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Gray Tsunami Reality Check: The Live Greater View Blog

Gray Tsunami Reality Check: The Live Greater View Blog

March 28, 2024

The Baby Boomer wave seems to be peaking. In fact, this year, more than 12,000 Americans will turn age 65 every day, and this trend will continue for the next 3 years. ¹ Baby Boomers have historically had a significant effect on consumer behavior and lifestyle choices. The Boomer generation, noted for their zest for life, has continued to reimagine the concept of retirement. When asked “How do you picture your retirement years?” Baby Boomers tend to respond first with travel and freedom to explore new hobbies and passions. Boomers are not just booking guided tour bus excursions, they are seeking experiences that include fitness, culture, and education.

Baby Boomers were the first generation to be targeted by fitness advertising and diet trends. Your 65-year-old grandmother who was doing lunges with Jane Fonda on her VCR in the 1980s is on a Pilates retreat and drinking her protein shakes. According to AARP, less than 24 percent of American adults exercised regularly in 1968. That number was up to 59 percent by 1984. This active bunch does more than traditional exercise, they are a generation that is pushing the envelope. Boomers are leading the charge in snow-skiing and kayaking and surfing. “There are more seniors on the slopes than ever because of better ski equipment, better grooming on the mountains and faster chairlifts.” ²

During their youth, Baby Boomers were much more health conscious and a more active generation than their parents. The Silent Generation, the preceding generation to the Boomers, were more likely to slow down in their retirement years and coast into their twilight years. The Boomers are full steam ahead into their “go-go years” and are leading the population in travel. In fact, in 1999, over 593 million international travelers were 60 years and older, which accounted for around one-third of holiday spending. And this number is projected to reach 2 billion trips annually by 2050 — according to the World Tourism Organization. Today older travelers account for the largest travel demographic ever, continuing a trend that had started before the pandemic.

Statistics for travel by all ages over last three years, Squaremoutn.com

Retirees need to plan not only for their retirement lifestyle, but also longevity. According to data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average life expectancy for individuals in the United States is around 78.8 years as of the latest available data. This means that many baby boomers retiring in 2024 can expect to live for several decades into retirement, assuming average life expectancy.

It is important to get a head start on your retirement goals and ask yourself: Do I have enough to retire? What is enough? What does retirement life look like to me? Not everyone wants to travel; you may want to take classes at the local community college, learn a second language or pursue ceramics. Partnering with a financial advisor and building a customized plan around your goals will ensure a better chance of fulfilling your dreams.

If you are not confident in your retirement planning or would like us to review your current approach to retirement planning, please reach out to us! Conveniently schedule time with one of our advisors here: https://www.vlpfa.com/schedule-a-meeting.


  1. Donohue, Paul. “Opinion: The Baby Boom Wave is Cresting” Housingwire, March 1, 2024

  2. Walker, Carolee Belkin. “Are Baby Boomers Too Old to Ski? Probably not” The Washington Post, February 23, 2017

 Disclosures: The opinions are those of the writer, and not the recommendations or responsibility of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC or its representatives. Registered Representative of and securities and Advisory Services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a broker/dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.Authored by Elizabeth Williams, Financial Advisor; 8391 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 203, Vienna, VA 22182.