Saturday, August 5, 2017

Downscaling is a Necessity for Women 45-54

Change is an event in everyone’s life that happens by circumstance or choice; and sometimes both. For those of us living in the afternoon of our lives, we seem to have a heightened sensitivity to change. We are a bit more cautious in our decision making. We quickly sense when change is about to occur, whether we want it to or not.

However, in the first quarter of 2016, most women 45-54 did not expect to see this:

After a hopeful spike in full-time employment in the last two quarters of 2015, full-time employment of women (45-54 - excluding self-employed), began to plummet, plateau, and then dive again. As we see in the first two quarters of 2017, full-time employment for women in this age group is seeing an uptick, albeit a small one. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 8-5-17.)

Women are becoming more cautious in our choices as to what we will buy, what is important enough to spend money on, and why we are making purchases at all. This is significant to consumer based companies, because the single-woman rate in the 45-54 year old age bracket is still hovering around 50% (approx. 21.4 million).

Due to the fluctuations in the job market for women in this age group, our buying power has been significantly reduced.

In the 45-54 year old age bracket here are some things to consider:
  1. Many are the mothers of children under 18, or college aged;
  2. Many are driving cars that are 7-10 years old;
  3. Many are opting for the apartment life vs. home ownership;
  4. Many make approximately 90% of the home purchases; and
  5. Many are notorious comparison shoppers.

We are hunkering down, shedding debt like so many pounds at the home gym, and pinching pennies wherever we are able. We are downscaling: buying store labels over premium, frequenting stores like Wal-Mart and K-Mart and even shopping on Amazon to get the best and most for our dollars.

Women who are 45-54 can see the writing on the wall. It’s clear as day to us, and instead of becoming fearful of what is to come in the future, we are preparing. The minimalist lifestyle isn’t all about less stress; it’s about survival in an uncertain future.