Upper middle-class diverse family units and empty nesters living in established suburbs
Settled in Suburbia appreciate their unpretentious suburban lifestyle. Many live in older, mass- produced subdivisions originally built to accommodate the postwar baby boom. Today their kids are all grown up, and the households consist of middle-aged couples almost equally divided between empty-nesters and those with older children. A high percentage also contains young adults who have moved back and aging seniors sharing the same house. Most households contain college-educated white-collar and technical workers who earn upper middle-class incomes. They’re accustomed to demanding daily commutes that take them to jobs in the nearby big cities located predominantly in the Northeast.
In their bedroom suburbs, Settled in Suburbia enjoy laid-back leisure activities. When they’re not working, they can often be found on the golf course or at a local swimming pool. They’re close enough to downtown nightlife that they routinely go to plays, sports games and rock concerts. They’re happy to skip cooking and go out to restaurants that aren’t overly fancy. These adults enjoy going to gamble in Atlantic City or at casinos. For vacation, many still travel as a family to an all-inclusive resort or hotel near a theme park; Disney is still the destination of choice.
These Americans don’t feel any particular need for status recognition through the purchase of their lifestyle accessories. They typically own more than two cars and are content with driving mid-range sedans, SUVs and vans. They usually ignore designer fashions in favor of ready wear bought for comfort rather than style. They patronize mainstream retailers like Gap, American Eagle, Kohl’s, Chico’s and get family utility needs from Costco. Many are proficient users of the Internet and do their shopping online or use catalogs to buy apparel, books and crafts.
Settled in Suburbia make a mixed market for advertisers. They’re selective readers of newspapers, typically turning to the business pages, movie listings or travel features. Their subscriptions for most magazines have lapsed, though they will read specialty titles like Car and Driver, Prevention and Metropolitan Home. They’re only moderate TV fans, enjoying movies on premium channels and game shows on the networks. However, because they spend so much time in their cars, they make a strong radio audience, particularly for stations that offer news, adult contemporary and easy listening music. Back home, they go online for practical and entertainment purposes: to get sports scores and stock quotes or to join chat forums and listen to music.
Settled in Suburbia like their routines and are not interested in the pursuit of novelty or standing out. They enjoy relaxing with their family and friends, and they describe their political views as middle-of-the-road. They’re involved in their established communities, belonging to arts groups and veterans' clubs at high rates. They‘re about average in terms of philanthropy, but they do give to health, education, political and environmental groups.
Now in their mid-careers, Settled in Suburbia have done well financially. Their retirement accounts have high balances. They’re still accumulating plenty of stocks, CDs and mutual funds. This is a prime audience for life and disability insurance, to make sure they’re protected from unforeseen risks. These Americans like keeping their lives on an even keel.
Settled in Suburbia have a comfortable lifestyle, with households almost evenly divided between married couples and families. The household heads are predominantly middle-aged (40s and 50s) and upper middle-class, with incomes nearing six figures from white-collar jobs in professional and technical fields. Many commute to downtown jobs from their comfortable, predominantly white neighborhoods. They’re well-educated, with nearly two-thirds of households containing someone with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The children in this segment are of all ages. However, these households also have high rates for young adults and aging seniors, and nearly a third has at least someone in the house who's retired.
Settled in Suburbia typically live in older suburban tract house communities in the Northeast that were built to accommodate the postwar baby boom. These mass-produced, subdivision-like areas - have since grown up and started to empty-nest. Older couples and families with grown children now inhabit the aging ramblers and split-levels in places like New Hyde Park, N.Y., Levittown, N.Y. and Paramus, N.J., and nearly a third of households have lived at the same residence for more than two decades. However, because their neighborhoods are typically in desirable, close-in areas, home values are relatively high, at an average price just over $325,000.
Settled in Suburbia appreciate living far enough away from the downtown bustle to allow them to pursue a laid-back lifestyle filled with golf, biking, hiking, canoeing and ice skating. However, their proximity to big cities also allows them to enjoy in-town activities, and they visit museums, plays, comedy clubs and pro sports games. They like to dine out at upscale casual chains like The Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen. They regard rock concerts and casinos as a regular treat; they’re three times as likely as average Americans to gamble in Atlantic City.
With their older children, these households are beyond the Little League phase of childrearing. This segment is still strong on vigorous activities like skiing, tennis, swimming and scuba diving, though they also are happy playing cards, online games and video games at home. Many of these families like to go on vacations together, to both domestic and foreign destinations that typically involve an all-inclusive resort, cruise or a nearby theme park. Settled in Suburbia are one of the strongest audiences for Disney properties. They also will take recreational vehicles to some of their destinations.
In this car-dependent world, many households have a sturdy commuter car, generally a mid- range sedan, SUV or full-sized vans. Compared to the general population, they’re more likely to buy new, rather than used cars, and imports, not domestics. For this segment, going shopping doesn’t always require a car. They often shop online and use mail order to buy books, magazines, gardening supplies and crafts. Big-box stores still have a place in their hearts, however. Their favorite retailers include Costco, Kohl’s, Marshalls and Sports Authority, as well as Williams-Sonoma and Chico’s.
Settled in Suburbia are a mixed media market. They’re regular newspaper readers, though only average for magazines, picking up publications that cover health, music, travel and parenting. They’re only moderate fans of TV - particularly game shows, how-to programs and reality shows - but often sign up for premium channels. Because they spend so much time in their cars, they’re big on radio, tuning in to stations that feature all news, adult contemporary, easy listening and classic rock. Increasingly, they’re turning to new media, going online to look for information, to shop and to participate in blogs and social media sites.
Leading quiet lives is the key to happiness for Settled in Suburbia. They like to spend time with their family and a close circle of friends. They follow the general population on many opinions, and are moderates in their political outlook. They’re strong supporters of recycling but not too worried about car pollution or social issues. With most unwilling to give up family time to advance in their careers, only a small fraction describes themselves as workaholics.
In terms of consumption, these Americans are not into novelty or originality. They tend to stick with brands they know, and prefer buying clothes for comfort rather than style. These are the folks who check the safety rating of a car before they make a purchase. They look to vehicles not for the statement they make but for their ability to get them from one place to the next. However, they do like that new-car smell: Settled in Suburbia have an above-average tendency to buy a new car every two to three years.
Members of this segment enjoy advertising when it makes them laugh, but otherwise they follow the general population in their antipathy towards TV commercials. They’ll change channels when commercials come on and they don’t like advertising targeted at children. However, they like reading ads in newspapers and while riding in taxis. Some ads, they concede, even help them learn about products.
The dual earners in Settled in Suburbia allow these households to live comfortably. After many years of hard work, they’ve amassed a tidy nest egg in IRAs and 401(k)s. In addition, they’ve invested in 529 College Savings Plans and other instruments like CDs. Exhibiting a moderately aggressive investment style, they own stocks and mutual funds as well as savings bonds and money market accounts. They also acquire life and disability insurance to provide protection for their offspring.
With solid incomes and built-up home equity, Settled in Suburbia make a prime target for high- value life and homeowners' insurance. They also carry a wad of credit cards for daily purchases at department stores, specialty retailers and gas stations. However, they don’t like to be in debt and tend to pay off their balances each month, though they will take out loans for education and home improvements. Overall, they feel comfortable with the plans they've made for retirement, and believe their future is financially secure. They still prefer to leave their financial management to professional planners.
Settled in Suburbia have above-average Internet use, and there are a handful of Websites which they frequent often, including eBay, Craigslist, WebMD and Netflix. These households tend to go online to access information, including stock quotes, sports scores, movie reviews and real estate listings. However, the presence of young adults at home translates to an above-average amount of time spent listening to Internet radio stations, joining chat forums and checking real estate listings. These households are comfortable with online shopping and will even register on health sites to learn more about their maladies. They respond to online advertising by clicking on email ads, sponsored Websites and links. In the virtual world, they’ve got nothing to hide. With the mix of family members, the sites they visit reflect their diverse interests.
They seem drawn to sites covering business and finance, building and construction, business information, stocks and electronics. Their interest in entertainment sites includes those providing animation, music and videos. Photography and celebrity entertainment sites are also of interest. With their tendency toward recycling, it’s not a surprise that they frequent environmentally-conscientious sites. Pharmacy sites are also frequented. They're interested in sports sites featuring golf, horse racing and tennis. They also investigate travel sites before trips, to map out their routes.