Within the next two decades about 78 million baby boomers will reach retirement age. Although this population possesses 80 percent of America's wealth (including 70% of US stocks; 60% percent, foreign), this does not mean they are all wealthy. Some will continue working after age 65 because they have to, some will quit their "career" and begin doing the work they always wanted to do, and a number will retire thankfully and begin having full time fun.
How will many of these boomers spend their retirement? Travel, of course. The industry is the largest in the world, growing 23% faster than the global economy. It is expected to reach $ 14 trillion in the next ten years. And online travel sales is the fastest-growing segment of internet sales.
Baby boomers are already easily the most traveled generation in the US But how many boomers will have the bucks to hit the road big time? Lately I heard a new term, but maybe it is not new to you. The word is "neo-boomers" and it delineates approximately 18 million affluent baby boomers who make up a large percentage of America's biggest spenders. Although at least 70% of boomers take fairly lengthy annual vacations, the neo-boomers are the immediate holiday-takers who can zoom whenever and where they like.
You may find some of the following predictions of a survey surprising. You'd think they'd be "disneyed up", but lots of boomers are excited about visiting Disney within the next few years. Second, they're excited about buying RVs and houseboats and traveling the waterways and the 16,000 campgrounds nationwide. (This sort of free and easy lifestyle holds great appeal to this group). Third, the top five states in which boomers would like to vacation are Las Vegas, Florida, New York, Hawaii, and Colorado. Fourth, in order of popularity, international destinations that are headed for are Europe, the Caribbean, Australia / New Zealand, and Africa.
This tech savvy crowd will book most of their travel on high speed internet and, in spite of the affluence of some, will definitely shop for a good deal. Simultaneously, boomers want to be treated well and they will pay for convenience. Many want to rough it on real-life adventures, but just as many love resorts and quietly luxurious bed and breakfast inns. They are not generally excited about long, stuffy tightly-programmed tours but do like the idea of cruising to exotic locations.
Some may be tempted to be a little jealous of this population, but they worked very hard for their economic standing, they've just weathered the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and through the years they've given large amounts of their wealth to charities and churches. Maybe it's time to let them have a little fun.