Will silver spenders continue to outpace the young?

The gap in spending growth between the older and younger generations may narrow, but is unlikely to completely disappear.

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David Tinsley

October 2023

Key takeaways

  • Spending growth has been significantly stronger among older generations than younger cohorts in 2023. Bank of America internal data suggests this outperformance is still being driven by the 2023 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to social security incomes, which was the largest in 40 years and came as inflation was beginning to fall. As this impact fades and with the 2024 COLA significantly lower, we think the outperformance may narrow.
  • But social security is not the only source of income for many retirees. This group also has a large stock of assets and Bank of America internal data suggests they have been relatively slow to draw on their savings buffers.
  • So, while some narrowing of the outperformance of older generations' spending next year looks likely, there is unlikely to be a complete unwind, in our view.

Read our full analysis for a more in-depth look at these trends.