From the July 2007 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

Old boomer problem gets shiny new name

A national study conducted by The Nielsen Company and Age Lessons claims to have uncovered a new market segment known as pivot spenders. The study describes pivot spenders as boomers who provide financial support on an ongoing basis to elderly parents or an adult child over the age of 18. If you think this sounds amazingly close to boomers stuck in the sandwich generation, well ... so do we.

The study reports that fully 22 percent of boomers contribute to the financial upkeep of a senior parent, while 24 percent help out an adult child not in college. Almost 40 percent of boomer pivot spenders paid out more than $1,000 per year to help their elderly parents, while 56 percent contributed at least that amount to supplement an adult child. The top two areas of contribution for both older parents and adult children were groceries (58 percent and 47 percent, respectively) and housing (47 percent and 37 percent, respectively). Other areas where senior parents were likely to receive financial assistance included medical care (22 percent), clothing (21 percent) and car expenses (18 percent). For adult children, additional areas of boomer support included car expenses (46 percent), clothing (41 percent) and medical care (37 percent).

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