Significant future trends rarely signal themselves as overtly as the oncoming “senior revolution.” There is also no doubt that the “aging of America” has a profound impact on the nation’s economic environment — from saving to spending, from housing to health care, and more. These dramatically changing demographics represent extraordinary marketplace opportunities for anyone in the insurance business. Now is the time to seriously consider positioning your business to respond directly with the needs of the senior sector.
The key to successfully serving this generation of 71.5 million people, who will soon control the lion’s share of the wealth in this country, is to recognize that most baby boomers are not interested in pursuing a traditional retirement of leisure. Market research shows that a large segment of this highly educated, goal-oriented generation indicate that the need for continued mental stimulation and challenge — much more than financial concerns — will motivate them to continue to seek various degrees of active employment throughout their retirement years. At the same time, boomers will spend significantly more time in retirement than their ancestors. Today, a 65-year-old stands a better than 50% chance of living to at least 85 and a 30% chance of reaching 90, according to a MetLife study.
By rejecting traditional retirement, living longer and better, and choosing to work or cycle between work and leisure, baby boomers will reinvent retirement — a fact that has profound implications on the insurance and annuity products that will be appropriate for this generation of clients. Boomers will extend their earning, saving and investment compounding years far into their retirement. In addition, many will not have to utilize retirement savings as their primary source of income until much later than current planning models indicate.