A Future Shaped By Generational Differences

Overall, in 2021, Gen X (anyone born from 1965 to 1980) spent the most money of any U.S. generation, with an average annual expenditure of $83,357

Preethi Lodha – How Americans Spend Their Money, By Generation

As we focus our gaze on the horizon, history tells us that generational transitions to new stages of life play a role in shaping the future. As we traverse the seasons of life, how we think influences where society goes. In the book The Fourth Turning, the seasons of life are described in detail:

  • Childhood (ages 0-20)
  • Young adulthood (ages 21-41)
  • Midlife (ages 42-62)
  • Elderhood (ages 63-83)

However, many factors have converged to change the traditional life cycle from 4 segments to five.

How many of us can resonate with the new five segment life cycle? This shift has massive implications across domains. One such domain is the area of finance. For example, what does this shift mean to the transfer of wealth from baby boomers to millennials? What does retirement look like in the future? A recent article provides some interesting data on areas of spend across the generations. Two visuals from the article are provided below. As we attempt to understand possible futures, this changing human life cycle must be considered – how and where we spend our money is just one area of consideration.

Source: Visual Capitalist
Source: Visual Capitalist

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