Baby boomers may not fit the traditional snowbird mold

Will baby boomers follow the usual snowbirds lifestyle? Many things have been redefined by them and the snowbird concept is likely to be no exception.

For example, when the boomers started to buy houses in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, interest rates surged as high as 22%.  One wonders how house buyers today would handle that!

There’s a lot written about how they’ve caused major changes but there’s hardly ever a mention about what may happen when they’re no longer around.  Will things change back again? That’s not likely, and no doubt, their influence will still be felt for quite a while.

One factor that wasn't foreseen until fairly recently is that because people are living longer, healthier (and wealthier) lives, they will be around for a fair bit longer than was previously thought


If all of them lived about the same length of time then the portion of the fertility curve shown above, which represents the bulge, would retain a similar shape throughout time.  

Like 'the pig in the python', it would drift along through the years with a gradually reducing height reflecting mortality rates. The effect of increased longevity, however, will stretch the width of the curve by a decade or more. Some of the younger ones may be around until the mid-2060’s

Here are some factors which may have an impact on the baby boomers' roles as snowbirds:-

  • People are no longer retiring at 65 and many will continue working for a variety of reasons
  • With more time and means available to them, people may wish to travel more
  • People living longer, healthier lives may wish to spend more time with grandchildren (and great grandchildren)

The single biggest factor is, as always, the sheer numbers.  It’s estimated that 10,000 people turn 65 each day in the United States and approximately 1,000 do so in Canada. These numbers will peak around 2020, the mid point of the demographic phenomenon.

The effects of these factors on retirement destinations may be that people will want to rent more. The traditional six months away and six months back home could become shorter, intermittent periods in the sun. Of course the effect of this could be a tight rental market which in turn may spur people to buy properties, although they may stand empty for longer periods.

Just how the concept of snowbirds will be changed by the baby boomers is as yet unclear and will unfold in time.

However, there’s one thing for certain that will never change for anyone who lives in a cold climate; that’s the urge to fly away to somewhere warm when it gets really cold.