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Baby boomers ‘driving the economy’

The baby boomer generation are redefining what it means to be older as the over-50s embrace “a second go at being youthful”, according to a new report.

A study by The Future Laboratory, commissioned by technology firm Huawei, has dubbed the first post-Second World War generation “Superboomers”, identifying them as a wealthy and healthy group who are driving the economy.

As of this year, there are more than 1.7m entrepreneurs over 50 in the UK and one in five over-50s is self employed, according to the study.

And as one of the wealthiest generations in history, controlling 89% of disposable wealth, they are also redefining views on lifestyle, fashion and technology.

The report stated: “Superboomers are embracing the fact that they will be living for longer and are having a second go at being youthful. No longer does their age define them: their hobbies, interests and passions move them.”

“Boomers represent a quarter of the population in the UK and are spearheading the longevity revolution. As the retirement age rises and life expectancy grows, news of changes in the state pension age is contributing to a wider shift in the Boomer generation’s attitudes towards their older years.

“A second life awaits them and they have the financial security, health and vigour to make the most of it.”

The report cites figures from Kantar that women over 50 in the UK account for 41%, or £2.7bn, of the annual spending on clothing, shoes and accessories, while a Nuffield Health study found gym visits peak at 66.

Tom Savigar, chief strategy officer of The Future Laboratory, said: “Retirement offers them the chance to rev up rather than slow down, to start a new business or career, to invest and seek adventure – all with confidence, experience and attitude.”

And the Government’s new older workers’ champion Dr Ros Altmann has said with people living longer and healthier lives and facing small pension pots, they are moving away from traditional views of retirement.

“There is a social revolution under way, which is being led by the baby boomers, who have redefined everything throughout their lives, particularly around the world of work. They are now going to redefine retirement,” she told the Times.

“There is a whole new phase of life up for grabs. It is a phase that is full-time work, where you ease yourself into your later age rather than reach a specific chronological date and your working life is over.”

There are currently around 2.9 million people aged between 50 and state pension age out of work and the Department for Work and Pensions estimates in the next 10 years there will be 3.7 million more, with 700,000 fewer people aged 16 to 49 in the UK labour market.

The Government is encouraging people to work longer and encourage businesses to utilise the over-50s in the workplace.

Dr Altmann added: “In general, why would you want to stop working, stop using your talents and have a lot less money to live on?”

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