If you want to have a successful practice serving affluent boomer women, then you have to educate first through the heart. This was a key theme of a presentation given at the Society of Financial Service Professionals’ 2008 Forum, held here recently. Titled “Boom-Generation Women: The 21st Century Tsunami Catalyst for Effective Intergenerational Planning,” the talk was given by Margaret May Damen, a certified financial planner and the founder and president of the Institute for Women and Wealth, Lake Worth, Fla.
“This is the only generation where the four seasons of their life–spring, summer, fall and winter–align directly with the four seasons of our nation’s socio-economic cycle,” said Damen. “Boomer women are taking full advantage of the time convergence of their psychological, emotional, economic and age-related dynamics as they reach maturity.”
These seasons–a “spring” (childhood) lasting from 1943 to 1960; summer (young adulthood) lasting from 1961 to 1983; fall (midlife) period from 1984 to 2007; and winter (elderhood) from 2008 to 2025–dovetail with the nation’s own historical experience, observed Damen. These include, in relation to the same time periods, an “American high;” an “awakening” or “consciousness revolution;” an “unraveling” during a period of “culture wars;” and a “millennial crisis.”
The sweet spot for advisors who cater to boomer women–a “tsunami” totaling 43 million individuals ranging in age from 48 to 65–are business owners and entrepreneurs who boast a net worth of $1 million to $25 million. Approximately 10.6 million of these women generate $2.6 trillion in annual sales and control 60% of the nation’s wealth, said Damen.
Though affluent, many of these women have changed their lifestyle from one of “conspicuous consumption” to “conspicuous compassion.” They are, in the main, women who invest their retirement dollars in companies deemed to be “socially responsible;” and who desire to positively impact their communities through planned giving and other philanthropic initiatives.
Yet while desiring to make a difference, millionaire boomer women tend not to be on advisors’ radar because, they don’t talk openly about their money in public, preferring to “fit in.” Advisors need to cultivate such women as clients because, said Damen, they’re good stewards of their money, make their own decisions, stand by their values and “dream big.”
There are, of course, differences among women that advisors need to be mindful of when meeting with prospects. Damen identified a “constellation” of 4 archetypes: idealists, reactive, civic and adaptive. Boomer women who tend to the idealist mode are driven by a vision. Their key values include optimism, autonomy, self-esteem, independence, quality of life, and simplicity.