J34: Suburban Sophisticates

Established sophisticates living comfortable suburban lifestyles

Type of Autumn Years consisting of 3.71% of households and 3.33% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 66-75
  • Household income $50,000-$74,999
  • 2 person household
  • Homeowner
  • Low level of household technology

Key Features

  • Retired
  • Financially secure
  • AARP members
  • Established homes
  • Avid newspaper readers
  • Republican households


The flight to the suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s attracted many World War II veterans with young families. Today, these Suburban Sophisticates seniors are ready to retire but still happy in their modest homes scattered across the country near metros and mid-sized cities. More than four fifths of household heads are over 65 years old, and half are already retired. With their children out of the house, this mix of empty-nesting couples and widowed individuals live comfortably on mid-scale incomes and assets from a lifetime of working at professional and technical jobs.

Suburban Sophisticates enjoy quiet, unassuming lifestyles. They spend most of their time around their homes reading, gardening and watching TV. They like dining out and go to casual restaurants. They don’t frequent many cultural activities but attend antique shows and enjoy music classics from the 60s and 70s. When socializing, they attend activities sponsored by their religious group or veterans’ club.

As shoppers, Suburban Sophisticates have traditional tastes and are also a strong market for books and garden supplies. Given their extended families of children and grandchildren, these folks send a lot of cards and gifts and may be on a first- name basis with the clerks at the local stores.

Suburban Sophisticates are fans of traditional media, including print, TV and radio. They read a daily newspaper and like to subscribe to women’s and home magazines. Although they no longer represent a strong drive-time radio audience, they still tune in to stations that play oldies and easy listening music. Mostly, though, these households are TV fans, watching dramas, early evening and reality shows. Few understand all the excitement about the internet.

Not surprisingly, these Americans describe themselves as conservative Democrats or Ultra Conservatives. They care about their faith and go to religious services each week. These are people who belong to church and synagogue clubs, attend union meetings and support the community service projects of veterans’ organizations.

Reach this consumer group with something shiny in their USPS mailboxes. Use messages that are core to the traditional conventions of America like respect, being home-grown and paying it forward. Customer service and loyalty programs that illustrate “Our brand cares about you”, will also ensure Suburban Sophisticates continue spending their hard-earned dollars with you.