Metlife Mature Markets recently released its report entitled:
The MetLife Report on
New Insights for a New Generation of Grandparents
by Peter Francese
Today, the Norman Rockwell image persists of grandparents as aged, whitehaired
grandmothers and grandfathers — the ones for whom National
Grandparents Day was inaugurated in 1978. The reality is quite something else.
Back in 1980, when that image was closer to reality, there were fewer than 40
million mostly quite elderly grandparents in a young nation where half of the
population was under 30 years old.
Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
by 2010, we estimate that there were some 65 million grandparents in the
nation where almost half the population was over 40, and more than one in
every four adults was a grandparent. Rather than being old and frail, a majority
of grandparents today are working age Baby Boomers between 45 and 64 years
old. Three-quarters of the people in that age range are in the workforce and
most of them work full-time.
A long way from being dependent, households that are headed by someone
45 to 64 years old command almost half (46%) of the nation’s total household
income. If households older than age 65 are added in, the grandparent age
share of the nation’s income rises to 60%, which is a full 10 percentage points
higher than it was in 1980.
There is no doubt that in today’s complex global and information-based economy
grandparents are still the repository of critical resource knowledge that wi