• They are people with good spending power and who expect to increase their spending in 2021.
  • 55% of homes have more than one source of income.
  • 56% save an amount every month.
  • 60% feel “safe” that their financial situation will not worsen in the next few months.
  • 92% take care of their diet, and 7 out of 10 exercise and avoid stress.
  • The 1st Senior Consumer Barometer studies the purchasing habits of a generation made up of 15.5 million Spaniards, more than half of whom are women.
  • The Fundación MAPFRE Ageingnomics Research Center is the result of MAPFRE’s commitment to the economic opportunities of ageing (Ageingnomics), a project it has been developing since 2016 with the Universidad de Deusto.

They have purchasing power, are homeowners, have the capacity to save and are optimistic about their future. They consider themselves as tech savvy, they travel and take care of their diet and admit that they prefer to live at home. They also expect to increase their spending in 2021 and on an even more positive note, they are prepared to live longer and better.

These are the main conclusions of the 1st Senior Consumer Barometer, prepared by Fundación MAPFRE to identify the consumption habits of over 55 year olds, a segment of the population which is currently made up of 15.5 million Spaniards, more than half of whom are women (54%), who mainly live in towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants (71%), and most of whom have secondary education (51%).

The research, the result of a survey of 1,100 people over the age of 55 in Spain, was presented this morning in Madrid at an event attended by Antonio Huertas, President of Fundación MAPFRE, and Teresa Ribera, Fourth Vice-President and Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

Live with a better quality of life

Antonio Huertas highlighted that Ageingmonics is a “positive” concept associated to opportunities. “We are a lucky country because we have one of the longest living populations in the world. In just two decades, one third of the population will be over 65 years old and healthy enough to live with full capacity for leisure and spending ability in most cases. The Fundación MAPFRE Ageingnomics Research Center was created specifically to help manage this wealth, to promote the necessary debates that will enable our society to adapt positively to the reality that is to come. It is time to build a new productive model that takes advantage of the opportunities of living longer.

Juan Fernández Palacios, CEO of MAPFRE Vida, and Iñaki Ortega, Managing Director of Deusto Business School in Madrid also took part. They both directed the first research project carried out by the Fundación MAPFRE Ageingnomics Research Center, whose objective is to promote the study and dissemination of the so-called ‘silver generation’. In other words, people between the ages of 60 and 75 who are generally healthy and have a good quality of life to continue contributing to society with their talent, social work and spending capacity.

The new center, which is the result of MAPFRE’s commitment to the economic opportunities of ageing (Ageingnomics), was also created with the intention of  promoting a positive view of the demographic challenge that values the capacity of this population group to maintain their social contribution regardless of their age, as well as identifying and promoting opportunities for economic and social development associated with the demographic challenge, and helping citizens and institutions to take the right decisions to extend their working lives and improve the lives of the elderly with new solutions aimed at welfare, health and leisure.

Higher income than in previous generations

55% of senior consumers live in households where at least two people contribute income monthly, a figure which reflects the existence of a more egalitarian generation due to the incorporation of women into the workforce. This enables the group to have greater purchasing power and a higher income per household than in previous generations. Currently, in 44.1% of these households there is one income earner, in 46.7% there are two, and in only 6% of the cases there are three.

Without a mortgage and without a residence

Most of the Silver generation (90%) currently live in a house they own and a very high percentage, 74%, also live without loans or mortgages, a figure that contrasts with 16% of the elderly whose housing is a property with a mortgage or loan; rent at market price (5%), and protected rent or free accommodation (2%), among other options. The report also shows that a high percentage (82%) prefer to continue living at home and are not considering moving to a care home in the future, although more than half (59%) do not have a home adapted to dependent people.

Saving capacity

More than half (56%) of those over 55 years old manage to save every month. Specifically, 4 out of 10 (43%) save between 11% and 30% of their income; 31% save less than 10%; another 10% save between 31% and 50% of their income and only 3% of those surveyed admit to saving more than half of their income.

Live more and better

More than half of those over 55 (60%) do not believe their future economic situation will get worse. Most are optimistic except for 26% who admit it is “slightly worse” and 11% who claim it is “much worse” than before the pandemic. The Silver generation also admits they are prepared to live longer and better, and among the beneficial activities they usually carry out to protect their health, they point out the following: eating a healthy diet (92%), respecting their sleeping hours (79%), going for regular medical check-ups (78%), doing physical exercise (77%), avoiding stressful situations (77%), moderating alcohol and tobacco consumption (65%), staying informed and reading about health trends (49%), and taking time to reflect or meditate (40%).

Technology and travel

The research also highlights the opportunity provided by new technologies as an element that contributes to improving the quality of life of older people, who are considered moderate users (49%), intensive users (29%) and disconnected users (22%). Most of those surveyed (78%) use technology primarily for their banking needs (58%), as well as for buying (49% purchase items online), and leisure (41% are active in social networks).

The Silver Generation is also a boost for tourism. 82% of senior consumers travel, mainly to cultural, nature or historical destinations and always choose options that are neither closeby or economic. 37.4% do so between two and three times a year, followed by 22.5% who travel only once every 12 months, and 6.8% who travel less than once a year. Those who travel the most represent 15%, with more than four trips a year.

More leisure in 2021

Food, housing (rent, mortgage, electricity, gas…) and technology are the three items the senior generation currently spends most money on. The report indicates that by 2021, their spending priority will continue to be food (26%), followed by travel and tourism (26%), and health (22%).

You can download the whole report here: