War is just demographics in a hurry.
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Retirement of the Baby Boomers
The end of World War II brought with it the biggest baby boom ever experienced; now the oldest baby boomers have begun to retire with 150 million expected to do so across the OECD over the next 15 years.
When the largest cohort in the history is exposed to these forces at the same time, the effect is profound as spending patterns change. Older people, for example, spend less on certain items (e.g. clothes) and more on others (e.g. restaurants), and once retired they also tend to move to smaller homes and they drive less in their cars.
Changing demographics also directly affect financial markets as demand for income increases, causing a structural shift in demand away from equities towards bonds and other forms of ‘alternative’ income. This is driving yields further down, leading to a growing headache for pension funds which are struggling to fund their pension obligations.