The Boomers Are Coming! 5 Things You Need to Know

This week, I contributed to Chain Drug Review with a piece titled, “As baby boomer generation ages, its needs will change,” in which I examined how retailers will need to evolve to keep up with the changing needs of the aging baby boomer population. Here are 5 of my key findings:

  • The baby boomer population will drive US population growth. Between 2015 and 2035, the population of those 65-and-older is expected to increase almost 65%, growing by 30 million. Meanwhile, the non-senior population will increase only 5%, growing by 13 million.
  • Seniors are staying put. Migration peaks in the post-college years and then trends downward into people’s mid-70s. Only about 5% of seniors move each year, including local moves to smaller residences.
  • Boomers want to feel hip and young, but understand they have different needs. Young seniors don’t like shopping in stores targeted to seniors. So rather than creating dedicated offerings, retailers will need to offer product and service extensions for senior shoppers.
  • Seniors will tend to remain in fairly good health from ages 50 to 69. During these years, their needs for prescription drugs will remain stable. They will largely look like their pre-senior selves in terms of spending on clothing and food.
  • Spending on health will significantly increase as boomers reach their mid-70s. Their spending on healthcare will more than double (from over $15,000 to nearly $35,000). Seniors over 80 will receive 70% more prescriptions than those in their 60s and they will be much more likely to move to a senior facility.

Read my full Chain Drug Review contribution here.

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