January 28, 2008
Way to go. Some marketing experts are beginning to get it right. The "Magical Mystery Tour" that's been the past 60 years of Baby Boomer buying power doesn't have to end with mutual fund companies instilling the dreaded fear of outliving one's retirement savings, dying impoverished and, possibly, alone.
Sociologists and demographic experts are beginning to map out the motivations of aging Boomers for the asset management industry, and it's an inspirational picture of self-sufficient mavericks.
Pre-retirees and younger Boomers alike-and I'll readily admit it won't be too long before I hold an AARP card in my own hand-are best reached and helped with the retirement savings message of individualism and positive reinforcement.
Whoever you are, getting ready for retirement is more than how much you have in the bank. Wealth creation is about who you are, what you've achieved and how you can use all that to live a fulfilling and safe life once you've packed it all in from the rat race for a better view, a life that could even include volunteering at the charity of one's choice.
Though dealing individually with 77 million individualists born between the nation's prolific years of 1946 to 1964, whose bearings are grounded in everything from the Great Depression and WWII, to '50s consumerism, to '60s flower power-may sound counterintuitive and complex at first, it's really not very complicated at all.
Take a Boomer with a low- to mid-size cash balance who walks into a bank, for instance, simply to open a safety deposit box to safeguard a family keepsake. Striking up a conversation with the "teller," who turns out to be a customer service vice president, the customer is then promptly introduced to a personal banker. That client, that investor, has the potential to grow into a serious account.
So, break down the Baby Boomers, as consultancy Age Wave has done, into "Ageless Explorers," "Comfortably Contents," "Live for Todays," and, the one that really gets me, the "Sick and Tireds" who are just waiting around to die. That's a good place to start on how to understand and begin a meaningful, motivating talk with the Boomers.
But listen a little, lend a little "what if" financial imagination, and you might just cultivate for yourself an investing consumer who's hooked.
Money Management Executive, along with the rest of SourceMedia's capital markets newsletter group, will debut a redesigned website, with MME's debuting this coming Friday, Feb. 1.
The new website will include blogs by all of the publication's key writers under creative headings of their own choice. My own will be the wishful "Retire Rich," including others by my colleagues Brent Shearer, John Morgan, Lori Pizzani and Kerry Pechter.
Happy New Year and happy reading.
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