Wealth Divide Among Boomers: Homeownership vs. Rising Homelessness

The video reports on the complex issue of wealth distribution among baby boomers in the United States, highlighting a stark contrast within the generation. While boomers collectively hold about half of U.S. wealth, largely in real estate, this prosperity is not evenly spread across the cohort. Older boomers, particularly those born between 1946 and 1954, are mostly homeowners with significant equity in their properties. However, younger boomers face increasing challenges, including a rising trend of homelessness among this group. The video explores how the housing strategies of older boomers are contributing to the current housing shortage, affecting the ability of younger generations to buy homes. Additionally, it discusses the growing problem of homelessness among older adults, driven by a combination of high housing costs, insufficient social security income, and a lack of affordable housing options.
  • Boomers hold about half of U.S. wealth, with a significant portion in real estate, but this wealth is concentrated among older boomers.
  • 80% of older boomers are homeowners, having benefited from decades of property value appreciation and the ability to refinance at lower interest rates.
  • Older homeowners’ tendency to “age in place” is contributing to the housing shortage and rising home prices, impacting younger generations’ ability to purchase homes.
  • California homeowners stay in their homes the longest, partly due to tax incentives that discourage moving.
  • About 20% of boomers are selling their homes, but they are not downsizing, thus not alleviating the housing shortage.
  • Younger boomers are increasingly facing homelessness, with a 2023 study finding over 40% of homeless older adults in California became homeless after age 50.
  • Factors contributing to elderly homelessness include high housing costs, insufficient social security payments, and a lack of affordable housing options.
  • Low cost assisted living centers are closing due to staffing shortages and financial issues, exacerbating the problem.
  • The “cohort effect” explains the differing economic prospects within the boomer generation, with older boomers having entered the housing market under more favorable conditions than their younger counterparts.
  • Researchers are skeptical about the anticipated “silver tsunami” of housing inventory from aging boomers, predicting it will not significantly alleviate the housing shortage.
  • The video concludes with a call to improve the federal safety net for the elderly, mentioning a $3 billion proposal by the Biden administration to address elderly homelessness.

The Wall Street Journal is an American business and economic-focused international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp.

AllSides Media Bias Rating: Center

Official website:

Original video here.

This summary has been generated by AI.