No ‘Cruel Summer’ for Swifties in Madrid

Hard to believe that less than a week ago I was strolling through the cobblestone calles of Madrid, sampling the capital’s famous jamón ibérico and breakfasting on indulgent churros con chocolate. I spent my last day in Madrid visiting the Prado Museum before a late lunch at Casa Botin, reputedly the oldest restaurant in the world, dating back to 1725.

While waiting to be served at lunch (always a leisurely affair in Spain), I chatted with some of my tablemates and was surprised to learn that most of them were young Americans in town to see Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, scheduled over the next two nights. Of course I had heard of the Eras tour (hasn’t everyone on the planet??) but I had never been to a Taylor Swift concert and had absolutely no idea my stay in Madrid was overlapping with the global phenomenon known as Taylormania.

Talking to my Swiftie lunch companions was definitely an eye-opening experience, providing fascinating insights into how young Americans save, spend, and splurge. Most of them were in their 20s and 30s, although a few were older. They came to Madrid from all across the U.S. and for some, catching Taylor Swift on tour was a once-is-not-enough affair. The young techie sitting next to me had seen Taylor six times before, was catching the Madrid show (attended by no less than stars Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and their three daughters), and had tickets for two more upcoming August concerts in Vienna.

No wonder Swifties are called “one of the largest, most devoted and influential fan bases … known for their high levels of participation, creativity, community and fanaticism.” Factoring in ticket costs, round-trip airfare, hotels, meals, merch and incidentals makes these concerts a major budget-buster, but the Swifties I spoke with feel the overall experience and camaraderie make it all worthwhile.

As a financial planner, I always look for teachable moments. It’s easy to judge millennials and Gen Z consumers for how they seem to overspend and overindulge, but everyone has to define for themselves what they value in life and how to prioritize their spending. Translated into plain English, that means that no goal is off limits. If it means a lot to you, as my client, than it means a lot to me, as your advisor. A good advisor will work with you to help you realize your goals, whatever they may be.

But make no mistake. A good advisor will also help keep you on track and build for the future. So in addition to helping you fulfill your Taylor Swift cravings, your advisor should make sure you are saving and investing for your own future life when the touring – or whatever you do for a living – stops. No one gets that lesson better than Taylor herself.

One more insight I gleaned from my lunch companions. Many consider the Eras tickets and travel largesse as quasi ‘free’, since much of it is financed thanks to credit card reward points. In fact, over 75% of new U.S. premium Gold and Platinum cards are opened by Gen Z and millennium consumers, some of whom skip straight to the $695 annual-fee Platinum card.

So to all you Swifties out there, it was a pleasure. Enjoy the concerts and those incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Hope we cross paths again another time, in another city. Just make sure that when the music stops, you’ve got a place to sit down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *