Turns out baby boomer parents aren’t that much different from their millennial children. In fact, they share plenty of habits, even though the two demographics are in vastly different stages of life.
A CNBC report compiled a list of ways the two generations are alike. Here are the noteworthy:
▪ Both like using social media to highlight their experiences, and the number of boomer users is growing. Sixty-four percent of people between 50 and 64 are active on at least one social media site — up 14 percent from July 2015, according to Pew Research Center study.
Another study, the Olapic’s Consumer Trust Study Report, found that boomers and millennials favor user-generated content more than content created by brands. The degree of trust varies, with 36 percent of boomers trusting user-generated content compared to 47 percent of millennials. They scored about the same in favoring content created by brands.
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Both groups also liked photos more than any other type of social content, but with a big difference in the networking sites they prefer. Boomers overwhelmingly prefer Facebook and millennials like Instagram.
▪ Millennials and boomers rent, but the number of boomer renters is growing. Home-ownership rates in the U.S. fell to a historic low last year, and experts say a big reason is that millennials are less likely to buy than previous generations. But a 2015 study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University also found that families or married couples ages 45-64 accounted for roughly twice the share of renter growth as households under the age of 35. What’s more, like everyone else, including their children, boomers are affected by rising rents, so they are increasingly open to living with roommates.
▪ Student debt isn’t a problem just for millennials, though they are, by far, the hardest-hit generation. Student loan debt has topped $1.4 trillion, and it continues to increase every day. Research by Citizens Bank revealed that 60 percent of college graduates age 35 and under with student loans expect to be paying them off into their 40s, but 2015 research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York also showed 2.8 million borrowers were 60 years or older. Ten years earlier, that number was 700,000. Boomers are the fastest-growing age group with student debt.