By Catey Hill
If your three-day weekend plans include dazzling a dozen guests with your culinary skills or barbecuing in your backyard with a few other couples, you’re in good company: More than half of Americans 50 and up plan to entertain at home at least once this summer. A recent survey by American Express shed light on how different age groups celebrate summer. Here’s what they found out about the 50+ set:
- Intimate gatherings are in. Of those who plan to host a gathering this summer, the 50+ set says they’ll welcome an average of 13 guests, while the number jumps to 21 guests for those ages 30-49. The top party activities for the 50+ set include hosting a special meal like a pig roast or seafood feast (29%) or serving a signature cocktail (23%).
- Competitive games are out. Leave volleyball, croquet and limbo to the kids. Only 11% of those 50 and up plan to host a competitive game.
- Frugality is popular. The 50+ set may have higher incomes than their younger counterparts, but they aren’t spending a ton of it on summer partying. In fact, older Americans plan to spend 27% less on summer entertaining than the general population ($306 per party, compared to $422 on average). What’s more, while food and drink costs top summer party shopping lists for all age groups, the 50+ crowd will spend just $144 on average on food (ages 18-29 average $171; ages 30-49 average $190) and $86 on average on drinks (ages 18-29: $102; ages 30-49: $106).
- Self-reliance rules. Older Americans are less likely to hire a party planner, with just 2% saying they’d do this, compared to one in 10 people ages 30-49 and 12% of people 18-29. What’s more, while 73% of people ages 30-49 (and 84% of people ages 18-29) plan to ask their guests to contribute something — like food or beverages — to the party, just 66% of Americans over 50 will rely on their guests to bring stuff to the shindig.