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

Pass the torch -- Echo boomers eclipse parents' spending power

As baby boomers move toward retirement, their massive influence on consumer spending will be eclipsed by the nation's second largest generation -- echo boomers.

Visa recently compared echo boomers (born 1979 to 1989) and baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964). The credit card giant estimates that by the year 2015, the echo boomers will account for approximately $2.45 trillion in annual spending.

The study found that echo boomers, who believe they are facing a difficult economic future, are demonstrating a practical and mature approach to spending:

  • Echo boomers are focused on getting more value for their money: 69 percent consider themselves wait-and-see shoppers, and 83 percent say they are bargain shoppers.
  • 80 percent of echo boomers stick to a strict budget when making purchases and 81 percent describe themselves as trying to cut back on what they spend.
  • Even at their young age, more than 70 percent of Echo Boomers are concerned about having enough money for retirement.

And how do baby boomers view this generation of younger upstarts? According to the survey, unfavorably:

  • Only 25 percent of baby boomers describe echo boomers as an admirable generation, compared to 68 percent of echo boomers who admire baby boomers.
  • Approximately 68 percent of baby boomers believe echo boomers are too self-centered and focused on themselves.
  • While baby boomers have a desire for youth, only 7 percent would prefer to be a member of the Echo boomer generation.
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