Baby Boomers Are in Downsizing Mode

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- At 78 million strong, baby boomers usually get what they want as consumer.

That's how we got the Ford Mustang, lite beer, granite countertops and video on demand. The younger half of the boomers famously said, "I want my MTV" -- and they got it.

So when boomers start saying they're tired of "going big" on everything from cheeseburgers to McMansions, businesses better begin paying close attention, and that's exactly what the generation born between 1946 to 1964 is saying now. It's a downsizing world they want, and they're going to get it, but not without the amenities and comforts the materialistic boomers are famous for.

"Those baby boomers who worked hard for and embraced the affluent lifestyle of the 1970s through the middle of the last decade  owning large homes and spacious vehicles -- have reached a turning point," says Sheryl Connelly, global consumer trends and a "futurist" for Ford. "This generation is now trending toward a simpler way of living, one that doesn't eliminate the lavish comforts they've come to enjoy.

"The boomer population has always set the trends," she adds, "and now they've set a course for a more streamlined life that doesn't sacrifice style and comfort."

Ford, along with the multibrand homebuilder Del Webb, commissioned a study on what boomers want these days and found that the demographic is tired of paying huge mortgages for large homes, and big payments for outsized SUVs. Instead, most boomers are turning to smaller, quieter homes and say they want to drive mini-sized, more energy efficient utility vehicles.

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