By Rita R. Robison
In its recent newsletter, the Boomer Project, a consulting firm focusing on marketing to boomers, predicts that baby boomers will continue to transform American culture, pursuing their own vitality through their midlife years and on into old age.
1. Boomers will remain at the head of the table, heading more households than any other generation, including more multigenerational households.
2. More boomers will embrace city living, attracted by the variety of activities, energy, and hassle-free lifestyle advantages offered by the center city and new urban villages.
3. More boomers will get religion, since the median age in America increases every year as boomers grow older, and older people are more likely to attend church than younger ones.
4. Boomers will become even more wired to stay connected to their kids and grandkids.
5. Health and well-care will be everywhere, with boomer spending on wellness, fitness, and physical appearance increasing in 2012.
6. Boomers will volunteer even more, with boomers projected to swell the ranks of volunteering by almost 50 percent over the next 10 years.
7. Boomers will drive green innovations that matter, because boomer consumers want to be responsible in their consumption, striving for sustainability, not planned obsolescence.
8. Boomers will lead the age of responsible consumerism, because the Great Recession – timed with the green movement, volatility of retirement accounts, and anticipated governmental cuts – has helped usher in more responsible consumerism.
9. Boomers will create the "longevity economy," a growing portion of the American economy that will be based on the behaviors, needs, and desires of the 50-plus market.
10. Boomers will support a thoughtful plan for America's future, because boomers are transformational and have led or supported many societal shifts – from women's rights to gay rights.
Martin and Thornhill close their 2012 predictions by saying:
These predictions may paint an optimistic view of 2012, but we have never been fervent believers in the Mayan prediction that the world ends on December 21, 2012. For boomers, 2012 marks the first year of the rest of their lives. Another year when they can make a difference.
See the January 2012 issue of Jumpin' Jack Flash, the Boomer Project's newsletter, for more information on these 10 predictions.