The Baby Boomer’s Guide to the 2020s
When we said goodbye to last year and hello to this year, we entered a new decade: the 2020s. But heading on into the future can mean very different things to different generations.
What matters to Millennials and Gen Xers is very different than what matters to those who belong to a slightly older generation.
In the next 10 years, the entire population of American baby boomers – all 74 million of them – will become 65 years old or older. In 2020, there are still plenty of baby boomers hard at work at rewarding careers; but by 2030, many boomers will be retired.
That will come with challenges familiar to previous generations, including things like the expenses associated with retirement, healthcare, and senior living situations. To make everything they can of the 2020s, boomers need to be smart. If you’re in that group, here’s your guide to navigating this new decade.
The challenges of the 2020s will be much easier to meet if you know what you’re well informed. From staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic to making sound personal and financial decisions in the years to come, every step you take will be safer if you stay informed.
In some ways, this should be easier than ever. Thanks to the internet, we have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. But as Millennials and Gen Xers will tell you, the internet is also full of a lot of nonsense.
Millennials and Gen Xers (and, yes, a few boomers) are hard at work making memes and jokes – which occasionally go viral and are mistaken for the truth. There are satirical news sites and fabricated articles. There are simple mistakes and typos that can mess up your understanding of key issues. The internet is a wild place!
So how can you stay informed? Experts suggest turning to reputable media outlets for your information, and not relying on social media. Social media sites are notoriously full of misinformation and making such sites your primary source of news is a virtually surefire way to become misinformed.
Watch the housing market
Staying informed is important in virtually all matters, but it’s particularly important in cases where misinformation or a lack of information could cost you personal and financial security. For baby boomers, this makes the housing market particularly important.
Boomers have a lot of equity tied up in real estate. In fact, they have more than any other generation, and more than many past generations have had. Other generations – Millennials, in particular – lag behind in this department.
The wealth that boomers have in real estate is a good thing, but it’s important to remember that the housing market depends on buyers. Millennials and members of Gen X are not necessarily buying homes at the same rates as baby boomers once did, which could make the real estate market hard to predict.
In fact, some boomers are having trouble selling large homes in a market dominated by Millennials and members of Gen X. Why? Because often the younger generations don’t have the money to buy such impressive houses.
On the flip side, some baby boomers may want to relocate. They might want to build or buy homes in warmer climates. Perhaps they want to invest in places to retreat or retire to. The 2020s, remember, will be a big decade for boomer retirements.
With all of this in mind, boomers should pay careful attention to the housing market. A house is not necessarily something that should be viewed as an investment, but timing a purchase wisely can make a big financial difference.
Whenever you choose to buy, be sure to stay informed and do your research. Work with a trusted real estate agent to find the right home in the right market with the right number of square feet and all of the features you desire. Real estate agents cost money, but failing to do your research can be far costlier.
How to buy something you know nothing about
While boomers might know a little about real estate, it’s still advisable to rely on real estate agents to make sure that we’re getting the right prices when we buy or sell.
But what about other products? Millennials and Gen Xers are more familiar with tech products than baby boomers. So how can boomers make wise and lasting purchases?
As is so often the case, the answer is to do your research and be informed. Happily, there are resources out there like the Boomer Buyer Guides, which walk boomers through reviews and product information without getting bogged down in Millennial lingo, useless nonsense, or misinformation.
Using a buying guide and carefully researching purchases will allow you to buy even complicated and unfamiliar products in the same careful and considered way that you’ve bought so many other things in life.
If you want the purchases that you make in the 2020s to last as long as the ones that you made in the 1990s and 2000s, then this is a must!