According to market researcher Focalyst, boomers can be divided into three distinct groups based on their economic outlook. The downturn in the market has affected boomers differently, and each group responds to different messages.

The least optimistic of the bunch, the “Yesterday” boomers as the study refers to them, are concerned about an uncertain future. They are afraid they haven’t accomplished much and long for a simpler life. Approximately 40 percent of those boomers say their health has declined. About one-quarter of the boomers Focalyst surveyed fell into this category.

A slightly larger segment — 30 percent — feels they have planned well and deserve an indulgent retirement. Dubbed “Today” boomers in the study, these boomers aren’t worried about finances, and staying healthy is a top priority.

The largest segment, the “Tomorrow” boomers, is also the most optimistic. Forty-five percent of boomers surveyed fell into this category. They are a more “spiritual and spirited” bunch than their counterparts, despite being affected by financial and health concerns more than Today boomers. They feel strong ties to their community and give back through volunteer work.

Focalyst suggested ways to connect with the different segments:

  • Yesterdays — Reassure these boomers to justify their decisions.
  • Todays — Appeal to their feelings of success, and sometimes vanity.
  • Tomorrows — Connect through their feeling of hopefulness and optimism, and their desire to give back to their community.