Will the Baby Boom be a Baby Bust?

For many years companies have been gearing up for an onslaught of retiring baby boomers who theoretically will be the richest, most active US population segment in history. Problem is, up to this point, it has been just that – a theory.

Companies from cruise lines to retirement communities have invested billions getting ready for this wave of retirees. However, a startling new research study from Kevin P. Coyne of Coyne Associates Atlanta creates some valid doubts about how the baby boomers will behave once they reach retirement age.

Coyne’s research suggests that boomers will be neither rich enough or young enough at retirement to meet the business expectations aimed at catering to them. Coyne suggests that both the size and growth rate of US retirees could be substantially smaller than originally forecast.

Some of the reasons are pretty easy to identify: falling stocks, sagging housing values, skyrocketing cost of healthcare, increased energy cost and social changes from increased divorce rates that will not allow single income families to afford retirement.

I think this is just the beginning and it will be interesting to see how the boomers evolve over the next 20 years. What was to be America’s most economically powerful segment, may end up being a big bust.