Ken Dychtwald sees a future where family roles blur, the “Noah’s Ark” social model declines and aging Boomers stock up on experiences instead of things. “In the next 25 years, one continuing trend we’ll see from Boomers as they age is a blurring of gender roles and buying patterns. As this generation matures, it will be common for husbands to do the laundry and grocery shopping before preparing a scrumptious dinner while their wives are busy buying the computers and new cars and managing the family’s investment portfolio. And because of the unprecedented independence of these women and their greater longevity, the long-standing “Noah’s Ark” model driven by heterogeneous pairs’ will give way to more friendship-based buying networks as mature boomer women organize into investment circles, travel clubs and communal living arrangements. Another trend that we’ll see more of from Boomers is a desire for experiences over things. In their youth, Boomers were eager to buy a wide range of “things” for pleasure status. However, as they pass their 50th birthdays and encounter the loss of loved ones, great successes or dismal failures in work and marriage, and possibly serious health scares, they begin to reflect on what matters most in life.  A shift from the desire for products to services will lead to an explosion in educational programs that stir the imagination, travel that broadens one’s perspectives, entertainment that stimulates the mind, art that enraptures the spirit religion that inspires the soul, and even new botanical or pharmaceutical substances that alter one’s perception of reality.” (American Demographics May 2003)

American Demographics May 2003