How baby boomers are changing our cities

As the baby boomer generation ages, increasingly the idyllic countryside retirement is being replaced by city-based retirement. Compelling the move back into the heart of cities is greater access to the arts, better healthcare and less reliance on the need to drive. It is this trend of re-urbanisation that is adding to swelling city populations and in turn, increasing infrastructure demands and service needs.

Cities are not physically growing in size, it is the numbers living in them that is swelling and this creates a plethora of issues and potential problems – from environmental to social.

Hospitals, rehabilitation centres and assisted living facilities will be needed to service this aging population. Unlike other sectors facing the rise of the digital age, real estate is a prerequisite. Much of the infrastructure needed for this tectonic demographic shift has yet to be built and we are on the cusp of a construction buildout across the country that will facilitate the way our aging population lives. For example, growth in the senior population will necessitate the need for a 30% increase in hospital beds by 2030.

One of the resources that will be stretched by this trend is water. There is no operational leverage in water; each individual requires two litres of water to sustain life every day. The more people push into cities the greater the amount of water we’re going to need to transmit into those cities.

Jim Lydotes – The Boston Company, part of BNY Mellon Asset Management North America.

As the baby boomer generation ages, increasingly the idyllic countryside retirement is being replaced by city-based retirement. Compelling the move back into the heart of cities is greater access to the arts, better healthcare and less reliance on the need to drive. It is this trend of re-urbanisation that is adding to swelling city populations and in turn, increasing infrastructure … read more

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Feeling the squeeze: is it crunch time for Generation X?

In some ways Generation X is caught between a rock and a hard place, facing a squeeze from a range of shifting social and demographic factors and financial pressures. From a financial perspective, rising longevity is just one factor, with improvements in technology, science and health provision meaning people are living longer and requiring more and more capital. More specifically, the issue of wealth transfer from the Baby Boomer generation is also becoming increasingly important. In future, Baby Boomers who are already pondering whether to transfer assets to their own children or the next generation of Millennial grandchildren could well opt to do the latter.

Against this backdrop, those in generation X will increasingly need to work out what their long-term financial and retirement requirements are and identify solutions to support this while protecting their existing capital. But, while these people need to be invested to grow their wealth and grow their income in the longer term, their investment choices may not be easy. Annuity rates have fallen in recent years and mainstream investment markets have also seen equity prices become extended over time and returns from bonds become low by historic standards. With other pressures such as inflation looming, a range of other more sustainable and long-term alternative investment options may increasingly come into focus.

Freeman Le Page – investment specialist and SRI client director and Nick Moss, portfolio manager multi-asset team. Newton, a BNY Mellon company

In some ways Generation X is caught between a rock and a hard place, facing a squeeze from a range of shifting social and demographic factors and financial pressures. From a financial perspective, rising longevity is just one factor, with improvements in technology, science and health provision meaning people are living longer and requiring more and more capital. More specifically, … read more

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Millennials: we’ve never had it so tough

For millennials* the financial headwinds are legion. Previous generations grew up with the understanding that they should never need to spend more than a third of their income on rent or housing costs. Now consider the case for millennials who are looking at having to allocate some 45% of their income just to keep a roof over their heads. A second punch to the gut is student debt. Right now there’s some US$1.5 trillion in student debt outstanding and the average student loan per capita for a millennial is just over US$37,000 dollars.

Against this background, US home prices have increased 29% since 2000 but millennials’ real median income has only gone up by 1%.

With a triple whammy of higher housing costs, rising debt and lower wages we think it’s no exaggeration to say millennials have it hard.

Chris Kelly – head of Commercial Real Estate. Amherst, a BNY Mellon company

*Defined as individuals born between 1982 and 2000.

For millennials* the financial headwinds are legion. Previous generations grew up with the understanding that they should never need to spend more than a third of their income on rent or housing costs. Now consider the case for millennials who are looking at having to allocate some 45% of their income just to keep a roof over their heads. A … read more

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