L: Blue Sky Boomers

Middle-class baby boomer-aged households living in small towns

5.38% of households and 4.55% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 51-65
  • Household income $50,000-$74,999
  • 1 person household
  • Homeowner
  • Low level of technology adoption

Key Features

  • Rural lifestyles
  • Modest housing
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Agricultural and blue-collar jobs
  • Racing fanatics
  • Near retirement

Types

Description

In Blue Sky Boomers, older, empty-nesting couples and singles have settled in small towns and waterfront resorts in anticipation of their retirement years. The three types in this group are about evenly divided between married couples and widowed or divorced singles without children at home. More than 80 percent are between the ages of 50 and 65. Most have high-school educations and working-class sensibilities. These households tend to work in blue-collar jobs, supporting a resort economy in towns that offer weekend getaways and longer summer vacations for wealthier city dwellers.

Blue Sky Boomers are found in small towns and waterfront resorts—both seaside beaches and lakefront communities—from California to Florida. Many households are concentrated in the South, with the warmer weather favored by retirees. These Boomers are homeowners who tend to live in modestly-priced homes. With childrearing days behind them, they have the discretionary cash to purchase pickup trucks. While vacationers may swell the streets of their towns every summer, most of these year-round locals have lived at the same address for over a decade.

Most Blue Sky Boomers, unlike their seasonal neighbors, earn lower-middle-class incomes, averaging about $50,000. However, because their expenses are low and their mortgages mostly paid off, many enjoy casual and comfortable lifestyles.

Located in surroundings like theirs, no one would fault Blue Sky Boomers for spending much of their leisure time outdoors, and they enjoy fishing, bird-watching and gardening as well as watching NASCAR on TV, and listening to music. However, they also have enough money—thanks, in part, to conservative investments—to travel by car to domestic locations, and are likely to buy a lottery ticket.

Blue Sky Boomers are not shopaholics. They keep their clothes as long as possible and shop only when they need to— preferably at local stores. When they go on a big shopping run, these price-sensitive consumers typically head to discount department stores to stretch their money like Walmart, Dollar General, Family Dollar and Big Lots—and they make sure to bring coupons they clipped at home with them. Many are late adopters of new products, especially consumer electronics. They don’t often acquire the latest audio and digital devices—their living rooms are still outfitted with traditional tube TVs. In this “buy American” group, residents look for brands that are home-grown or at least portray that American image of honor, dignity and respect.

In Blue Sky Boomers, traditional media still reigns supreme. To keep up with local news, many subscribe to a daily newspaper and read it from cover to cover. They also read magazines, especially those that reflect their down-home lifestyle. This aging generation never lost their interest in music, listening to country music and golden oldies. However, many consider TV their chief form of entertainment, tuning in to reality and game shows, dramas and sitcoms.

Politically, Blue Sky Boomers are a conservative Democratic group, who support causes financially, often backing health and religious charities.