12 Surprising Ways Baby Boomers are Spending Their Money

MANAGE MONEY - BUDGETING
Money in, money out. Just what are baby boomers spending money on these days?
Updated April 3, 2023
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group of happy senior couples on beach

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Baby boomers hold roughly 51% of the wealth in the United States. It makes perfect sense to check out not just how much money baby boomers have, but what they’re spending that money on every year.

A common assumption is that baby boomers never spend money and prefer conservative investments only.

But you might be surprised to find that the generation is spending like the rest of us — and even throwing their money away.

Here are 12 ways baby boomers are spending their money.

Housing

whitcomberd/Adobe an aerial shot of urban houses

Housing is still at the top of the list. Even if baby boomers have a fully paid-off house, they still have to take care of property taxes, repairs, maintenance, etc.

Across the United States, property taxes are on the rise as cities scramble to fund schools and other municipal services.

Dining out

Robert Kneschke/Adobe senior couple looking at a restaurant menu

Dining out is one of the top priorities for not just baby boomers, but for millennials and Gen Z as well.

Consumers consider going out to restaurants a top form of entertainment, but it isn’t just dining out that forms a big chunk of spending.

Delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats are also forming part of that dining-out budget, especially as contactless delivery demand increases.

Gym memberships

Travis/Adobe set of dumbbells' in a gym

Fitness is a high priority for baby boomers. So it makes sense that this generation is spending money on gym memberships for a few reasons.

For one, the gym helps them stay in good shape but it can also help stave off serious health conditions like osteoporosis. The gym is also a great place to make connections and stay social, something that helps maintain mental health.

Finally, the gym provides healthy challenges to keep the mind sharp and active.

Vacations

Alessandro Biascioli/Adobe senior travelling on a yacht holding hands

Travel isn’t just for baby boomers, but given that they have the time to take more trips, it makes sense that vacations are high on the list.

Baby boomers value experiences, and the experience of getting away from home to try new things and create memories is extremely important.

Coffee

fabiomax/Adobe cup of coffee placed on a table with coffee beans

It doesn’t sound like it would be a top spending category, but coffee is one of the top splurges for baby boomers.

Going beyond just Folgers, boomers are looking for the best coffee money can buy, and they don’t mind making it a regular purchase.

Gifts for family and friends

colnihko/Adobe gift boxes wrapped in brown paper

This is a generation that wants to create fond memories, so it makes sense that giving gifts to family and friends is incredibly important.

Honoring milestones like new births, graduations, and first housewarmings are all important opportunities for gift-giving, and baby boomers step up to the occasion.

Electronics

bongkarn/Adobe digital devices on desk

Contrary to popular belief, baby boomers are much more tech-savvy than the stereotypes give them credit.

Indeed, more seniors are embracing technology as a way to make new connections, stay in touch with family, and be much more mobile than their parents were in the past.

Smartphones, tablets, and smart home components like Ring doorbells and Alexa-equipped speakers are growing in popularity.

Supplements

JPC-PROD/Adobe jars with medicines

Like other arenas of health, seniors aren’t afraid to invest in supplement purchases, which ultimately become recurring purchases by design.

Once you find a supplement that works, you want to keep taking it, creating a monthly purchase that can add up.

From supplements that are supposed to address aging to others for low energy, supplements are a multi-billion business in the US, and there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon.

New clothes

alotofpeople/Adobe senior couple shopping in a mall

While millennials and Gen Z get all of the attention for clothes shopping, baby boomers do quite a bit of hunting for new clothes on their own.

Not only do seniors spend good money on clothing, but they’re also driving a new retail renaissance. They want to do their shopping in stores, where they can try on clothes easier and evaluate fabric options in person.

Pets and pet accessories

pololia/Adobe senior lady sitting on her couch with dog

A dog might be man’s best friend, but seniors are looking to make sure that their best friends are well taken care of.

Pet care is a huge industry with multiple offshoots, from veterinary care to training, all the way up to pet outfits to allow the four-legged members of the pack to match their owners.

Education

THANANIT/Adobe young man raising hand in lecture room

It might surprise some to find that baby boomers spend money on education, but there are a few points of interest.

Indeed, education isn’t just for their personal development. Baby boomers are looking to help the younger members of their families achieve their dreams.

Paying for education-related expenses can help bridge the gaps high school and college students face.

Personal care products and services

Seventyfour/Adobe old lady having head massage at a spa centre

Personal care products and services cover a wide range of goods, from customized shampoo and conditioner sets up to facials, fillers, waxes, massages, and services from medical spas.

Wellness is a wide category, and baby boomers feel spending money on personal care is money well spent.

Bottom line

pressmaster/Adobe senior man smiling at a notepad

Of course, spending habits only cover part of the story. Baby boomers represent not just spending, but increased costs of aging as well.

Ongoing health care costs for baby boomers are expected to rise. A 65-year-old couple may spend around $275,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses.

While baby boomers are not the only generation spending money, their spending habits do influence products and services across a wide variety of industries.

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