HEBBS: You Know Who You Are

Posted on March 31, 2012


Be warned that there’s a new acronym on the street: HEBBS. This is not to be confused with Donald Hebbs (a Canadian psychologist), Bobby Hebbs (singer and songwriter of the hit song “Sunny”) or Hebb’s Auto Service in Halifax, NS.

HEBBS, High-Earning Baby Boomers, are defined as Baby Boomers who live in households that have an annual income of at least $100,000.

Just where did HEBBS come from? Apparently they were discovered by Scarborough Research, those data-collecting folks who do things involving mixing up a lot of numbers and then flinging them out randomly as “statistics.” Statistics of all kinds are then available to both normal people and politicians who can use them, usually erroneously, to both impress and appall people.

Why care about HEBBS? According to Scarborough Research, HEBBS account for 9% of the adult American population. To put this into perspective, 9% of men are colorblind. 9% of all people hate Taylor Swift. 9% of all people hate medieval times (Of those, approximately100% of those have never lived there). 9% of US adults get their news via Twitter or Facebook.

HEBBs are more than twice as likely as all Americans to own a second home or real estate investment. They are 2.5 times as likely to have spent $10,000 or more in remodeling their homes. They are 82% more likely to have a 401K plan, and more than twice as likely to have a college savings plan. They are 3 times more likely to give you unsolicited advice and 3.5 times more likely to laugh in your face when they see you getting into your 1992 Chevy Cavalier.

Where can HEBBS be found? The top cities where HEBBS reside are Washington, DC (political HEBBS, consulting HEBBS, legal HEBBS), San Francisco (inordinately interesting, mellow, wine-drinking HEBBS), New York (investment HEBBS), and Boston (Old Money HEBBS and cold HEBBS).

But spotting them is easier said than done, since most HEBBS do not hang out at either Target or fast food establishments or trendy bars. They do frequent golf courses, sailboats, and wine tastings. They also enjoy mixing it up with the world, usually from the confines of a fenced-in resort, the inside of a tour bus or the deck of a cruise ship.

Are all Boomers HEBBS? This is an idiotic question, and this writer wants anyone who is asking it to go stand at the back of the room in the Time Out Section. The answer is “No,” although if you are a Boomer, you do have an edge financially.

Boomers, as a group, are industrious little devils. They are 21% more likely to own a home with a pool, hot tub, or spa. 7% of Boomers live in a household with a motorcycle. They are 22% more likely than all American adults to be employed full time. If we eliminate adults over 65 (hypothetically, of course) this means that non-Boomer adults in the 21-48 age group are slacking off considerably. It also means that many of these slackers are the offspring of Boomers, which means that HEBBS are, in effect, not doing their job in raising people just like them. If you are a HEBBS like this, join the Stupid Question People at the back of the room.

Why is all this research important? If you are a HEBBS, take note that you have been identified. It’s only a matter of time before there will be HEBBS support groups and HEBBS reality shows. If you aren’t a HEBBS, you shouldn’t even have read this stuff because now you will be even more depressed about your life than you were before. Go eat some ice cream (some cheap, store brand) or take a nap.