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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our Spending Habits Transform At 50, But Why?

One of Harry Dent's "Demand Curves." (H.S. Dent Foundation)

One of Harry Dent’s “Demand Curves.” (H.S. Dent Foundation)

Robert Krulwich of WNYC’s Radiolab has been wondering about Americans’ shopping habits since reading a study from financial newsletter writer Harry Dent.

Dent thinks the U.S. is headed for an economic apocalypse as baby boomers retire and stop buying things. So he crunched some numbers from the U.S. Census bureau.

The “Demand Curves” he created, such as the one above for men’s shirts, yielded some surprising trends about baby boomers’ sartorial choices.

He found that at a certain stage in life, Americans’ spending on clothing peaks — then plummets. But why?

Do you have a theory as to why clothes spending habits change so dramatically after 50? Join the debate on Facebook or tell us in the comments.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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