From the April 2010 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

Middle boomers as the middle child

If you take an old snapshot of Woodstock and apply it to 78 million people...we'll, it might not be the most accurate picture. We've said it before and we'll say it again; lump boomers in to one monolithic demographic at your own risk.

Recent data from the MetLife Mature Market Institute show that Young, Middle and Older Boomers grew up during disparate "eras" and are now at different stages in their lives.

And it's the so-called Middle Boomers, now 52 to 58 years old and 29 million strong, that are very much a generation of the 1960s, says Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

"They identify with the Vietnam War, the Kennedy assassination and the women's movement, identifying the war as the event that most influenced them in their youth. They are distinguished most by a change in culture through political and social activism. But, like the proverbial often neglected 'middle child,' they have rarely been noted as having an identity of their own, although they are different in many ways from the Oldest and Youngest Boomers."

From a business and financial standpoint Middle Boomers are:

  • Looking forward to retirement (setting their sights on age 65)
  • Have a high net worth ($100,000 or more, excluding their home value)
  • Are currently in their peak earning years
  • More than half say they are behind on their retirement savings goals
  • Most will rely on Social Security for their retirement income
  • A majority own their own homes, which are worth an average of $273,000
  • Have an average of six financial products
  • One-third expects to receive an inheritance from their parents in the amount of $181,000
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