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A Report To The Globe and Mail

A Report To The Globe and Mail

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A Report To The Globe and Mail

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  1. A Report To The Globe and Mail “State of the Baby Boomers” Final Report June 2006

  2. Introduction and Methodology • Gregg, Kelly, Sullivan & Woolstencroft: The Strategic Counsel is pleased to present the following topline results of the State of the Baby Boomers study to the Globe and Mail. • These findings are based on a telephone survey of national proportionate sample (n=1502) with oversamples among those Echo (age 18-29, n=100) and Pre Boomers (age 60+, n=247). • The survey was conducted between May 24th, 2006 and June 5th, 2006. • The following table outlines the weighted sample distribution and associated margin of error: * Indicates oversample

  3. Key Findings

  4. Key Findings: Baby Boomers • Baby Boomers are a stressed generation, having to juggle the needs of their parents and their children. • With increasingly elderly parents, baby boomers are dealing with the pressures inherent with looking after them. Fully one-quarter (25%) of those whose parents are still alive (or 18% of all boomers) have one or more parents that need their assistance on a regular basis. • Similarly, boomers are likely to shoulder responsibilities towards their children. Half (47%) still have children living at home with them, and three-fifths (59%) of those with children over the age of 18 (or 30% of all boomers) are providing some kind of financial support to those children aged 18 or more. • Adding to their stress are their worries about retirement • While taking care of others is a big part of their lives, Boomers are becoming increasingly concerned about their personal future needs. They are not as confident as other age groups about their financial security in old age, and many are pessimistic about their future standard of living. • Only 28% are very confident that they will be financially secure in old age in comparison to 41% of those belonging to younger generations, and 47% of those belonging to older generations. • A third (32%) believe their standard of living is likely to drop in retirement (vs. 16% of GenX’s and Echo’s). • Eighty percent (80%) expect that the government will provide less than half of their income when they retire.

  5. Key Findings: Baby Boomers • And though they are not expecting their inheritances to have a major impact on their retirement plans, many are intending to use it solely to finance their retirement. • Four-in-five of those expecting an inheritance say it will have a “minor” or “insignificant” impact on retirement planning. • However, while roughly 80% of those from both younger and older generations planned to use at least part of their inheritance for non-retirement purposes, only 70% of Boomers were intending to diversify the use of their inheritance. • Even with this stress, Boomers are still satisfied with life. Half (47%) say they are very satisfied with their lives, and most others (44%) are at least somewhat satisfied. These proportions are similar to those of the Echo and GenX generations, though are lower than for the Pre-Boomer generation.

  6. Key Findings: Pre-Boomers • The Pre-Boomer generation are content with their lives, even having recognized that their best years are behind them. • Of all of the generations, the pre-boomer group are the most likely to report satisfaction with their lives. Fully 56% say they are very satisfied, and another 40% say they are somewhat satisfied. • They also report a sense of confidence in their financial futures. Unlike the boomers who tend to be less optimistic, fully half (47%) of the pre-boomer generation are very confident in their financial security as they grow older. This may be because their finances tend to be in order: • 82% have paid off their mortgages • 85% have prepared a will • This sense of satisfaction and contentment is balanced with an awareness that their lives may not improve in the future. Few (13%) expect their quality of life to increase in the next 10 years, while most say it will stay the same (53%) or worsen (25%).

  7. Key Findings: Pre-Boomers • The generation displays other signs of contentment as well. They report very close relationships with children and their parents who are still living. They are also more spiritual and less ambitious than those in following generations. • Almost four-in-ten (39%) pre-boomers say they are “very close” to their parents who are still alive, in comparison to a quarter or fewer (between 17% and 25%) of those in younger generations. • Similarly 72% of pre-boomers say their children enjoy their company, whereas only 57-64% of those from other generations report the same. • A much higher proportion (59%) describe themselves as spiritual in comparison to the general population (45%). Conversely, a lower proportion say they are ambitious (53% vs. 67%). • Pre-boomers often enjoy experimenting with new brands. • While marketers generally believe that senior citizens are set in their ways -- rarely changing from their preferred brands -- results of this study suggest this may be changing. In fact, fully one-in-five (21%) say they are constantly experimenting with new brands when they shop. This proportion is similar to the proportion of GenX’ers (24%) and Boomers (19%) who say they are constantly experimenting, and only slightly lower than the proportion of the Echo generation who say the same (26%).

  8. Key Findings: Echo Generation • Though they are often still living with their parents, a care-free echo generation is anticipating a very bright financial future. • The echo generation is living life to its fullest. Compared with other generations they are more likely to exercise (73% exercise 3 or more times a week vs. 62% of the general population), go out for dinner (23% vs. 13%), have sex (46% vs. 28%) and smoke marijuana (7% vs. 3%). Often still living with their parents (36%), many (35%) acknowledge they may be working fewer hours than their parents did at their age. • Overall, this generation is satisfied with life, and is very optimistic that it will get even better. • Half (50%) report they are very satisfied with their lives, with 43% saying they are somewhat satisfied. • Almost 9 in 10 (87%) say they expect life to improve greatly (52%) or somewhat (35%) in the next 10 years. • They have few concerns for their financial futures. In comparison to other generations, they tend to be confident in their financial security in old age (46% very confident), and expect their standard of life to increase following retirement (39%). And, not only are they expecting inheritances to help them out (54%), they fully intend to have the wealth required to leave one for their children (92% of those with children).

  9. Key Findings: Echo Generation • Their parents – the Boomers -- concur with this optimism, and are very positive about their children’s futures. • Seventy percent (71%) of boomers say their kids have more education opportunities than they did, and 56% say they have more employment opportunities. • Few (9%) believe their children will be worse off financially than they are.

  10. Key Findings: Generation Gap • “The generation gap" is becoming a thing of the past. Children and parents are emerging as each other’s "buddies“. • Relationships between parents and their children are better than ever before. Parents feel they have a more positive relationship with their children (46%) than their own parents did at their age. And two-thirds of those with children aged 13 or over (64%) also say their children enjoy their company “very much”. • People also have a positive view of their relationship with their parents. One-quarter (23%) say they are very close with their parents, with the remainder saying they are somewhat close (77%). No respondents described their relationship with their parents as not close. • And, with the exception of pre-boomers, there is evidence to show that interests may be converging between the generations. Of those with children aged 13 and over, 61% of boomers and 77% of GenX’ers feel they have identical or similar tastes in music as their offspring. • Findings also show the respect the Echo generation holds for its parents – the boomers. The Echo generation are more likely than others to describe the baby boomers as great parents (80%), while less likely to describe them as greedy (17%), selfish (14%) and disappointing (9%). • This closer relationship between the generations, combined with the fact that boomers are often looking after their grown children and parents, suggests that the importance of the extended family is growing among Canadian families.

  11. Satisfaction with Life and Perceptions Regarding Age

  12. Though all generations report satisfaction with life, the pre-boomers are the most satisfied…. Total Very/Somewhat Satisfied % Overall satisfaction with life Q59. Overall, would you say that you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, not too satisfied, or not at all satisfied with how your life has gone so far?

  13. …even if they are the most likely to feel their lives will worsen over the next ten years. • This suggests pre-boomers are accepting of the future while living for the moment today. Future expectations for life Total Improve % Q60. In ten years do you expect that your life will improve greatly, improve somewhat, stay about the same, worsen somewhat, or worsen greatly?

  14. Middle Age is generally defined as between the ages of 40-59. • A person’s definition of middle age tends to increase as they age. For example, only 1% of those from the Echo generation define middle age as 60+, whereas 16% of pre-boomers define middle age that way. Age Perceived to be “Middle Aged” Q2. When you think of someone as being “middle aged”, what age typically comes to mind? * Indicates oversample

  15. People view themselves to be the same age or younger than their actual age. • This suggests that people probably consider themselves to be active, and may look at retirement differently than if they felt “their age”. How old do you think of yourself as? 28 28 28 43 43 43 55 55 55 40 9 9 9 4 4 4 7 7 7 3 3 3 3 3 3 Think of themselves as younger than they are Think of themselves as younger than they are Think of themselves as younger than they are Think of themselves as older than they are Think of themselves as older than they are Think of themselves as older than they are Q3. Regardless of your actual age, what age do you think of yourself as? * Indicates oversample

  16. People generally expect to live until they are at least 70 years old. • Optimism for living until the age of 90 or more is highest among pre-boomers (19%), and lowest among the echo generation (16%). How old do you think you will be when you pass away? Q4. How long do you think you will live – that is, how old do you think you will be when you pass away? * Indicates oversample

  17. Attitudes and Lifestyles

  18. People perceive their lifestyles to be healthier, more affluent and more liberal than the lifestyles of their parents at their age…. Perception of self image compared to parents Among Those Whose Parents Were Alive At Their Age Q5-14. I’d like to ask you a series of questions that will compare yourself with your (FATHER if male/MOTHER if female) when he/she was your age. Would you say that compared to your father/mother you are …? * Among those with children

  19. GenX’ers and Boomers also believe they work more hours… Among Those Whose Parents Were Alive At Their Age Q5-14. I’d like to ask you a series of questions that will compare yourself with your (FATHER if male/MOTHER if female) when he/she was your age. Would you say that compared to your father/mother you are …? * Indicates oversample

  20. Boomers and Pre-Boomers say they are more interested in politics and world events… Among Those Whose Parents Were Alive At Their Age Q5-14. I’d like to ask you a series of questions that will compare yourself with your (FATHER if male/MOTHER if female) when he/she was your age. Would you say that compared to your father/mother you are …? * Indicates oversample

  21. And many GenXers, Boomers and Pre-Boomers say they have a better relationship with their children than their parents did. • The Echo generation, who have great respect for their parents, are most likely to say their relationship with their children is about as good as their parents’ relationship with them. • Pre-boomers also believe they are better off financially than their parents were at their age. Among Those Whose Parents Were Alive At Their Age Q5-14. I’d like to ask you a series of questions that will compare yourself with your (FATHER if male/MOTHER if female) when he/she was your age. Would you say that compared to your father/mother you are …? * Indicates oversample

  22. Pre-boomers are the most likely group to describe themselves as liberal and conservative, spiritual and materialistic. They are also the least ambitious of the generations. % Saying Describes Them Perfectly/Mostly Q51-58. Now I’d like to read you a list of words which you may or may not use to describe yourself. For each one please tell me if you think that word describes you perfectly, mostly or a bit or not at all. * Indicates oversample

  23. Baby boomers report they are generally more tolerant, more anti-government and anti-U.S. than they were when they were 20. Self-comparisons – today versus in early 20’s Among Baby Boomers Only Q78-83. Over the years – say, compared to when you were in your early 20s – do you think you have become ….

  24. The Echo generation are very positive about their parents, the boomers. % Saying Describes Perfectly/Mostly Q66-77. I’m sure you’ve heard of Baby Boomers. This refers to people who were born between 1947 and 1966 and would be between 40 and 59 years of age right now. I’d like to read you a list of words which you may or may not think describe this generation. For each one, please tell me if you think that word describes baby boomers perfectly, mostly, a bit or not at all. * Indicates oversample

  25. Habits and Practices

  26. The Echo generation exercise more often than other age groups… Weekly incidence of working out or exercising Younger Boomers (40–49) Older Boomers (50–59) Total Boomers (40-59) Pre Boomers (60+) Echo (18–29) GenX (30–39) Total NET 3 or more times: NET Never, Once, Twice: Q40-48. I’d like you to tell me in an average week, how many times would you do each of the following, that is would you do each, once, twice, three or four times, five to nine times, ten or more times, or never?

  27. …they also tend to be more likely to eat out…. Weekly incidence of going out for dinner Younger Boomers (40–49) Older Boomers (50–59) TotalBoomers(40-59) Pre Boomers(60+) Echo (18–29) GenX (30–39) Total NET 3 or more times: NET Never, Once, Twice: Q40-48. I’d like you to tell me in an average week, how many times would you do each of the following, that is would you do each, once, twice, three or four times, five to nine times, ten or more times, or never?

  28. …have sex the most often… Weekly incidence of having sex Younger Boomers (40–49) Older Boomers (50–59) Total Boomers(40-59) Pre Boomers(60+) Echo (18–29) GenX (30–39) Total NET 3 or more times: NET Never, Once, Twice: Q40-48. I’d like you to tell me in an average week, how many times would you do each of the following, that is would you do each, once, twice, three or four times, five to nine times, ten or more times, or never?

  29. ….And are the most likely to smoke marijuana. Weekly incidence of smoking marijuana Younger Boomers (40–49) Older Boomers (50–59) Total Boomers (40-59) Pre Boomers (65+) Echo (18–29) GenX (30–39) Total NET 3 or more times: NET Never, Once, Twice: Q40-48. I’d like you to tell me in an average week, how many times would you do each of the following, that is would you do each, once, twice, three or four times, five to nine times, ten or more times, or never?

  30. Of all the age groups, GenXers drink the least often. Weekly incidence of drinking alcohol Younger Boomers (40–49) Older Boomers (50–59) Total Boomers (40-59) Pre Boomers (60+) Echo (18–29) GenX (30–39) Total NET 3 or more times: NET Never, Once, Twice: Q40-48. I’d like you to tell me in an average week, how many times would you do each of the following, that is would you do each, once, twice, three or four times, five to nine times, ten or more times, or never?

  31. Older boomers and pre-boomers are less likely to smoke than other generations. Weekly incidence of smoking cigarettes Younger Boomers (40–49) Older Boomers (50–59) Total Boomers (40-59) Pre Boomers (60+) Echo (18–29) GenX (30–39) Total NET 3 or more times: NET Never, Once, Twice: Q40-48. I’d like you to tell me in an average week, how many times would you do each of the following, that is would you do each, once, twice, three or four times, five to nine times, ten or more times, or never?

  32. Religion is a more prominent part of the lives of those aged 50 or more. Weekly incidence of praying or attending religious institutions Younger Boomers (40–49) Older Boomers (50–59) Total Boomers (40-59) Pre Boomers (60+) Echo (18–29) GenX (30–39) Total NET 3 or more times: NET Never, Once, Twice: Q40-48. I’d like you to tell me in an average week, how many times would you do each of the following, that is would you do each, once, twice, three or four times, five to nine times, ten or more times, or never?

  33. Technology is used the most often by the younger generations. GenXer’s bank online the most often… Weekly incidence of online banking Younger Boomers (40–49) Older Boomers (50–59) Total Boomers (40-59) Pre Boomers (60+) Echo (18–29) GenX (30–39) Total NET 3 or more times: NET Never, Once, Twice: Q40-48. I’d like you to tell me in an average week, how many times would you do each of the following, that is would you do each, once, twice, three or four times, five to nine times, ten or more times, or never?

  34. …and, along with the Echo generation, are the most likely to surf the Internet. Younger Boomers (40–49) Older Boomers (50–59) Total Boomers (40-59) Pre Boomers (60+) Echo (18–29) GenX (30–39) Total NET 3 or more times: NET Never, Once, Twice: Q40-48. I’d like you to tell me in an average week, how many times would you do each of the following, that is would you do each, once, twice, three or four times, five to nine times, ten or more times, or never?

  35. One-in-five Canadians say they are constantly trying new brands. • This proportion is constant across all of the generations. • Pre-boomers are the most likely generation to say they always purchase the same brands. Paradoxically, they are just as likely as other generations to be constantly trying new brands. Brand purchasing habits Q50. When it comes to buying consumer products – from cars to soap – do you tend to always purchase the same brands, purchase the same brands a lot but try other brands from time to time, or constantly experiment and buy different brands? * Indicates oversample

  36. Relationships

  37. One-quarter of boomers with living parents are assisting them regularly Incidence of living parents and their care requirements 22% require regular assistance 17% require regular assistance 25% require regular assistance 24% require regular assistance 39% require regular assistance C Q15. Are either of your parents alive today? Q16. Do your parents/either of your parents require your help and assistance on a regular basis? c Caution, small base size

  38. One-quarter of respondents say they are very close with their parents. • Pre-Boomers are particularly close with their living parents, with 39% saying they are very close with them. Among Those Whose Parents Are Still Alive Total Very/ Somewhat Close % Q17. Would you describe your relationship with your parents as very close, somewhat close, not very close or not at all close?

  39. Almost half of Boomers still have children living at home Q20. Do you have children? Q20A. How old are your children? Q20B. Are any of these children living in your household? * Indicates oversample

  40. Tastes between the generations are converging: the younger the generation the more likely they are to feel they have similar tastes in music as their children. Children’s Taste in Music, Relative to OwnAmong Those Whose Oldest Child Is At Least 13 Years Old Total Identical/Similar % Q23. Are your tastes in music identical, similar or dissimilar or opposite to your children?

  41. Relationships between parents and their children are also strong: two-thirds say their children over the age of 13 enjoy their company very much. How much do your children enjoy your company?Among Those Whose Oldest Child Is At Least 13 Years Old Total Enjoy Very Much/ Somewhat % Q24. How much do you think your children enjoy your company? Do you think they enjoy your company very much, somewhat, a bit, or not at all?

  42. Children’s Financial Situation

  43. Parents generally feel their children have more educational and employment opportunities than they did. Among Those Whose Youngest Child Is Less Than 25 Years Old By Age Q25-26. In each of the following areas, I would like you to tell me if you think that your children have or will have more opportunities, about the same, or fewer opportunities than when you were growing up. * Indicates oversample C Caution, small base size

  44. Those from the Echo and GenX generations are most likely to feel their children’s financial situation is better than their own. Expect to Leave Inheritance?Among Those With Children Perception of Children’s Financial Situation, Relative to OwnAmong Those With Children Total Far/Somewhat Better Off % Yes % Q21. Financially, do you believe your children will end up far better off than you, somewhat better off, about as well off, somewhat worse off, or a lot worse off financially than you? Q22. Do you expect to leave your children an inheritance?

  45. The majority of boomers with children aged 18 and over are still providing financial support to their kids. Among Those With Children Over 18 Years Old 44 76 48 59 21 Q95. To what extent do you financially support any of your children over the age of 18 years? Would you say you provide ... ? Q96. Do you expect to financially support your children for the rest of your life, for the next 10 to 20 years, or for less than 10 years? * Indicates oversample

  46. Most expect their financial assistance to end within the next 10 years. Among Those Who Are Supporting Their Children Q95. To what extent do you financially support any of your children over the age of 18 years? Would you say you provide ... ? Q96. Do you expect to financially support your children for the rest of your life, for the next 10 to 20 years, or for less than 10 years? * Indicates oversample

  47. Real Estate

  48. Four-fifths of boomers live in houses they own, while a third of the Echo generation are still living at home. Ownership of Residence Q27. Is the home that you live in owned by a member of the household? * Indicates oversample

  49. Two in five Canadians live in houses valued between $100 000 and $250,000. Estmated Value of Home Among Those Who Live In A Home Owned By A Member Of The Household Q28. What is the approximate total value of your home in dollars? * Indicates oversample

  50. One-in-five Canadians live in households that also own real estate that is not their primary residence. Value of other real estate assets Q29. Do you/they own any real estate that you/they don’t live in full-time or at all? Q30. What is the value of other real estate assets? c Caution, small base size * Indicates oversample