The 40-year-old millennial and the 24-year-old Gen Zer are in charge of America right now

The economy, influence and spending are currently controlled by the oldest millennials and the oldest Gen Zers.
Financial behavior of the 40-year old is shaping large economic markets such as housing.

The 24-year-old sets trends and influences consumer behavior.

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Both the 24-year old and the 40-year-old are hot topics right now.

The oldest millennial who will turn 40 in this year's is the most powerful spender. They have mostly recovered from the decade-long struggle that followed the 2008 financial crisis and are now spending their money on the largest purchase of their lives: homes.

This year's 24-year-old Gen Zer has more influence on consumer behavior. They are already tastemakers, a role that every generation plays during their life stages, ten years before they replace millennials in terms of largest spenders.

The oldest generation is likely to influence everything, from your purchasing decisions to your lifestyle choices.

Meet the people who will shape the world that you live in over the next decade or so.

The millennial millennial of 40 has the most spending power

The economic engine of America is now the millennial generation. They are the largest generation, make up the largest percentage of the workforce and have the highest purchasing power.

As millennials get older and their incomes rise, so will their spending power. The chart below shows the rising millennial spending power. The 40-year old is leading the charge.

Although they were among the hardest hit by Great Recession, many of them have made significant wealth-building efforts in recent years. Their wealth was 34% lower than it should have been in 2016, but they saw an improvement in the economy and reached their prime earning years. In 2019, they managed to reduce that deficit to just 11%. The economic downturn caused by the pandemic allowed the wealthy to save even more money.

This means that they are the ones spending a lot on high-ticket items like housing. The majority of 40-year olds have a mortgage. This makes them the spearhead of the current housing boom. This homebuying spree is not only injecting money into the economy but it is also transforming the real estate market. The economic boom of the Sunbelt and westward migration has brought prosperity to larger cities. Meanwhile, the "Great American Land Rush" has seen millennials buy almost every starter home that is on the market.

There is also something for the 40-year old millennials who cannot spend much because their finances have not recovered from the Great Recession. Many people are still in debt from student loans. They may face an affordability crisis that could trigger policy changes like eliminating student debt. Legislators are currently discussing this issue.

Gen Zer, a 24-year-old Gen Zer, has influence power

The oldest Gen Zer is now a trend setter, as the oldest millennial has reached middle age.

This is when a new generation steps into the spotlight, because they are old enough to exert influence. Jason Dorsey, who manages the Center for Generational Kinetics in Austin, Texas recently spoke to Insider.

This is exactly what Gen Z did after they emerged from the pandemic and became the "it" generation. They have led the way in consumer trends by leading the way with skinny jeans and side pieces, as well as baggy and Y2K fashion.

TikTok was at the heart of this cultural shift. It was founded during the pandemic. The social media app had grown by 75% between September 2020 and September 2020. This was a sign of Gen Z's growing influence in driving consumer behavior, much like millennials with Instagram.

Gen Z will take over the economy in just over a decade. According to Bank of America Research, Gen Z currently makes $7 trillion from its 2.5 billion-person cohort. This income will increase to $17 trillion by 2025 and reach $33 trillion by 2030. It will represent 27% of the global income and surpass the millennials' in the next year.

Dorsey believes that this generation will continue to influence and drive conversation over the next 15-years.

The world is reacting. While lawmakers and politicians debate how to fix the economic problems plaguing millennials today, brands work out how to market to them to Gen Z. They know that we live in a world built by the early 40s and mid-20s.