Thursday, February 3, 2011 - January Edition 2011, South Shore Senior News

Debunking More Boomer Myths

Age Stage:Understanding The Changing Lifestyles of Boomers & Seniors
by Tom Gorski

In our previous Age Stage article, “2011:Put Your Money Where The Myths Aren’t,” we explained some of the reasons why marketers should look beyond three widely held Boomer myths. As Boomers begin turning 65 in 2011, it makes sense to discuss three additional myths that businesses would be wise to ignore.

Myth #4
Boomers are retiring early.

Whether by necessity or choice, Boomers are redefining retirement through “extended career strategies” and “encore” careers. The fact is 76% of Boomers expect to continue working beyond retirement. Today, nearly 20% are already working in what they consider their second career.

When filling a vacant position in your company, consider tapping into the lifetime of expertise offered by Boomers seeking an encore career. They’ll prove to be an invaluable asset to your company, offering a level of loyalty and a work ethic that you thought had long ago disappeared.

Myth #5
Boomers are winding down and becoming less active.

On the contrary, most Boomers aren’t really slowing down one bit. In fact, the typical Boomer regularly participates in at least 10 activities. Most consider themselves to be quite adventurous, with 72% of Boomers taking at least one trip per year. And when they’re not traveling, they’re on the go at home: over 1/2 of Boomers attend movies regularly; 1/4 attend music concerts; and almost 1/3 attend live sporting events.

The travel industry is responding to this by creating specialized programs and trips specifically targeted to these adventurous spirits. There are vacations that combine educational components with high-level adventure, and leisure-time excursions that challenge the mind and body.

If you’re in this business or any of its allied industries, consider how you market to Boomers. Are you offering an adventure component.? Educational or community-service opportunities? A way to share interesting experiences with grandchildren? Talk to your Boomer clients to understand what interests them and develop programming that addresses their needs.

Myth #6
Boomers are all wealthy.

While Boomers control 65% of the aggregate net worth of all U.S. households, only 9% are truly affluent. The truth is 50% of Boomers consider themselves to be spenders more than savers and sadly, 25% do not have any savings accounts or investments other than their primary residence.

What this unveils is a huge opportunity for financial advisors, banks, and the many financial service businesses that specialize in money management. As Boomers approach whatever their vision of retirement may be, many will need the assistance of a financial professional to reevaluate their nest egg.

As we’ve mentioned before, the key to successfully reaching the Boomer market is to forget the myths. As they have in every chapter of their lives, Boomers are rewriting the notions of retirement, leisure, and wealth. The astute businesses will listen, observe and reposition their products and services to tap into this 76 million strong audience. The generation that coined the phrase “don’t trust anyone over 30” will now be saying, “don’t trust anyone under 50.”

To read our previous article, go to the South Shore Senior News online editions.

-posted by Laura Willis