Research Outline

Wealthy Persons Over 55 - Habits


To identify media outlets, magazines, websites, and television, radio, products purchased, places traveled, places lived, and information surrounding cars purchased by Americans aged 55 and over and who make over $250,000 per year.

Early Findings


  • According to a mostly paywalled report from eMarketer, "households in the top income bracket ($200,000+ annual income) have an average of 2.1 earners; this compares with 1.3 earners among total households."
  • "74% of wealthy adults identify as non-Hispanic white—down from 86% in 1992."
  • "28% of workers who earn $100,000+ say they find it difficult to meet household expenses each month and 36% use credit cards to pay for necessities that they couldn’t afford otherwise" and a Harris poll "found that half of respondents with an annual income of $100,000+ say they frequently worry about their financial situation."
  • "The biggest non-housing expenditure in most affluent ($125,000+ annual income) households is transportation (car, etc.) payments (20% of spending, on average). Home-and-garden products/services rank second (14% of spending), and are followed by insurance (10%)."
  • "Households in the $200,000+ annual income bracket spend an average of $6,743 per year on educational expenses."
  • "19% of affluents (over $125,000 annually) typically stay at five-star accommodations and 45% typically stay at four-star accommodations."
  • "People in the $250,000+ bracket say they would want an extra $179,000, on average, to feel comfortable."
Ipsos classifies affluent as those who earn over $100,000 (and thus including seniors who earn over $250,000) and provides the following insights within their Affluent Traveler Segmentation white paper:
  • Affluent travelers make up 56% of the total $215 billion spent annually on travel.
  • Of the highest income bracket detailed in this report (those with a household income over $175,000), 83% are willing to pay extra for comfort and service, spend an average of 45.7 hours a week watching television, and 59.2 each week online.


  • "According to Pew, 62% of internet users ages 65 and older use Facebook, and 72% of 50- to 64-year-olds use it. Facebook has the highest number of users in these age ranges" however persons aged 65 and older only account for 4.8% of all Facebook users.
  • Facebook Insights data provides that of the users who are 55 and older, 61% are female, 78% are married, 57% have a four-year degree, and 7% have a post-graduate degree.
  • Facebook does not specific publish the income level of their users, as such this metric cannot be provided from this source directly.


During the initial hour of investigation, it has been determined that most media consumption insights for Americans aged 55 and over who make over $250,000 per year are likely going to have be triangulated extensively. This is because there are a variety of definitions in the public domain for affluent — including $100,000 and over, $175,000 and over (both of which include the requested income threshold of $250,000).

Therefore, it is suggested that the requested project be pivoted to look at the media habits of Americans who are aged 55 and over and the media habits of affluent Americans (as well as for the other segments). It is important to note that there is no defined income threshold for affluence, therefore it will be necessary to use survey and market research data where it will be fully explained at which income threshold each metric has been derived. This will allow for a comparison and overlap look of the two segments.