Dec 30, 2010, 7:30 AM
Post #1 of 1
To heed many pundits, one is given to believe that the year 2011 will be the herald of a New Age, all because the Baby-boomer generation will begin to reach the age of 65 on the first of January. But then, these kinds of predictions generally emanate from individuals who live and think in the moment.
Baby-boomers reaching retirement age is not nearly as monumental a societal event as many pundits would have one believe, save and except that it’s proof positive that we all get old—even those of us who are obsessed with eternal youth.
The phenomenon of Baby-boomers retiring will of course have some effect on the retirement industry, just as previous generations’ retirement has had. But I hardly think that it will be as earth shaking as some would have us think.
Given that it’s the end of the year and many writers transform themselves into prognosticators about coming events, it’s only fitting that I do so as well and offer my humble view how the Baby-boomer generation will affect the business of retirement.
For openers, this generation is going to want to be recognized as “special,” given that they’ve grown up with that belief. So businesses that pander to the innate sense of entitlement of aging boomers will do well. Some resorts have already seen the light and offer romantic fun in the sun getaways designed to curry the psyches of boomer couples with exciting, yet luxurious holidays specially designed for the mature market. Sandals is one such company that now advertises “luxury included® Vacations for two people in love.” Note the trade marking of the term “luxury included” and the focus on two people. They’ve perfectly captured the zeitgeist of boomer life with the kids all grown up and self-indulgence becomes the order of the day.
A lot of pharmaceutical companies have also discovered Baby-boomers as a viable profit center, hence the proliferation of health and wellness products targeted at that generation. While Centrum Silver has been on the market for some time, its product advertising was once clumsy and awkward, likely as a result of the advertising agency’s creative team being made up of 20-something wunderkinder. No longer. Centrum® Silver®, which is “age adjusted for adults 50+’ has discovered “Exercise on the wild side” and urges trail running, triathlons and mountain biking on its target market. There is evidence that this trend will continue, as many pharmaceuticals are now advertising their prescription wares, such as statins and blood pressure medication directly to potential patients.
Other pharmaceuticals marketed to aging Baby-boomers include Viagara, Levitra and Cialis. These are breaking all sales records in that market’s quest to maintain a sexually active lifestyle.
Speaking of sex, Zoomer Magazine, founded by visionary Moses Znaimer, has done extremely well telling the boomer generation just how special they are. One of the magazine’s recurring editorial themes is ways to continue being sexually active well into one’s dotage. They’ve even had articles focusing on “friends with benefits,” a concept they’ve borrowed from a younger generation.
Certainly Baby-boomers will affect adult lifestyle housing in that it will be substantially more luxurious, a trend that appears to have started a decade ago and seems to be expanding exponentially. By and large, however the basic type of housing i.e. single-level between 1300 sq. ft. and 1800 sq. ft. will not be affected that dramatically. What is changing, however, is the available array of bells and whistles on offer.
Baby-Boomers will continue to dress well, drive expensive cars, eat out often and enjoy their considerable wealth by spending large amounts of it on themselves. And that bides well for those engaged in providing goods and services to that market.
Klaus Rohrich is President and Creative Director of Taylor/Rohrich Associates Inc., a marketing and advertising firm that specializes in niche marketing retirement real estate developments
(This post was edited by klaus on Dec 30, 2010, 8:06 AM)