Until recently, the only marketers interested in the over 50 crowd were in either the wrinkle cream or the cruise lines business. That's all about to change.
There is increasing evidence that 50+ are not looking to retire anytime soon.
Several services for job seekers over 50 have sprung up. The latest I heard about is here: Prime50, which was recently purchased . Here's what Prime 50 said in a recent press release:
Prime50 was formed after extensive research indicated a looming shortage of skilled people in the workforce as a consequence of the steep decline in the birth rate since 1965...
It became all too apparent that employers were laboring under many myths and false perceptions about this age group. Many employers' assumptions about the 50+ age group were inaccurate.
...research also indentified a number of employers who, tired of constantly training replacements for job-hopping younger workers, were actually turning specifically to the mature workforce. What these employers have discovered is that, in addition to bringing a wealth of experience, the 50+ tend to stay on the job significantly longer.
- 7 million of the recently retired had returned to work after an average of 1.5 years in retirement
- They estimated that about 1/3 of retirees are now working
- Just over half work part time, just over a third work full time, and the rest are actively seeking work
- Their average household income is high, at $87,000.
- Most still have a mortgage (60%) which is less than half paid off
- Two-thirds wanted to go back to work to stay happy, healthy and mentally active, and to enjoy life; the other one-third had to go back because they did not have sufficient savings to retire.
- They are working in jobs requiring similar skill levels to what they had before retiring
- Those in the survey had an average age of 61.
The Big Opportunity
There is a big opportunity for financial services firms here, as William T. Connolly, head of retail management at Putnam pointed out:
"Their retirement investing needs will be different from any group that has come before them. Our industry must recalibrate its planning assumptions for advising these investors, as well as the 75 million Boomers that come after them"
While people are still working, they are still spending money on everything from clothes to cars.
The prize will go to companies that start finding opportunities in the 50+ crowd by creating products and services that meet their unique needs, and starting to understand the segments that form this large and growing group of people.
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