50+ baby boomer money stats you've never seen before | finder.com

Baby boomer money statistics

We know that with age comes wisdom. What about financial responsibility?

The older you get, the more set in your ways — or so we’ve heard. When it comes to personal finances, we at finder.com were curious as to how baby boomers accumulate and allocate their money.

With the help of global marketing and research provider Pureprofile, we’ve lasered in on just that. These 50+ fun figures provide the details to paint a clearer picture of how baby boomers look after their loot.

Date of survey: June 2018

Money lies

Well, well, well … when it comes to dollar deception, baby boomers have no problem keeping a straight face instead of coming clean. But what other tangled webs are they weaving when it comes to the almighty dollar?

  • Just over the tipping point, 53% of baby boomers pocket cash they’ve found instead of trying to return it to the rightful owner.
  • 22% of baby boomers admit to making purchases behind their partner’s back and don’t see the need to let them know about it.
  • At the cash register, 45% of baby boomers will stay quiet if they’re undercharged for the sake of keeping a few extra bucks in their pocket. On that note, 11% will say squat when they know darn well they didn’t chip in enough to cover their share of the bill.
  • 16% of baby boomers bend the truth when it comes to their age just to get a discount. And 12% aren’t so honest about their financial information when Uncle Sam asks during tax season.
  • When making a purchase, 9% of baby boomers are hanging on to the receipt because they know what they just bought is getting returned.

Tweet: 16% of baby boomers bend the truth when it comes to their age just to get a discount. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ac/ed07Z+


Date of survey: June 2018

Digital wallets

As technology becomes more advanced, personal banking gets easier — a win-win.

But even as digital wallets — like Apple Pay, PayPal and Venmo — have simplified sending and spending, it’s still a puzzling concept for the few who haven’t caught on.

  • 23% of baby boomers say they prefer their digital wallet over the traditional ways of transferring money — ATMs, checks and online banking.
  • 17% have used a digital wallet at least once. And for the boomers that do use a digital wallet, 6% think it encourages them to spend more.
  • “There’s nothing wrong with my credit card” is why 30% of boomers don’t use digital wallets.
  • 23% use their digital wallet because it’s a convenient way to track money coming in and out.
  • Each year, the average boomer will use their digital wallet up to 35 times.

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Date of survey: October 2017

Christmas confessions

It’s the most wonderful — and perhaps expensive — time of the year. Gift giving can be like pin the tail on the donkey: Sometimes you nail it, and other times … not so much.

  • 44.6% of baby boomers aren’t too happy with the presents Santa leaves under the tree.
  • Boomers say, on average, that they receive two gifts they don’t want each year.
  • The total value of those unwanted gifts equals $43.29.
  • 42.1% of boomers keep their presents, 25.3% plan on exchanging them, and 2.3% plan on selling their gifts.
  • 3.9% of baby boomers buy bad presents on purpose.

Tweet: Gift giving can be like pin the tail on the donkey: Sometimes you nail it, and other times … not so much. 44.6% of baby boomers aren't too happy with their presents from Santa. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/27uad+


Date of survey: October 2017

Holiday spending

Baby boomers have had some time to plant their roots. With that comes a handful of friends and family who expect gifts around the holidays.

No matter who they’re buying gifts for, baby boomers have a strategy on how they plan to pay for presents.

  • On average, baby boomers will shell out $576.39 for gifts this holiday season.
  • 55.5% will pay for their purchases with plastic, while 62.7% will dip into savings.
  • 1.8% of boomers will borrow dough from friends and family to dish out presents.
  • Other baby boomers plan to look elsewhere for cash, borrowing through short-term payday loans (1%) and personal loans (1.1%).
  • 42.4% will solely rely on their credit cards this holiday season, while 35.8% will solely tap into their savings.

Tweet: No matter who they’re buying gifts for, baby boomers have a strategy on how they plan to pay for presents. On average, baby boomers will shell out $576.39 for gifts this holiday season. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/ap388+


Date of survey: October 2017

Sale purchase regrets

Ooh, ahh — it’s shiny and on sale! But we know from experience that not every bargain is worth buying. (That must-have meat slicer for $100 will likely get about $0.50 in use, trust us.)

  • 57.5% of baby boomers say they’d drop an average $677 on a sale item they otherwise wouldn’t have purchased at full price.
  • 36% of boomers experience buyer’s remorse.
  • On average, a whopping $413 is spent on regrettable purchases.

Tweet: Not every bargain is worth buying. 57.5% of baby boomers say they’d drop an average $677 on a sale item they otherwise wouldn’t have purchased at full price. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/hrRuN+


Date of survey: October 2017

Black Friday

Give thanks on Thursday and score hot deals on Friday. The peculiar Black Friday shopping holiday has actually been around longer than you’d imagine — making boomers no strangers to the shopping hysteria.

But come Friday morning, do they stay in bed nursing a food coma or get out there bright and bushy-tailed?

  • 69% of baby boomers don’t see the need to wait for an item to go on sale.
  • 27% say they’ll join in on the dizzying day of discounts.
  • The average boomer planned to spend $438 to get their money’s worth this past Black Friday.

Tweet: Give thanks on Thursday and score hot deals on Friday. 27% of baby boomers say they’ll join in on the dizzying day of discounts that is Black Friday. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/683yU+


Date of survey: October 2017

Preppers

You might not be a prepper, but it might not hurt to befriend one just in case — among them, baby boomers.

But it turns out that boomers aren’t the top generation saving up to survive an apocalyptic disaster, alien insurrection or zombies.

  • National disasters and headlines encouraged about 17.3% of baby boomers to stock up on survival gear.
  • 41.28% of boomers already have the gear on hand, ready to go.
  • On the other hand, 41.41% of won’t be duling dollars
  • Baby boomers were only half as likely to spend up to $400 on survival kits when compared with millennials.
  • Compared with other generations, baby boomers are least likely to reach into their pockets to prepare for survival.

Tweet: Compared with other generations, baby boomers are least likely to reach into their pockets to prepare for survival. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/awc3_+


Date of survey: July 2017

Impulse shopping

Ever gone out to the store for an item and next thing you know, you’re explaining to loved ones why you’ve come home with The Golden Girls DVD box set instead?

It happens to the best of us. But do baby boomers have the willpower to walk away from the blinding light of impulse shopping?

  • 1.3% of boomers reveal their dirty little secret: a daily online shopping habit.
  • Baby boomers lead the pack in online shopping with an average $174.25 each session. That total surpasses Gen Xers, who spend $65.56 a session, and doubles millennials’ spending at $82.37 a session.
  • When the splurge is said and done, 37% of boomers feel content with their purchases, rather than regretful.
  • Only 2% of boomers feel pressured by store clerks and pushy friends into buying on impulse.

Tweet: Baby boomers lead the pack in online shopping with an average $174.25 each session. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/pghYb+


Date of survey: July 2017

Money transfer

Sending money abroad knows no age limit or reason. Maybe you’re sending cash to your kid who’s studying abroad. Or maybe you’re transferring money to a desperate Nigerian prince who plans to reward you handsomely in the future. (Actually, don’t get ripped off and fall for that one.)

Here’s how baby boomers are zipping their money around the world.

  • When it comes to money transfers, 53% use the option that is the least problematic for themselves.
  • Supporting family is the reason for 50% of the money transferred by baby boomers.
  • 80% of boomers feel they’re getting ripped off when sending money overseas.
  • 85.9% rely one the same one service when transferring money overseas.
  • Only 12.3% of boomers compare providers often before transferring money overseas, while 12.9% always compare as part of research.

Tweet: How are baby boomers zipping their money around the world. When it comes to money transfers, 53% use the option that is the least problematic for themselves. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/wgr1P+


Date of survey: July 2017

Personal loans

Whether remodeling a kitchen, backpacking across Europe or bringing home that shiny guitar you’ve always wanted, you can use a personal loan for just about any big expense.

Here’s how boomers borrow money through personal lending products.

  • Compared with other generations, baby boomers borrowed $7,703, which is just more than the average loan amount of $7,576.
  • In 2017, 21% of boomers took out personal loans for an extra financial push.

Tweet: Compared with other generations, baby boomers borrowed $7,703, which is just more than the average loan amount of $7,576. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/4XC5B+


Date of survey: July 2017

Debt regret

Baby boomers have had time to make borrowing mistakes in their financial past. Let’s find out if they’ve learned how to keep their debt to a minimum.

  • Just more than half (52.2%) of baby boomers still regret a debt they’ve taken on.
  • But against millennials and Gen Xers, boomers are least likely to have debt regret.

Tweet: Baby boomers have had time to make borrowing mistakes in their financial past. But against millennials and Gen Xers, boomers are least likely to have debt regret. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/9HOiD+


Date of survey: July 2017

Money mistakes

Baby boomers don’t appear to be the generation to frivolously spend for no reason. But then again, my dad did buy a boat that sat in the driveway for eight years at my mothers dismay. I’m sure he’s not the only one who’s had a few hard cash hiccups.

  • For 46% of boomers, too much fun is what contributed to their money mistake.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 baby boomers — or 74.1% — were brave enough to admit they’ve made a money mistake in their life.
  • 26.6% of boomers blame their money mistake on a bad investment.

Tweet: Nearly 3 in 4 baby boomers — or 74.1% — were brave enough to admit they’ve made a money mistake in their life. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/nbseX+


Date of survey: July 2017

College debt

“The more you learn, the more you earn?” Not necessarily true.

Unless you’ve received a full-ride scholarship, your education is nearly certain to result in saddling college debt. Is the educational juice worth the monetary squeeze?

  • 55% of baby boomers have earned a college degree.
  • 72.7% of boomers believe their education was worth the cost — making them the generation who sees the most value in their degree.
  • Half of all boomers say they’re actively using their degree.
  • But as a result of not finding employment in their field of study, 25% of boomers don’t see the value in their degree.

Tweet: 72.7% of boomers believe their education was worth the cost — making them the generation who sees the most value in their degree. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/cq9F2+


Date of survey: July 2017

Side hustles

Baby boomers have already spent a large chunk of their lives working, so it’s hard to imagine they’re the generation chasing cash on the side.

But perhaps they’re seeing shades of green from painting, woodworking or snapping photos of birds.

  • Boomers report creative freelancing as their main side hustle.
  • 16.6% of boomers admit to not declaring the extra cash that results from their hustling.
  • As for the money that’s made, boomers bring in an average $1,748 on the side.

Tweet: How many baby boomers are seeing shades of green from painting, woodworking or snapping photos of birds? Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/39eae+


Date of survey: July 2017

Game of Thrones piracy

Wilt thou boomers payeth to gaze upon the magical cube weaving tales of Jon Snow? Or shall they plunder from the throne — and findeth an outlawed stream for no wage at all?

  • No baby boomers report disrespecting the Iron Throne with an illegal stream.
  • And yet 37.8% of boomers claim they’re fans of HBO’s hit TV fantasy drama.

Tweet: No baby boomers report disrespecting the Iron Throne with an illegal stream. And yet 37.8% of boomers claim they’re fans of HBO’s hit TV fantasy drama. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/kac0G+


Date of survey: January 2017

Borrowing from friends and family

Friends and family are usually the first people we called on when money woes unexpectedly come a-knocking. But we’ve all heard what they say about borrowing money from loved ones.

Are baby boomers listening?

  • A low 16% of boomers admit to borrowing money from friends and family.

Tweet: Friends and family are usually the first people we called on when money woes unexpectedly come a-knocking. A low 16% of boomers admit to borrowing money from friends and family. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/7cF4d+


Date of survey: January 2017

Retirement

Each career treads a different path to retirement, with some ending with a mirage in the distance that never seems to get closer.

Baby boomers report a contrasting perspectives on when they might be able to kick back and relax for good.

  • Unfortunately, 13% of boomers don’t see a future with retirement in the picture at all.
  • 32% of boomers think they’ll retire between the ages of 61 and 65.
  • 20% think they’ll retire between 50 to 60 or 66 to 70, while 9% predict retirement at 71 to 75.
  • Still another 3% of boomers believe they’ll retire when they’re 76 to 80, whereas 1% thinks retirement age will be more like 80 or older. A luckier 1% thinks retirement can happen before they’re 50.

Tweet: 32% of baby boomers think they’ll retire between the ages of 61 and 65. What about the rest? Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/9a203+


Date of survey: January 2017

Cost of winter

When the cold does a number on your well-being, you call out sick. When you call out sick, you get to a pharmacy to course correct your health. Winter’s chain reactions can cost you money without you even realizing it.

  • In 2016, baby boomers dropped an average of $46.29 at the drugstore on cold and flu supplies.
  • That same winter kept 11% of baby boomers out of the office due to sickness.

Tweet: In 2016, baby boomers dropped an average of $46.29 at the drugstore on cold and flu supplies. Is winter doing a number on our pockets? Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/Z40IH+


Date of survey: January 2017

Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air. When baby boomers sit at a candlelit dinner, they’re likely not thinking about the money out of pocket on the day of flowers and chocolates. If they celebrate at all.

  • Baby boomers are the least likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day, with 35% not participating at all.
  • 8% of boomers report of a secret lover (think infidelity) they’re buying gifts for on Valentine’s Day.
  • To save a few dollars, 27% of boomers wait until after Valentine’s Day to celebrate.
  • Another 28% give gifts to their friends on Valentine’s Day.

Tweet: Baby boomers are the least likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day, with 35% not participating at all. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/_9K0f+


Date of survey: November 2016

Missed payments

Missed payment or short on funds, a lot can slip through the cracks for boomers.

  • One in four boomers admit to missing a loan payment in their past.
  • 18% have failed to make a credit card payment on time.
  • 7% say they’ve missed a car loan payment, and 6% dropped the ball on a home loan payment.
  • 2% have slipped up with their short-term loan payments.
  • Even considering any missed payments, boomers are decent savers, with two out of three regularly saving cash for rainy days.

Tweet: Missed payment or short on funds, a lot can slip through the cracks for boomers. 7% say they’ve missed a car loan payment, and 6% dropped the ball on a home loan payment. Check out more stats on baby boomers and money: https://ctt.ec/MFP36+


    For media inquiries:

    Jennifer McDermott

    Consumer advocate helping people improve their personal finances.

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