July brings not just a new financial year for me but a new trip around the sun. I’m turning 52 and among my gifts in 2023 is the knowledge I’m firmly part of the global force that marketers and media have dubbed the ‘Super Consumer’.

 Yep, far from being invisible as they were when my grandmother and perhaps even my mother were in their 50s—think being tucked away by society into a little box containing a home perm kit, elastic waisted slacks and a shandy for Saturday nights—women of my generation are a consumer powerhouse.

According to Forbes, women over 50 in the US alone have a combined spending power of $15 trillion. That represents 27% of all consumer spending. Mums are the most powerful consumer group in the world.

Of course, those trillions don’t guarantee that brands will come up with well-targeted marketing aimed at us women 50+. Just five to 10% of marketing budgets earmarked for 50-plus consumers, according to the Harvard Business Review, with 91% of Boomer women feeling ignored and misunderstood by marketers.

But that’s a story for another day. For now, I want to celebrate that I belong to what Forbes calls the “healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation in history”. We’ll experience the largest population growth over the next 10 years and represent off-the-charts spending power.

Far from being technologically challenged or eccentric grey haired old women, super consumers are ready to live and spend. We’re sexy, fit, lead full lives, have unique wants and needs. We’re adventurous empty nesters whose lack of responsibility sees us travelling freely and allocating our disposable income differently to our mothers or grandmothers. As US jewellery designer Sue Gragg put it, besides loving luxury, this group is “from an era that is educated and used to luxury”.

Our group no longer has fixed brand loyalties and wears the same comfy shoes forever. We’re willing and able to search the globe for what we want. And a lot of what we want is about making us look and feel better, according to data from the US Government Consumer Expenditure Survey and Neilson.

In the US, women 50+ comprise the largest demographic of incomes over $100,000 and control 95% of household purchasing decisions. We make 80% of luxury travel purchases, 82% of us are open to new brands, we’re hooked on the fast growing cosmetics sector and 75% of us are willing to pay more for convenience and quality.

Of us super consumers, 33% are willing to upgrade to the latest car model even if their current one drives fine. 44% of 50+ women want to improve their looks more than ever. It’s why we love brands like makeup line Ilia (which showcases real, diverse women of all ages in its marketing) and shoe designers Bells & Becks (a second-act women owned business.) No going quietly into the dark night for us.

On both business and personal levels, I feel more powerful than I ever have. A lot of women feel the same—this is our unstoppable time. We’ve created families, built careers, experienced death, divorce, disillusionment. Our days of hyper vigilance about money and kids’ safety are over. We’re travelling, we’re dancing, we’re learning new stuff and most of all we are spending.

Yes, I plan to leave my kids more than just advice about relationships and mid-week meals (go out, is my best tip) but I also plan to have a damn good time on my own coin. In the last year I’ve bought a European car, a new wardrobe curated by a stylist, a month in Spain and Portugal. I’ve bought hotel rooms, customised luggage, hiking gear. I’ve bought experiences and great fun.

There’s a lot of reflecting and commentary in the media and on social platforms from women my age or in their 40s, who feel personally powerful like I do, but also feel they have less public agency. They’re aggrieved at their invisibility to marketers and brands, they’re angry about younger women wanting to write them off as useless oldies who can’t even dance properly at kitchen discos and have had their turn at the table.

I get that, but I also feel confident that the tide is turning. There are great brands out there who understand us and want to ride the wave of our spending power. Not nearly enough. And it’s up to us to get our message out to the younger women whose paths we have paved and lit—we’re strong, capable, expert, fabulous.

Marketers, brands, everyone: we hold the cards. Respect us. See us. We can share so much stuff with you. We are your future. Watch closely.