Baby Boomers Bring Big Bucks to Tempting Texas Town



Too many people have all kinds of weird things pop into their heads when you mention the word “wealth.” So when an article appears that mentions (almost certainly correctly) that Baby Boomers are at the moment the wealthiest generation and reveals how they are apparently flocking to a town in Texas with wheelbarrows full of cash (almost certainly an exaggeration), it’s easy to spot some of those misconceptions.

Georgetown, Texas, is the place to be, at least if you’re of a certain age. Thanks to a surge in baby boomers moving into the city just 40 miles north of Austin, it’s the fastest-growing city in America.

A new Wall Street Journal report stated that boomers are driving the local population boom as they move into an age-restricted community association known as Sun City Texas, mostly reserved for buyers 55 and older. 

Not my cup of tea, but it’s not surprising; Texas is a popular destination these days. But here’s where the questions begin:

“It’s like they’re at college except they don’t have to go to class and they have $3 million in the bank,” Schroeder told the outlet.

Baby boomers are generally considered the wealthiest generation in the U.S. today, with Federal Reserve data from Q3 2023 indicating those over 55 own 72% of wealth in America, with those over 70 holding 30% of all wealth. 

That money, combined with the lack of need to care for younger children and more time to do fun or leisurely post-retirement activities, signals a better opportunity to stimulate the local economy.

Here’s the thing: Most of these folks probably don’t have $3 million in the bank. Most of them probably don’t have $300,000 in the bank. Many don’t have $30,000 holed away. While every senior generation is, as a whole, holding the most net worth, it’s not because they secretly have huge Scrooge McDuckian vaults in their basements where they can go swimming in pools full of gold coins. In most cases – speaking as a Boomer myself, with my siblings, cousins, and most of my circle of friends and acquaintances being likewise Boomers – our net worth, or our wealth, if you will, is non-liquid, while our income is often a mix of Social Security, pensions and 401k payouts and so on. After decades of working, paying our mortgages, and, yes, enjoying some fortuitous times in the real estate markets, a lot of us now own our homes outright. And a lot of us have chosen, as we enter our retirement years, to sell our homes in big, expensive cities where we spent our working careers for smaller, cheaper, safer, and more pleasant surroundings. That’s how generations work.


See Related: THE BUZZ CUT: The Greatest Generation, or Social Petri Dish? 

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And then, of course, there is this usual bit of hand-wringing:

While seniors are more likely to harbor wealth, younger generations are lagging behind, with the Fed data from Q3 2023 showing 25% of American households aged 40 to 54 own just 20% of the nation’s wealth, while those under 40 have under 7%.

Of course they’re lagging behind! They are younger and have not had the time to slowly pay down 30-year mortgages, to increase their net worth in any number of ways those of us who are in our sixties and seventies have done. It’s always been that way – when I was in my twenties, to quote the brilliant Rowan Atkinson, I was as “poor as a church mouse who has just had an enormous tax bill on the very day his wife left him for another mouse, taking all the cheese.” I worked, I bought a home, I paid my bills, I saved, and I built my nest egg. Millions of others have done the same.

T’was ever thus, and thus it ever shall be, with rare exceptions of inheritance and so forth.

As far as we Boomers taking some time to smell the roses, I can only say this: Most of us who are doing this have earned it. I can only speak for my own situation from experience, but I can say this: Nobody gave me a damn thing. If I’m enjoying fun or leisurely activities, it’s because I’ve earned them.



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