Real Estate

  • Geico created ads that primarily targeted baby boomers to attract more customers from the demographic.
  • The company targeted baby boomers on the channels where they consumed media and developed advertisements that were appealing to them. Geico focused on both modern and traditional marketing channels.
  • The campaign resonated with baby boomers because Geico used content and imagery that got the attention of baby boomers. Their advertisements spoke to the aspirations of the demographic and provided solutions to the problems they were facing.
  • An example of an advertisement the company ran to target baby boomers was the Snow Globe Real-Estate ad for its Home & Condo insurance offering.

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Baby Boomers - News and Information

Baby boomers in the US (born between 1946-1964) mostly rely on TV to get news, followed by online news websites and radio. However, baby boomers spend more time online than watching TV and are more likely to share content.
  • Based on the research findings of Reuters (global population), the main sources that Baby boomers (55+) get their news is as follows: TV (51%), online including social media (28%), print (11%), radio (7%), social media (7%).
  • A Pew Research study found that the news sources that were "often" used among US adults aged 50-64 were: TV (65%), news websites (28%), radio (28%), print newspapers (18%), social media (14%). For US adults aged 65+, the findings were: TV (81%), print newspapers (39%), radio (30%), news websites (28%), and social media (8%).
  • DMN3 has found that while baby boomers are heavy consumers of television programming, they spend much more time online. Around 35% of boomers spend more than 19 hours a week online compared to 25% who spend the same time on television. DMN3 has also cited a Google/Ipsos study which found that the internet is the top source for gathering information on topics of interest for consumers aged 45+.
  • The DMN3 study also found that television was the strongest influence to get baby boomers to search online for information. "Television was significantly better for prompting boomers to search online than any other source, including friends and spouse/significant other."
  • Baby boomers are 19% more likely to share content compared to other generations. It was also found that 60% of baby boomers read blog posts every week, while 70% watch online videos. Nearly half of all Baby Boomers will search for recommendations and reviews online or conduct research on a company’s website before making a purchase.
  • AARP survey findings show that nine out of ten US adults aged 50+ use their smartphones to get news, surf the internet and access social media.
  • According to eMarketer estimates, 8.2 million baby boomers in the US (an 28.6% increase from 2017) have used a smart speaker (a standalone device that includes voice assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home) at least once per month in 2018. This demographic was using speakers for simple tasks such as asking for news.
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Baby Boomers - Spending Habits

Baby boomers constitute the majority of spending in the U.S. economy. Their spending power, which is about $2.6 trillion, has positively impacted economic growth. They tend to spend the majority of their money on pets, vacations, new houses, and cable and satellite television. Moreover, baby boomers are apprehensive about omnichannel grocery and buying new vehicles.

More on Healthcare and Fitness Equipment

  • Nearly 92% of baby boomers are online shoppers and average shopping at least twice a month online. Their interest in online shopping is primarily on fitness equipment, vitamins, and healthy foods.
  • Their commitment to achieving a more active and healthier lifestyle, as well as becoming senior citizens, has seen them spend significantly on medicines and other health-related products.
  • They helped drive the sales of dietary supplements in 2016 to $132.8 billion, and the sales are projected to reach $220.3 billion in 2022.

Leisure and Travel

Pets and Sustainable Products

  • In 2014, Boomers spent about $30 billion on pets. In 2015, they accounted for 34.4% of over $67 billion that was spent on pets
  • Every year they spend more on pets than other generations. This is attributed to the fact that most boomers are not working, and they prefer to have something to parent and keep them company.
  • According to the 2018 Holiday Survey of Customers by Deloitte, about 59% of baby boomers are willing to pay more for products that are sustainable, social and environmentally conscious.


  • According to Kantar Retail, every year baby boomers are spending more on house repairs and renovations, while others are buying new houses. The 2017 State of Home Spending Report by HomeAdvisor shows that over $5,600 is spent by baby boomers on home upgrades, which include things like nonslip doors, increased lighting, bathroom grab bars, wide doorways, and curbless showers.
  • According to a survey by Leger for Royal LePage on baby boomers, "45% are most likely to purchase a detached home, 32% are most likely to purchase a condominium, while 10% noted strongest interest in a semi-detached townhome and 5% said a recreational property."

Cable and Satellite Television

They are Hesitant about Omnichannel Grocery

  • Unlike other generations, baby boomers are hesitant about omnichannel grocery activities. A survey by Food Marketing Group revealed that only 14% of boomers are buying their groceries online, while 72% always frequent in-store grocery stores because they want to experience good customer service.

Apprehensive About New Vehicles

Less Likely to Spend in Stores With Poor Customer Service

  • According to LoyaltyOne Survey, 54% of boomers are more unlikely to return to a store with poor customer service, is messy, or if the products are disappointing.

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Baby Boomers - Brand and Companies

Home Depot, Lowe's, and Amazon are some brands that Baby Boomers are shopping from and using. Some reasons for the popularity of these brands among Baby Boomers include omnichannel capabilities, convenience, and innovative products, among others.

Home Depot

  • The Morning Consult study, which surveyed over 400,000 consumers, found that Home Depot is the second most popular brand among Baby Boomers.
  • One of the reasons why baby boomers are more inclined towards the retailer is because it stocks most of the home improvement products that they are interested in. They are gravitating towards Home Depot as the leading home improvement store in the US.
  • As compared to other generations such as Millennials and Gen X’ers and Z’ers, Baby boomers are all about home improvement. One study found that Baby Boomers favor home improvements over downsizing.
  • The report also found that “boomers are also planning to tackle some key home improvements as they age in place. Of the 6% of Baby Boomers that own a home, 88% are looking to renovate in the next three years”.
  • Baby Boomers have been Home Depot’s primary target audience, and most of their marketing efforts are focused on capturing their attention. Some factors that have helped Home Depot to navigate through the retail landscape and to which customers are attracted (including Baby Boomers) include its innovative products and interconnected customer experience.
  • Home Depot is focused on extending its relationships with customers, and the efforts have paid off in terms of attracting higher spend by customers. Factors as shorter delivery windows and expanded delivery options have worked best to keep customers (the majority being baby boomers) happy.


  • Lowe’s is the more popular among baby boomers than in other generations, with 80% of people having a positive opinion about the brand.
  • Research shows that a majority of Baby Boomers are online shoppers and interested in retailers that offer an omnichannel experience for customers.
  • Lowe’s as a retailer has invested in omnichannel experience, a factor that has attracted many customers (including Baby Boomers) and driven the retailer’s online sales.
  • Some of Lowe’s competitive advantages that attract baby boomers as customers include its attractive store set-ups, broad product portfolio, great customer relations, and efficient supply chain.


  • According to the Morning Consult survey, Amazon was one of the brands most favored by baby boomers. [2]
  • Baby boomers' shopping habits point to a generation that is pro online shopping. Statistics indicate that 92% of people in this generation shop online for various products such as fitness equipment and health foods.
  • Baby Boomers love brands that offer a variety of products and from which it is easy to find their desired merchandise.
  • Amazon is a convenient choice for baby boomers owing to its wide range of product portfolio, convenience, and fair prices. Given the baby boomers’ online shopping habits, Amazon, as the leading e-commerce site, is a perfect destination for the generation.

Research Strategy

In an attempt to find the needed information on brands/companies that Baby Boomers shop from and use, we utilized industry publications and articles, reliable surveys, and media outlet news. From a study by Morning Consult, cited by various publications such as Considerable and Pulse, we established some popular brands and researched each of the identified brands' (Home Depot, Lowe's, and Amazon) websites and press releases for information specific to why Baby Boomers prefer them.
While we found limited information on why Baby Boomers love the specific brands in question, we were able to find general factors and reasons as to why customers (in general) like the brands. Because we established that baby boomers are part of the brands' larger audience, the research team decided that the factors general to customers also apply to Baby Boomers.
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Baby Boomers - General Views on Investing

The baby boomer generation is a risky generation that is fearless when it comes to investments. They are focused mainly on stock investments and bypass the safer bond investments. Compared with other generations, they are less interested in digital investments like cryptocurrency. However, there is a small faction that is investing in this market. The best advice from baby boomers about investments is to stay invested in the long-term.

Baby Boomers are Investing in Risky Stocks

  • Baby boomers are now more prepared to retire than a few years ago. However, they are also risking their savings due to investing so heavily in the stock market. In the words of Meghan Murphy, "If there was a market downturn, they could lose a significant chunk of what they’ve worked so hard to save."
  • According to the calculations of Fidelity, "50% of American baby boomers have their 401(k) holdings invested in riskier allocations than Fidelity recommends for their age group." It is important to mention that 8% of baby boomers have their entire holdings invested in stocks.
  • 63% of the baby boomers' accounts and their holdings from the Roth IRA savings plan retirement is invested in equities, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Boomers and Bonds

  • Investment in bonds is a safer way to increase one's saving funds. The risk is lower than investments in stocks. However, according to Jared Dillian from Marketwatch, 80%-90% of baby boomers have their savings invested in stocks instead of bonds.
  • In the past few years, baby boomers mentioned this rule of thumb: The percentage of their savings allocated in bonds must be equivalent to their number of years. So if someone was 65 years old, that person should have a 65% investment allocation in bonds.
  • Bonds go down slower than stocks. For example, "stocks may have gone down almost 60% from 2007-2009, but a 35/65 portfolio of stocks and bonds only went down 24%". Despite this fact, baby boomers don't care about risking their life savings investing in stocks.

Baby Boomers' Investments Compared with Other Ages

  • According to data analyzed by Legg Mason and Raconteur, 49% of baby boomers are less confident about their investment opportunities in the next 12 months compared to millennials. 49% of them have confidence, while 66% of millennials have confidence.
  • According to data from LendEDU, American baby boomers were asked how they would allocate money if they were given $10,000. They were more interested in paying down debts than in investments into cryptocurrencies compared with millennials, who are currently 23% of investors in cryptocurrency.

Baby Boomers and Markets Investment Perceptions

  • According to a survey of 998 people by Clovr, the baby boomer generation is least interested in cryptocurrency investments. It was revealed that only 18.3% of the surveyed baby boomers invested in cryptocurrencies.
  • The markets that baby boomers would never invest in are junk bonds as rated by 58.3% of those surveyed, lottery by 47.2%, penny stocks by 52%, venture capital/startups by 38.9%, and cryptocurrencies by 37.6%.
  • The market investments perceived as most risky by baby boomers are the venture capital/startup market as rated by 95.9% of those surveyed, cryptocurrencies by 93%, and stocks by 90%. Each percentage figure is the total percentage of respondents who responded as "somewhat to extremely risky" when they were asked about each market.

Rules of Investment Essential to Baby Boomers

  • The first essential rule is to "Stay invested for the long term." 92% of the 400 American baby boomers surveyed by APCO Insight answered that by investing more time in the market, they could save more money for retirement.
  • The second and third rules of baby boomer investment are to "Keep an eye on fees" and "Diversify your portfolio." 94% of baby boomers surveyed agreed on the importance of knowing what fees they are paying. 85% said that putting their money in different investments is the best way to achieve success.
  • The two last rules from baby boomers are to "Protect yourself against market downturns" and "start saving early and often." 79% said that they think it is important to invest a portion of their regular monthly income. 60% said that they wished they had started investing as young as possible.

Research Strategy

For this request, we researched reliable sources like CNBC and Marketwatch. In those sites, it was possible to find information regarding the preferences of baby boomers investing into stocks instead of bonds. On the Raconteur and Clovr websites, we found reliable data on the investment market preferences of baby boomers. Lastly, on the Business Insider website, we found crucial information about some rules that baby boomers follow when they invest in different markets.
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Baby Boomers - General Views App usage for Investing

A review of the latest research suggests that while Baby Boomers are strong adopters of digital tools for money management in general, they are more reluctant to trust an app for their financial management needs.

High Adoption of Digital Money Management

  • Despite the fact that Baby Boomers are 2.5 times less likely to be early adopters of new technology than Millennials, and are still on the fringes of adopting many financial technologies (e.g., only 8% of Baby Boomers currently invest in cryptocurrencies), recent data from the American Bankers Association and Javelin indicates that this older generation has a relatively high comfort level with digital money management tools.
  • According to the American Bankers Association, approximately 71% of Baby Boomers in America use online banking services at least once a week.
  • Moreover, according to market researcher Javelin, about two out of every three Baby Boomers manage their checking accounts primarily through digital tools.
  • Meanwhile, the American Bankers Association and Javelin also indicate that Baby Boomers' comfort with digital money management and adoption of associated online tools is similar to that of younger generations such as Millennials.

Mixed Adoption of Financial Apps

  • However, Baby Boomer's trust of digital tools for money management does not appear to extend fully to financial apps.
  • Somewhat encouragingly, a recent report by Bankrate found that a strong 41% of people over 55 years of age have installed at least one full-service banking app on their phone.
  • However, the American Bankers Association and Javelin report that only a small subset of Baby Boomers actively use smartphone apps to monitor accounts or perform other banking tasks, at only 18% and 16% of this older generation, respectively.
  • Similarly, Bankrate research suggests that Baby Boomers are three times less likely than Millennials to handle their banking business on their phones.

Preference for Money Management Online vs. in Apps

  • Overall, this difference in Baby Boomer's usage of online financial tools versus financial apps appears to reflect Baby Boomer's preferences (or lack thereof) specifically related to apps.
  • According to Javelin, Baby Boomers "turn first" to online banking, whereas younger generations appear to prefer mobile options.
  • Notably, a report published by the World Economic Forum also found that few Baby Boomers (35%) believe that it is important to manage all aspects of their personal finance needs through an app, compared to a majority of Millennials (66%).
  • Additionally, Baby Boomers are "more hesitant" about add-ons like artificial intelligence-based recommendations, with only 30% of this older generation seeing AI as integral to an online financial platform compared with 67% of Millennials.
  • Overall, research published by Javelin, the World Economic Forum and Raconteur indicates that Baby Boomers are more comfortable and ready to use more traditional online banking services over mobile options.

Concerns Over Security

  • According to financial experts such as BBVA, one reason for Baby Boomers lack of trust and acceptance of financial apps is their heightened concern over security.
  • Notably, Baby Boomers are the top demographic target in the US for fraud, and report losing $2.9 billion annually, according to the American Bankers Association.
  • Additionally, a recent survey by Wells Fargo revealed that almost all (90%) of Baby Boomers have received calls or emails that they believed were "scams."
  • As a result, Baby Boomers (66%) are twice as likely as Millennials (33%) to be concerned about protecting the safety and security of their IoT devices.
  • Similarly, Baby Boomers are twice as likely as Millennials to avoid staying signed into online banking accounts.
  • A separate study by OpenVPN found that this older generation is also more likely to use higher levels of security (such as biometric passwords) as well as to thoroughly read and understand privacy policies before accepting them, at 65% and 90% of Baby Boomers, respectively.

Other Deterring Factors

  • In addition to security concerns, research suggests a few other factors that may contribute to Baby Boomers' lack of acceptance for financial apps.
  • For example a study by TD Bank Group suggested that Baby Boomers in general believe that they are less knowledgeable, and are therefore more hesitant or intimidated when considering digital financial tools.
  • Corroborating this finding, the World Economic Forum found that only 23% of Baby Boomers feel confident about their investment knowledge, compared with 42% of Millennials.
  • Additionally, FINRA found that Baby Boomers still much prefer working "face to face" with financial professionals overall, at 60% of the generation.

Fintech Industry Remains Optimistic about Online Conversion

  • Despite these factors, recent developments within the fintech industry demonstrate that the financial services sector remains committed and confident regarding Baby Boomers' continued adoption of digital financial tools.
  • According to researcher CB Insights, a "growing number" of fintech companies are designing and introducing products that specifically target Baby Boomers.
  • These services range dramatically from digital estate planning and financial collaboration tools to more traditional online fraud prevention and financial education offerings.
  • Overall, a variety of financial institutions (e.g., American Bankers Association, BBVA) and researchers (e.g., CB Insights) suggest that Baby Boomers will be an increasingly attractive market for digital money management tools going forward.
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Baby Boomers - General Views on Retirement

The first Baby Boomers to reach age 65 occurred in 2011, and from now until 2030, that number will grow by 10,000 each day. In other words that is 70,000 per week and over 280,000 per month. Insights, statistics, and data surrounding how this cohort views retirement are detailed below.
  • Statistics show that Baby Boomers are choosing to work well into their retirement years, and collectively, their next challenge is entrepreneurship. In fact, many retirees are deciding to open and own their own businesses.
  • According to an Express Employment Professional poll of 1,500 U.S. workers between 54 and 72 years old, conducted by Harris Poll, some Baby Boomers have decided to keep working in their chosen profession, others are slowly easing into retirement by moving to part-time work. Then there are the Boomers who decided, after retiring, that they wanted to come back to work after all.
  • The reason Baby Boomers might want to keep working in their profession could be surrounding how it makes them feel as a person. Of those Boomers still in the workforce, half or more said it made them feel knowledgeable, confident and valued.
  • Not all Boomers nearing retirement report working longer because they simply want to keep busy and feel useful. The Baby Boomers that said they would never be able to quit working and retire said they felt "overwhelmed, frustrated, and old." Many older workers keep working in order to need to pay for their living expenses, as well as help their elderly parents or young adult children.
  • According to a survey by most Baby Boomers believe they’ll be able to retire by age 68, but this may be unrealistic based on their real financial needs. Personal finance experts generally suggest ensuring that you have about 8 times your annual salary by age 60. Based on an annual income of $57,000 a year that would be about $456,000.
  • Before 2008, the Baby Boomers of today were a lot more optimistic about retirement. According to statistics, in that year, about 43 percent said they fully expected personal savings or earnings from a job to be their primary source of income during their retirement years.
  • Baby Boomers are not just likely to control an outsized portion of disposable income over the next decade; they will likely spend a larger portion of that income as well, according to a new Cushman & Wakefield report.
  • A survey found that 84% of Baby Boomers would rather shop in-store to doing so online. Only 27% of this cohort in the survey considered shopping to be a leisure activity. Boomers may seek to reintroduce retail spending as a leisure activity rather than one purely focused on efficiency, without a busy work schedule, although convenience is paramount for the aging population.
  • It's pretty commonplace these days for Baby Boomers to continue to work well into their 60s, 70s or even 80s. Some decide to continue working because they need the money. Others love what they do and can't imagine not doing it anymore. Or, they just need to stay busy. Increasingly, older Americans are choosing to stay in their jobs or find new challenges that will keep them engaged.
  • According to Sandra McPeak, managing director of investments at Wells Fargo Advisors, the most interesting older workers are those who decide to un-retire. "A lot of times, people, when they retire, think they will have all this time. They think they can catch up. But after a while, they are drumming their fingers. They feel out of it. They don't feel engaged. They feel like they aren't contributing."
  • "Over the past 20 years, the share of Americans working in their 70s has risen from less than 10% to nearly 15%, according to US Census bureau data."
  • Ultimately, everyone’s retirement scenario is unique, and people choose to retire at different times in their lives for different reasons. Whether they dread retirement and choose to stay in the workforce, or whether they cannot wait to close the door on that chapter of their lives, Baby Boomers are making the best decisions for themselves and their happiness.
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Baby Boomers - Gender Views on Retirement

Around 10,000 baby boomers in the United States are retiring every day. Both men and women baby boomers are confident that they will have adequate resources to enable them to live a comfortable life 25 years into retirement. Insights, statistics, and data surrounding how men and women in this cohort view retirement differently are detailed below.

Knowledge of Future Retirement Benefits

  • People who are planning to retire need detailed knowledge of government benefits available to them. Presently, 65% of Americans who have retired "rely on Social Security for more than half of their income." Among baby boomers, just 47% of women admit to knowing a lot about Social Security benefits, compared to 54% of men.
  • Also, 59% of baby boomers believe Social Security will provide most of their required income when they retire. However, statistics forecast that retirees "will be collecting 75% of their Social Security benefits by 2035."

Baby Boomers in America Continue to Work After Attaining Retirement Age

  • Baby Boomers, with 10,000 retiring daily, are choosing to do it differently than their predecessors. They are retiring later or choosing not to retire at all, with traditional retirements, where we have one-time permanent withdrawals from the labor market, in the minority in the last two decades. Some choose to keep working by transitioning from career employment to bridge employment, before retiring. They decide to re-enter the labor market in different jobs and companies. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, baby boomers have not saved enough and 41% plan to work past the 65 year age mark.
  • One research on the retirement patterns of the early and middle baby boomers, led by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that around "7 out of 8 men (86%) and 7 out of 10 women (72%) of the respondents were working after attaining the retirement age. Also, 53% of the men and 37% of the women had full-time career jobs."

Saving for Retirement

  • A survey of 5,000 workers by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson found that both men and women feel that it is important to save for retirement, but the issue ranks as the highest financial priority among men. The survey also found that generally, 54% of men and 39% of women were confident that they would possess adequate resources to enable them to live a comfortable life 25 years into retirement.
  • When it came to baby boomers, the views were similar among both genders as 49% of both men and women were confident that they would possess adequate resources to enable them to live a comfortable life 25 years into retirement.

Baby Boomers are Taking up Entrepreneurship

  • As people live longer, their behavior and attitudes toward retirement have changed. Women live longer and this can lead to them outliving their savings. Baby boomers now consider work as part of retirement and many are deciding to work into their golden years. They are taking up entrepreneurship as a new challenge and are opening new businesses.
  • Research on the retirement patterns of the early and middle baby boomers, led by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that the prevalence among respondents that were self-employment and held a full-time job at the time the survey was carried out, was around "twice as high among men as it is among women, reflecting earlier research on self-employment transitions at older ages."

Baby Boomer Women Feel Loss of Identity Tied to Retirement

  • Baby boomer women’s participation in the labor force has been high, at 25%, since “they have been more likely to be in the labor force than earlier generations.” This is compared with 34% of baby boomer men that were participating in the labor force in 2018, a figure that had never been reached since the early 1970s.
  • According to Bethesda Health, baby boomer women in the United States feel a sense of loss of identity and value tied to retirement. This is because the demographic is the first big group of career women to retire. The women's movement helped women in the demographic to get jobs. However, as they retire, the career woman identity is fading.
  • Baby boomer women have to grapple with outdated attitudes and notions of who they were and embrace a new path and identity in retirement.

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Baby Boomers - Most Asked Questions Surrounding Retirement

While the questions most frequently asked by boomers before and upon retirement are not publicly available, a number of articles indicate that the retirement questions Americans most commonly ask center on (a) how much money they need to retire or how much money they need to save for retirement, (b) how they can retire, (c) when they can retire, (d) how they can retire early or whether they should retire early, and (e) where they should retire or what they should do in retirement.

Helpful Findings

  • MarketWatch, Retirement Watch USA, CNBC, U.S. News, and The Balance have each published an article listing the retirement questions Americans most frequently ask.
  • These five lists indicate that the retirement questions that Americans most commonly ask revolve around how much money is needed to retire or how much money should be saved for retirement, how to retire, when to retire, how to retire early or whether to retire early, and where to retire or what to do in retirement.
  • The question of how much money is needed to retire or how much money should be saved for retirement was mentioned in the list that MarketWatch, Retirement Watch USA, U.S. News, and The Balance have each provided.
  • The question of how to retire was mentioned in the list that MarketWatch, U.S. News, and The Balance have each provided.
  • The question of when to retire was mentioned in the list that MarketWatch and U.S. News have each provided.
  • The question of how to retire early or whether to retire early was mentioned in the list that MarketWatch and U.S. News have each provided.
  • The question of where to retire or what to do in retirement was mentioned in the list that MarketWatch and U.S. News have each provided.
  • Most Americans start thinking about retirement in their 20s or 30s.

Research Strategy

To determine the questions that boomers most commonly ask before and upon retirement, we started by looking for recent articles or reports that readily list the most frequently asked retirement questions. MarketWatch, Retirement Watch USA, CNBC, U.S. News, and The Balance have each published an article listing the most commonly asked retirement questions, but unfortunately, there is no clear indication that it is boomers who ask these questions, and there is no breakdown of questions into questions asked before retirement and questions asked upon retirement.

Thinking that a survey may have touched on this topic, we proceeded to find surveys of boomers or older adults and their habits surrounding retirement. We kept in mind that boomers are those individuals born in years 1946-64. There are several surveys of boomers and retirement in the public domain, such as those commissioned by the Insured Retirement Institute, the Express Employment Professionals, and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. However, they do not cover boomers’ most frequently asked retirement questions. They only offer information on topics such as retirement expectations, retirement preparedness, and retirement perceptions. Organizations studying retirement appear to be more interested in these topics than in frequently asked questions.

Forbes has published an article listing five questions people must answer before and during retirement, and Investopedia has published an article listing six questions people approaching retirement must answer, so as our last resort, we compared the most frequently asked questions with these ‘must-answer before and during’ questions and checked for commonalities. We were unable to find commonalities among the commonly asked questions and the must-answer questions, however.

As the retirement questions boomers most commonly ask cannot be reliably determined with publicly available information, we presented instead the most frequently asked questions. For ease of comparison, we placed all the questions we were able to gather in a spreadsheet. The questions were listed by article.

From Part 08