Marketers have long counted on the Baby Boomer generation to spend heavily on goods and services after retirement. But the recent economic downturn has battered the portfolios of many consumers in this age demographic. New research from AARP shows where marketers how they can best connect with Boomers as this large consumer group begins to turn age 65.
About 60% of consumers in this age group say they are ‘fairly optimistic’ but 26% are pessimistic because of economic conditions. Only 55% of working Boomers are ‘somewhat’ satisfied with their retirement savings. Most Boomers expect to rely on the following sources as retirement income:
- 401K plans or retirement savings: 61%
- Other savings/investments: 55%
- Social security: 59%
In the past 5 years, the number of consumers who will rely on Social Security as an income source has jumped 9%. This change in economic status means nearly half, 44%, of this group no longer expects to do exactly what they planned in the next few years. Instead of anticipating a time of leisure, 36% say they’ll be unable to afford retirement.
The AARP study has been following this Boomer group for nearly 13 years. Not surprisingly attitudes about health have changed significantly. Currently only 50% of respondents report very good or excellent health compared to 64% in 1998. But 55% have promised themselves they will exercise regularly to stave off health problems.
Based on these findings, marketers could find a lucrative audience for products and services related to the chief concerns of Baby Boomers are they approach retirements. For now, these concerns are all about protecting financial assets and personal health.[Source: Baby Boomers Envision What’s Next. AARP.org. June 2011. Web. 25 Aug. 2011]