Monday, March 07, 2016

Spending patterns of older Americans

  By 2050, when our children are 80+ there will twice as many seniors as today. So the purpose of this study (BLS) is to figure out how do people over 65 spend money (we’re consumer units). If businesses and investor are going to plan, they need to know where the opportunities are.
The first thing you notice is how income, which peaks in the 50s, drops in the 70s (retirement pensions, savings, investments—which is why we need to elect capitalists). I think the food category is high, but that’s because it probably includes eating out—and we sort of tuck that into entertainment (we don't do much for entertainment). Everyone eats out much more than they need to—food is pretty reasonable, but if you’re paying someone to prepare and serve it, not so much. In 2013, Americans spent 5.6 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food at home and 4.3 percent on food away from home. 
I was surprised that housing costs (as percent of income) were as high as the study shows.
Contributions got lumped into “other” so that’s a pretty sloppy category. I know there are all sorts of categories we could reduce, but really don’t have the will. Clothing costs are down for older Americans.  I just love shopping for clothes at resale stores and getting brand name jeans for $1.00. I didn’t discover them til after I retired. For nice stuff, I just let my daughter do that for Christmas and birthdays. But that trend isn't good for some malls and retail stores with such a shift in demographics.


Paula said...

Housing is horrendously pricey out here. I don't yet have a plan for my retirement, but I probably won't be able to stay in Orange County, which means I'll have to leave all my friendships.

Norma said...

I have relatives in Orange County who rent rooms in their homes to help pay the mortgage.