Lifestyle Marketing: Reaching the New American Consumer

By Ronald D. Michman; Edward M. Mazze et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7

Targeting the Changing Lifestyles of the Senior Market

Although cultural values in the United States have emphasized a youth orientation, an increasing amount of attention is being given to the senior market. The growth rate of the senior market is expected to be twice that of the general population rate. The population of seniors over fifty is expected to rise to 30 percent of the population by 2030. The life expectancy has lengthened from sixty-eight in 1950 to eighty-three in 2002. This market presents an attractive potential for marketers for a wide variety of goods and services. Factors providing for a good financial situation for the senior market include built-in cost-of-living increases in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, long-term healthcare insurance, and improved pension plans. For this group, there is a high rate of mortgage-free home ownerships. Many seniors have been impacted by a decline in the stock market and regret retiring early. They are worried about their money running out before they reach seventy years old. Interest rates on investments are an important matter for the senior. More than 60 percent of the money in certificates of deposit are held by people over sixty years old. The number of older Americans with debt is growing. Recently, the average amount owed by people age sixty-five and older has tripled to $23,000 from $8,000. Bankruptcy filings by seniors were 82,200 in 2001 as compared to 23,890 in 1991. Seniors have become financially vulnerable. However, there are a large number of seniors who are recession-proof because they have stable, guaranteed incomes from their retirement packages, have little debt, and more discretionary income than other age groups.

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