Why millennials are more like baby boomers than they realize

Millennials have shown in recent years there are many things they don’t like, from dinner dates, to cruises, to bars of soap and even paper napkins.

One thing they’re keeping alive and well? Political events and protests. In many ways, in fact, they are just like their older relatives were in the 1960s. That’s according to a new survey of 2,000 adults out today from Eventbrite, an event-planning website. About 28 percent of millennials have attended a live event supporting a cause in the last year, compared to 15 percent of those in older generations. Some 62 percent of millennials also said they attend more cause-related events now than they did 10 years ago.

Though Americans are more divided than ever, those that share the same political views are desperate to connect with each other and protests provide the perfect opportunity, experts say. And the same political divisiveness and social change during the 1960s and 1970s led their parents and grandparents to protest.

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 were the most likely age group to have gone to a protest since the 2016 presidential election, according to a separate Huffington Post poll in February. Some 24 percent of adults in that age group said they had gone to a rally or demonstration since the election, compared to about 10 percent of those who are older. Younger people are more likely to vote Democrat, which is one likely reason for their activism, as that study noted.

This isn’t the first survey that has shown millennials prioritize spending on experiences, rather than possessions. Some 47 percent of U.S. millennials said traveling was one of their two or three top spending priorities in the next several years, compared to 42 percent who said they prioritized buying a home, 47 percent who plan to buy a car and 42 percent who prioritize paying off debt, according to a 2016 survey of 1,000 adults the travel company Airbnb, which obviously has a vested interest in people taking trips. Those responding could select two or three of their top priorities.

And 39 percent of millennials spend 15 percent or more of their annual incomes on vacations, according to a May 2017 survey of 1,000 adults from the financial-planning company LearnVest. Almost half of millennials are willing to go into debt to go on a vacation, compared to 37 percent of those in Generation X and 18 percent of boomers, LearnVest found.

Millennials go on more business trips than those in older generations do, and as a result, sometimes tack on a few personal travel days to those trips, a trend called “bleisure,” according to Swapnil Shinde, the chief executive and co-founder of Mezi, an app that provides tools for travelers to plan their trips. More than half of millennials said they planned to travel frequently in the next five years, compared to 32.1 percent of baby boomers, according to a 2016 survey from American Express.

Baby Boomers taking to social media in greater numbers

The cliché of embarrassing older relatives appearing on Facebook has been around for a few years now, and increasingly there is some truth to it, according to telecoms regulator Ofcom, which has just published its annual Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes report.

The report, which was compiled from data collected during two different studies between autumn 2016 and February 2017, found that record numbers of older people in the UK are now embracing social media, with 48% of online Baby Boomers – 65 to 74-year-olds – having their own profile, and 41% of over-75s.

Most of these profiles were found on Facebook, to which about nine out of 10 social seniors gravitate. Only 6% were to be found on WhatsApp, and just 1% on Instagram.

However, older people were still spending much less time online in an average week than young adults – around 15 hours compared with 32 hours among 16 to 24-year-olds.

“The UK’s older generation is beginning to embrace smart technology, and using it to keep in touch with friends and family,” said Ofcom head of media literacy, Alison Preston.

“But some older people lack confidence online, or struggle to navigate search results. Many are new to the internet, so we would encourage people to help older friends or family who need support getting connected.”

According to Ofcom, one-fifth of over-65s said they lacked confidence online, especially when it came to managing their personal data, or considering the privacy implications of posting photographs on social media.

Others expressed concerns over how to differentiate sponsored links from genuine search results, or how to recognise targeted advertising compiled from their browser cookies.

Despite the adoption of social media and smart devices among older people – 39% of Baby Boomers and 15% of over-75s now own a smartphone – 56% of over-75s do not go online at all, and of those, 86% said they had no plans to.

Google Named America’s Most Desirable Place to Work, Except if You’re a Republican Baby Boomer

The market research firm Morning Consult recently asked 220,000 Americans which company they’d be the proudest to work for. While the study has few surprises, there is one anomaly that’s worthy of attention.

Without getting into the methodology, surveys like this are more a measure of brand familiarity and product attractiveness rather than an informed desire to work for a certain company.

For example, the number two firm for men was Harley-Davidson. It’s likely that most of the men who chose that firm were thinking employee discount on a cool set of wheels rather than the company’s decadelong series of layoffs.

Similarly, when women rated Hershey’s number seven (it didn’t even make the top 10 for men), I suspect they were envisioning free samples rather than the company’s widely criticized use of child labor to harvest cocoa beans.

Anyway, the most consistent winner of the popularity contest was Google, which was the number one choice overall as well as the number one choice regardless of sex, education level, yearly earnings, or national geography.

In other words, Google “ran the board” of this popularity contest with only two exceptions: Republicans, who rated Google number three, and Baby Boomers, who rated Google number seven. What gives?

Well, if you look at their top 10 choices, Republicans and Baby Boomers tend to favor traditional manufacturers like Harley-Davidson, Lockheed Martin, John Deere, and Boeing, all of which are notably absent from the Democrats’ and Millennials’ lists.

Similarly, Democrats tend to like disruptive innovators like Tesla and Netflix, neither of which made the Republicans’ list. Same thing with Millennials, who liked YouTube and Netflix, neither of which made the Baby Boomers’ list.

So perhaps the best way to characterize this cultural divide is that young progressives tend to look to the future when envisioning a place to work, while old conservatives tend to look to the past.

Which, I suppose, isn’t all that surprising.

Balinghou, Baby Boomers and China’s one-child policy

Demographics – the makeup of a given population – can have a huge impact on an economy and different industries. And a major demographic event is taking shape in China right now. For investors who can see what’s happening, it presents a major opportunity.


sasint / Pixabay

There are currently about 385 million people in China who were born after 1980. That means there are more people in China aged 37 or younger than the entire populations of Russia, Japan and Vietnam – combined.

The balinghou

They have been dubbed the balinghou (???), which literally means post, or after, 80. They are the generation born after China’s one-child policy came into effect in 1979 (and was phased out in 2015). The group also includes the jiulinghou (???), or post 90 generation.

These are not the grown up “starving kids in China” your parents told you about when you refused to eat your vegetables. They’ve never dealt with widespread famine, or the disastrous consequences of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

Most of them grew up in a city and have only known a world in which their economy gets stronger and stronger. As shown below, China’s GDP in 1980 was US$191 billion. By 2015, it had grown to US$11 trillion. In other words, this generation of Chinese grew up during the time when China’s economic production grew by nearly 5,700 percent.
China_GDP_2 balinghou

Many of them are the only children in their families (China’s one-child policy applied mostly to urban dwellers. Rural parents could have more than one child). That means they had up to six adults doting on them growing up – their parents and two sets of grandparents. They are the grown up “little emperors” the one-child policy created.

As such, many, but not all, of them had the best clothes, ate the best food and went to the best schools their families could afford. They are now in, or entering, a workforce that has enjoyed growing wages for decades and has more disposable income than ever before.

The balinghou are not just the spoiled super-rich kids we may hear about on the news. They’re an emerging “spending class” that want the good life. And with a population of 385 million, they can’t help but have a major impact on China’s economy.

Baby Boomers and the balinghou

The balinghou could be compared to the Baby Boomers in the U.S. (only in China, it’s been the opposite of a baby boom since 1979).

The Baby Boomers are Americans born in the post-World War II boom years up to about 1965. Between 1954 and 1964, more than four million babies were born each year in the U.S. By the time the boom started to fade in the mid-1960s, there were about 76 million boomers making up 40 percent of the U.S. population.

This population bulge has had an impact on just about every aspect of American life for the past 70 years – everything from popular music to cars to stock market performance… and now pension and health care issues.

Something similar could happen in China because of the balinghou generation. As I said, they are 385 million strong (about 28 percent of China’s total population) and are the dominant group in China’s booming middle class.

And just like investors who rode the U.S. baby boom wave to huge gains, smart investors have the opportunity to profit from this generation of Chinese consumers. Go here to find out more.

Patriotic Vigor Can Help You Make Money

The Great Paradox

I am absolutely fascinated by the paradox of the world that we live in today, particularly in the U.S. The same quick money making ideas that spurred gigantic investments and financial gains during the dot com, real estate, and stock market booms, have also resulted in monumental losses that have devastated many millions of people. As the markets continue to experience a severe lack in confidence driven by instability of the Euro, it stands to reason that things are only going to get a lot worse before they get any better. When the Euro reaches the point of no return and implodes it threatens to have a catastrophic affect on America.

With so much money already lost, and with so much more at stake, “where is all the money going?” is the question. Because money does not just disappear, it transfers from one holder to another.

What was once the shining beacon of hope, leadership, freedom and prosperity around the world, is quickly becoming a divided wasteland – with looters on one side, and the sheeple on the other side who now willingly trade-in their pride, their dreams, and their honor as men – in exchange for hand-outs like social security, unemployment, and food stamps, referred to as “benefits” by the looters.

The Land of the Free

The Land of the Free, and the Home of The Brave, has become the “Land of the Slaves and Home of The Victims”.

If you recently invested your money in the S&P 500, you’ve lost -20.2% since 2007. Even Warren Buffett himself is down -26% since 2007… And yet the money making investment strategies implemented by some investors over the past year alone have returned 10.5% to 27%, without any direct exposure to the extremely volatile stock markets.

If you’re a baby-boomer, (or not) you cannot afford to lose money again because you don’t have the time available to recover your losses… Period. The fact is, if you don’t arm yourself with the right information, that’s exactly what could happen in the next six to twelve months.

Home of the Brave

Obviously, some economic downturns are much larger than others, such as the world-wide global depression that appears to be approaching right now however, that is an entirely different thing than merely an economic downturn. Nevertheless, during this monumental shift that we’re now witnessing, the rich will continue to get richer and YES…you can make money too. At the same time it still holds true that a great many of the poor will continue to get poorer, along with a vast majority of the middle class who are not prepared.

In light of the clear evidence that is right before our eyes this type of talk is pretty average these days. While some might say that it is just more fear mongering, the purpose of this article is not to breed fear. The purpose of this article is to serve as notification to people who are perceptive so they can make the necessary preparations. Nothing scary about that, in fact quite to the contrary. Those who take action based on this information should be considered as prudent sound minded thinkers who are making logical wise decisions.

Bear in mind this it is not a gloom and doom subject because fortunately, even during times of severe economic downturns, there are ways to make quick money. That is “IF” you know how to do it, or know somebody else that knows how and has a track record of success. Rest assured that you can actually profit during these economically challenging times rather than losing your shirt.

God Bless America

Be thankful that there is still time to prepare, and for your own good please take immediate action now to safeguard your financial security as well as your freedom.

Baby boomers, Medicare march into increasingly uncertain future

Updated 3 hours ago

The futures of the baby boom generation and Medicare are inextricably tied.

The government program provides health insurance for the majority of people 65 or older at a time when their health care needs tend to explode. That’s particularly true for baby boomers, who continue to enter their retirement years with more chronic health problems than previous generations.

The number of boomers and their numerous health issues will increase demands on Medicare at a time when the ratio of people paying into the program versus those receiving benefits is at an all-time low — and getting worse.

But Medicare is in no immediate danger, said John Lovelace, president of government programs for UPMC Health Plan.

“The worry is really the long-term worries,” he said.

In 2015, Medicare spent $647.6 billion to provide coverage to 55.3 million people, according to its trustees’ 2016 annual report. Worker contributions to Medicare, premiums paid by retirees and a few other funding sources provided $644.4 billion in revenue.

The program covered the $3.2 billion gap with money in its savings account, which dwindled to $263.2 billion.

By 2025, Medicare will cover 73.2 million people — a 32 percent increase, according to the report.

The Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which covers Part A expenses such as hospital stays and hospice care, will be drained by 2028, the report projects. Medicare then will have to rely on its annual income, which trustees estimate will cover about 87 percent of expected costs.

The Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund covers Part B expenses, such as physician fees, outpatient procedures and home health. It also covers Part D, which subsidizes drug insurance coverage.

That trust fund is in better shape, but only because it draws money from general revenue to make up for shortages from premiums and other revenue shortages. Its reliance on general revenue is projected to increase during the next couple of decades.

The Part A trust fund was doing well until 2008, according to the report. Annual revenue often covered — and sometimes exceeded — the amount paid out in benefits.

In 2008, the fund took a nosedive and hasn’t recovered, mainly because of the Great Recession, said Stephen Foreman, a health care economist at Robert Morris University.

“People weren’t paying Medicare payments when they got laid off,” he said.

The economic downturn also encouraged some baby boomers to retire, which drove up Medicare costs at a time when revenue was faltering, he said.

Although the economy improved and more people are paying into Medicare again, baby boomer retirement rates continued to increase. Costs escalated and savings kept plummeting, Foreman said.

Part B is financed mainly through a combination of general tax revenue and premiums paid by Medicare recipients. While the fund is not facing insolvency, Congress faces pressure to raise premiums, he said.

“It’s going to get worse,” Foreman said.

One factor that could reduce pressure is the growing popularity of the Medicare Advantage program, which allows private insurers to offer retirees a managed care plan that reduces their risk of high health bills by capping maximum out-of-pocket costs.

About 11,000 people turn 65 every day, and the number of people 65 or older is projected to increase by 38 percent by 2025, said Dr. Rhonda L. Randall, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions, which offers Medicare Advantage and supplemental insurance plans.

About one-third of people on Medicare have chosen Medicare Advantage. But among people turning 65, the ratio is closer to 50 percent, she said.

“The younger seniors seem to be comfortable with it and (are) choosing it at a higher rate,” she said.

Younger seniors tend to like Medicare Advantage because it’s more coordinated than traditional Medicare, said Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who focuses on health insurance coverage.

“It’s a little bit more like your experience with a work (insurance) plan,” she said.

About 45 to 50 percent of retirees in Western Pennsylvania have picked Medicare Advantage, which the UPMC Health Plan also offers, Lovelace said.

Another factor that could improve the program’s finances is a shift from fee-for-service to value-based payments, he said.

In a fee-for-service model, providers get paid to perform procedures even if they have to do them again.

“The incentive is to do volume,” he said.

In a value-based system, the provider gets a set amount of money. If treatment is less expensive, they keep the extra money. If it’s more, they absorb the costs.

While that switch and other cost-saving measures haven’t been around long enough to accurately predict their effect on Medicare, they seem to be reducing the growth in health care costs, he said.

A third factor is that health care is switching from hospital care to less expensive home-based care, Lovelace said.

“There will not be as many hospitals 10 years from now because they won’t need as many hospitals,” he said.

Most people prefer staying at home, so the trend is driven as much by patient preference as by insurers trying to contain costs, he said.

That is particularly evident as people reach the end of their lives and more opt to spend their final months at home or in a hospice.

“Most people don’t want to die in ICU hooked up to tubes,” he said.

Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1218, [email protected] or via Twitter @TribBrian.

Baby Boomers are roaring into their 70s new series reveals

Amanda Barrie on a scooter in the new show The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old

Amanda Barrie on a scooter in the new show The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old

Amanda Barrie on a scooter in the new show The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old

Former politician Edwina Currie giggles as she thinks of how she frequently enjoys embarrassing her children. 

Actress Amanda Barrie likes to wear skinny jeans and heels, and TV presenter Esther Rantzen does star jumps while watching television.

They were the generation that hoped they’d die before they got old. They made Britain cool and denigrated their elders as fuddy-duddies. But now the Baby Boomers are getting older, they want to reinvent that too.

A new four-part series, The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old, takes an irreverent look at what they’re up to, from using dating sites to joining punk bands, having plastic surgery and zooming about on mobility scooters.

‘We’re not going quietly,’ says former Tory minister Edwina, 70. ‘People are living for longer and most of us are still young at heart. We’ve worked hard and now we want to have fun. I’m growing old disgracefully. My kids don’t like a lot of the things I tweet about, especially Brexit – they tell me I’m embarrassing.’

During the show Edwina joins punk band UK Subs led by 72-year-old frontman Charlie Harper. ‘It was brilliant fun,’ laughs Edwina. 

‘I can’t sing, but it didn’t matter. We sang a song called Senile Dementia which we wrote together. I shouted out, “I don’t wanna die!” Even at this age you can try new experiences.’

The show follows the Baby Boomers, who also include former MP John Prescott, journalist Eve Pollard and Boris Johnson’s father Stanley, as they investigate what old age means for different people. Amanda Barrie, 81, tries running a B&B, something many pensioners do for extra income, but found it wasn’t for her. ‘It’s too much hard work,’ she groans.

She preferred to flirt outrageously with cricket commentator Henry Blofeld on a trip to a cosmetic surgeon. After being offered various procedures Amanda says, ‘I’d be better just cutting my head off.’

Edwina Currie on stage with Charlie Harper, frontman of the punk band UK Subs

Edwina Currie on stage with Charlie Harper, frontman of the punk band UK Subs

Edwina Currie on stage with Charlie Harper, frontman of the punk band UK Subs

The pair also delved into the world of internet dating. ‘I’m open-minded,’ says Amanda, who married her wife Hilary Bonner in 2014 after coming out as bisexual. ‘But you could have a different date every night.’

Former Strictly Come Dancing competitors Esther Rantzen, 76, and Johnny Ball, 79, tried a different way to meet people. 

‘We tried Ceroc dancing, a form of modern jive, and it was great fun,’ says Johnny, who’s famous for his shows about maths. 

‘Some people had found love through it. People are realising there’s no need to slow down. When I’m not travelling around giving lectures about maths, I’m writing books.’

Esther, who has been single since her producer husband Desmond Wilcox died in 2000, wasn’t keen to dance on TV again after believing she made a fool of herself on Strictly in 2004.

‘Exercise can have a positive effect but I prefer not to do it in public. I’ll often jog on the spot or do star jumps during ad breaks while watching TV,’ she says. ‘So I got grumpy about the Ceroc, especially when it became clear they hoped I was looking for a date. That’s not something that interests me. I still think about Desi every day.’

The show celebrates the new way of getting older, but also acknowledges the downsides. For instance, sports presenter Jim Rosenthal visits a centre where the elderly can buy mobility scooters and stairlifts.

‘There’s a lot of loss that you have to get over,’ says Esther. ‘You lose friends and partners. You can lose your health and your job. You need courage to achieve the quality of life you took for granted for so long.’  

The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old, Tuesday, 10pm, More4.