Thursday, January 2, 2020

100 Year Old Era and the Baby Boomers

In the Catholic Peace Weekly, a professor at a Catholic University writes about the generation between 1946 and 1964  called the baby boomers. 6.5 million baby boomers in Korea began more than a decade ago to retire and live as seniors for the next 30 years.

Most of the baby boomers received higher education, are prepared for retirement, have accumulated assets, and have homes. A generation with family-centered values ​​but aware of their own needs as individuals and are prepared for psychological reasons to maintain a certain distance from married children.

What is the 'silver market' situation for baby boomers, who will be the main consumers for the next 30 years? According to various data, the baby boomers' market use is still very weak. Currently, the capacity of the baby boomers, whose wealth compared to other generations is the largest, the market still has no visible evidence of their participation.

Consider the age groups of consumers in their 20s and 30s, where department stores, shopping complexes, underground shopping malls, subways, cinemas, and cafes are crowded. Even the premium durable goods market, the travel industry, and the leisure sports market target young consumers.

Baby boomers have assets, but they can't open their wallets because of different burdens and concerns. First of all, the double burden of supporting parents and children— financial support for marriage and housing of an adult child and helping older parents.

In this situation, the blessing of a long life in the 100-year-old era is burdensome. In fact, statistics show that spending in the 70s households (the percentage of total disposable income spent on consumption) has continued to decline over the past 20 years and is currently the lowest of all ages.

In addition, our society is a worrying society. According to Hofstede, a cultural psychologist, Korea belongs to a culture that is concerned not only about the current problems but also about the future, about the future of children and grandchildren, and even about life after death. It is also a society in which money is more closely linked to the concept of security. Growing up in a worrying culture, baby boomers tend to seek excessive economic and social safeguards for their future. In this situation, no matter how good a product or service, it is hard to open one's wallet.

The activation of the market may not be a concern at all for baby boomers who believe in the value of saving and moderation. However, as the aging society progresses, the recession in the 'silver market' is likely to lead to the recession of the entire market and industry.

The recession of the entire market can turn into a boomerang that threatens the security of life and pensions. Baby boomers know how to save money, but they also need to learn how to spend their money properly. Without changing the values ​​of life and family, consumption patterns will not change. The vitalization of the 'silver market' should begin with serious consideration of what is a happy and meaningful life.

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