Boomers Drive Software Development For Retirement And Estate Planning
As the Baby Boom generation continues to age, the ripple effect of their sheer numbers has been felt in many business and consumer areas.
Now the wave has reached those who build retirement and estate-planning software, and the effect, several vendors say, has been and will continue to be significant.
According to Carol Smith, U.S. business strategist for Solcorp, the driving force behind changes in such software has been boomers independent nature and demanding expectations.
“Boomers like self-direction, and they dont like being told what to do,” explains Smith, who is based in the companys Chicago office. “They like to create their own destiny. Theyre not risk averse to technology, so they dont mind using self-service to the extent it makes sense.”
Because they are aware of Enron and other financial disasters, boomers also understand the need for financial diversification, says Smith. “What we see as a vendor is that opportunities for diversification have caused the industry to create hybrid products.” For example, annuities now tend to feature “enhanced death benefit options,” which makes them “look more like life insurance,” she notes.
As a result, says Smith, “we have to have total flexibility in product design so we can pull features from different products and combine them for the product du jour.”
The walls that previously distinguished various kinds of insurance protection are down, says Smith, and insurers need to recognize that in their product design.
This trend has caused software makers to “reconsider how we set up product profiles within the software,” she notes. “We no longer make the same assumptions about how products will behave. Boomers need diversified products and the ability to combine features.”