In the world as we’ve known it, growing older has meant entering into a period of reflection. The horizon shortens, the experiences of loss multiply, and salient questions rise to the surface: How are you going to live your life in a way that matters? What will be different about the world because you were in it?
Understanding the mindset of older customers and how it impacts their behavior is vital for life insurance advisors, who will likely support the continuation of legacies that took a lifetime to build.
These findings come from a February 2020 white paper, “Aging is Happier, More Productive, and More Complicated Than We Think,” created by my team in partnership with Dr. Cat Hicks of Tetra Insights. In addition to surveying 1,141 people from ages 18 through 90 about retirement planning, goals, and attitudes about the future, eight in-depth interviews were conducted with individuals of retirement age.
1. Meaning takes priority.
“Everything has to have meaning now,” one of our interviewees, Carol, age 68, told us. Though she admitted that “few of us are now doing what we thought we would be doing when we were 17,” she was hopeful about what the future held.
The point here isn’t to play therapist with your older clients but to keep this insight in mind in your interactions with them. Older adults haven’t given up, nor do they see their remaining years as a loss; they’re productive members of society, and they want to use their time wisely.