The Surprising Ways Baby Boomers Tend To Spend Their Cash


Visa projects that baby boomers, age 60 and over, will continue to lead in spending over the next decade. You might guess they’re taking out new mortgages, have increased health-care costs, and love to travel. But did you know they are also heading back to school? 

boomers in college

They’re taking out student loans at an average of $23,000. That’s double the amount from the past decade. They’re exploring careers in consulting, teaching, franchising and internet sales. 

They’re helping to support their adult children. 32% of adults ages 18-34 are still living with their parents. Some due to outstanding student debt and others as a result of underemployment or joblessness. Boomers are more willing to keep their adult children at home, than their parent’s generation, in hopes that better opportunities will come their way. 

Baby boomers spend the most on pets than any other demographic. They invest over $60 billion dollars annually to have their pets shampooed, kenneled and kept healthy. For them, pets are an integral part of the family and often become their closet companions. 

They also purchase electronics. Older boomers, those between 60 and 69, hang on to their laptops and have added smartphones. Those 50-59 prefer their mobile devices and check them often. Why? It’s one of the best ways to keep in touch with their grandchildren.

How do baby boomers spend cash on their grandchildren?

boomers technology with grandchild

While baby boomers represent the biggest consumer spending in the nation, they aren’t an easy sell. They make decisions based upon careful research and plan according to their budgets and family needs. That includes their grandchildren.

They spend over $35 billion per year helping to fund their educations and to offset their living expenses. They’ll send care packages and pick up a few extra groceries–just as they did for their own children. And they love to give gifts.

The younger grandchildren will get traditional games, books, clothing, and toys. The older will receive electronic devices, to keep in touch, and gift cards that may spark a shared shopping trip.

One thing that isn’t surprising about the spending habits of a boomer, is their desire for quality. They want to invest where it’s worthy and give in ways that improve daily life and bolster relationships.

Where do you put your cash?