Kate Hawkesby: Boomers deserve more respect

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 3 Mar 2020, 9:21AM
Photo / Getty Images

Kate Hawkesby: Boomers deserve more respect

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 3 Mar 2020, 9:21AM

I read recently about how baby boomers are taking over the CBD.

Latest census figures showed 55 to 74 year olds are moving into central city Auckland at pace.

They’re grabbing up city and city fringe properties at three times the rate of any other group.

Why?  Because they like amenities, they like lifestyle, travel, city fringe is easy lock up and leave, they like to eat out, and they’re probably sick of years of home maintenance.

But this stat also serves as a salient reminder that this age group is where the money is.

They’ve worked hard and they’re the people with disposable income. They’re the ones who own houses, sometimes more than one, they’re the age group that’s still quite active, and yet, the glaring irony these days is, they’re also the age group most ignored.

Just ask any media company or marketeer who they’re targeting, it’s youth.

Even our government owned state radio station wants a youth channel, I have no idea why, given I don’t know a single young person who listens to music on the radio, they all stream via Spotify etc.

None of our kids listen to the radio, none of them watch free to air TV, in fact they barely watch any TV at all.

‘Youth’ are into instant gratification, if they want something, they’ll find it on the internet via their laptop, or on social media.

This obsession with youth is not new. It’s also why we see so many older people being celebrated for still being employed. Especially women and ones in the media, it’s a headline if a woman 50+ is still on air. Why should it be though? Why should we see that as so unique, rare and amazing?

Because our culture caters to youth, and therefore gets so exercised when someone dares to be over 50 and still gainfully employed.

It’s worse if you’re male actually, if you dare to have an opinion and express it at over 50 years old, you’re called pale male and stale and virtually cancelled on the spot.

Raising teenagers as we are, I love youth, I see tremendous value in them, but from a monetary point of view, it’s a demographic that’s got very little cash compared to boomers, yet they’re the focus of all marketing and advertising.

Which is weird given they can really only afford an energy drink and a takeaway coffee.

They certainly don’t own houses, they barely own cars. They’re a generation so spooked by climate change and carbon footprints, they’re inclined to travel less.

So where’s the representation for the booming generation of older people, who by the way are living longer and are more active than ever before? Why aren't we catering to them?