Oleksyn: A peek into the future stampede of boomers

I just don’t think that economic forecasting can be done.

Anyone who has ever debated economic forecasting with me undoubtedly knows that I am, in general, a sworn skeptic.

I just don’t think that economic forecasting can be done.

In my opinion, the sheer number of known and unknown variables makes a mockery of the whole exercise.

However, I do think that an investor can successfully use demographics as a long-term forecasting tool simply because it can provide a peek into the future.

Let’s take the baby boomers for example.

Since they are all about the same age, they all tend to consume—or stop consuming—the same products or services, at about the same time.

So far, it’s been similar to a cattle stampede.

Their sheer numbers have distorted almost every market that you can think of.

When they all try to buy something at the same time, prices ‘boom’ and go up.

When they all try to sell something at the same time, prices ‘bust’ and go down.

One question that I get asked quite often is:  “What do you think will happen to the housing market?”

I have looked in my crystal ball and I boldly predict that the boomers will get older.

Here are just a few boomer housing trends that I am currently contemplating.

First, the bulk of the baby boomers have now passed through their large family home buying years.

Therefore, the market will soften simply because there is fewer post-boomers available to buy them.

Second, I think that baby boomers’ tastes and needs have changed.

Boomers are interested in downsizing simply because their children are now grown. They don’t want to mow all that grass and clean all those bathrooms.

In my opinion, the third issue concerns the costs associated with the future medical care for baby boomers.

The boomers have caused sudden and extreme price increases in everything that they have bought so far, why would anyone think that the cost of health care would be any different?

So, who will pay?

I consider it absolute fantasy to think that society is somehow going to be able to increasingly tax fewer and fewer working people, who have the least resources, so that society can pay more and more to the boomers for health care and retirement.

I think the boomers will have to pay. The problem is that if the unprepared boomers don’t have the current income to pay their bills, they will have to divest some of their assets.

Since housing is one of a boomer’s most significant assets, I would expect that many will have to downsize in order to cover these under estimated expenses.

Are these the only factors? I very much doubt it. You’ll have to do more homework.

But my point is that you can use demographics to help avoid getting fiscally trampled by the baby boomer stampede.

Just Posted

Helevorn comes to Kelowna on first Canadian tour

The Spaniards will bring their brand of doom metal to Kelowna May 11

Okanagan College program enacts remote smartphone chargers

Project ReCharge is making some additions to local parks

One day cat cafe comes to Lake Country

The Lake Country Art Gallery will host the adoption event

The Lonely to celebrate Roy Orbison’s music

The tribute show will come to Kelowna Sept. 27

No one hurt in West Kelowna rollover

The crash took place at Sonoma Pines Drive and Carrington Road

VIDEO: Are you concerned about Facebook leaking personal information?

Local Okanagan Facebook users speak on the social platform’s privacy settings

Memorial bench for young South Okanagan woman who died was stolen

Someone stole the stone bench that was placed at a walking bridge across the creek

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

May the fourth be with you for Okanagan Comic Con

Second annual event expected to draw hundreds of characters

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

VIDEO: Large dust devil swirls through downtown Chase

Residents look on as column climbs about 90 feet into the air

Okanagan city caps downtown cannabis retail applications

Four currently approved, two more coming, moratorium in place, reviewed after 12 months

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Okanagan school bus driver fondly remembered

Mike Moore, 56, was Vernon School District employee for 25 years before succumbing to cancer

Most Read