Ride the Boomer Age Wave – Businesses to Serve Boomers
Are you in the Boomer generation – the Baby Boomer kids born between 1946 and 1964? There’s still a lot of us. Seventy five million according to some (like US News).
I am a boomer, born in 1948, so I’m kind of on the leading edge. Over my life, I’ve noticed that I have pretty typical reactions to events, so I’m guessing that I have a window on what a lot of my peers and the younger boomers are and will be doing into their aging years.
Boomers are the new ‘treps.
The Gerontological Society of America reported on some research done by the Kaufmann Institute. The research showed that:
“since 1996, Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 have had a higher rate of entrepreneurial activity than those aged 20-34.”
Another study, by Dane Stangler (also of the Kaufmann Institute) suggests that, as the Gerontological Society site states:
“The United States might be on the cusp of an entrepreneurship boom—not in spite of an aging population but because of it. Factors predicting increased entrepreneurial activity as the baby boom generation moves into retirement include the shifting age distribution of the country, the continued decline of lifetime employment, the experience and tacit knowledge such employees carry with them, and the effects of the 2008-2009 recession on established sectors of the economy. “
So whether you are in the Baby Boom generation or not, there may be a business for you in the near future. But, what would it be? How can you cash in on the fast approaching bulge in the 60+ year old group?
Business types Boomers may make hot.
As I said, I’m a Boomer – at least in age if not in mentality. Here are the products and services, activities and projects in which I’m currently interested. I wouldn’t be surprised if many others are as well. If you are thinking of starting a business and wondering what to do, figure out how to help me (and the other 74,999,999 Boomers) with their interests!
I am recently retired. Although I take pride in doing things myself, I could have used at least some counseling or advice on what to think about before retiring. Not only financial advice, but also perhaps some life coaching kind of advice could be big business.
According to some sources, we Boomers are more wealthy than any prior generation. We worked hard for a lifetime to accumulate some wealth and now we want to enjoy it, not mange it. Convenient and trustworthy financial services at reasonable rates will be big business.
TRAVEL AND LEISURE.
I want to travel, hubby doesn’t. I want to take my grand children on travel exploration trips. I don’t want a bus tour with 35 other seniors that requires me to be a certain place a certain time or eat at a certain restaurant. I do want suggested itineraries, safety needs met, trips that are physically matched to my cranky older body and experiences that I haven’t yet had. Lots of women will want to travel in girl packs – either on their own or with their girl buddies – mainly because of their life expectancy. Their guys may no longer be available.
Leisure activities suited to my interests and physical abilities are also something in which I have an interest. I don’t necessarily want to bungee jump off the bridge, but I might like a motor bike ride across it. I might not be interested in deep sea diving or shark watching from a cage, but I might like to re-connect in an all inclusive with my maid of honor or sorority sisters.
Trip planning services, trip guides, itinerary planning, cruise lines, adventure vacations for elders, reunion planning services and more could be big business.
STARTING A BUSINESS.
As noted above, we Boomers may be starting an entrepreneurship boom. Although we might have a lot of knowledge, contacts and experience, owning a business may be something with which we could use some help! I, for instance, started this website as a side income business. I could use a mentor on hand to consult on issues! Tools, coaching and resources to help senior ‘treps could be big business.
Although I already live in a one story very accessible house, other boomers don’t. They may want or need help in modifying their existing home, or remodeling their retirement home for their future comfort and convenience. Building in measures to allow physical safety, monitoring, delivery of services and easy cleaning could be big business.
HELP WITH AGING BODIES.
Every day, I wake up with a new and different pain. Every week, a new part of my body looks and feels differently. Massages for aching backs, surgery for cosmetic repair, medicine for age related illnesses, assistance in finding medical help and coaching in daily regimes to live younger longer will all be big business.
In Booming business for aging boomers in the South University South Source newsletter, the author says:
“Although there is a real sense of vibrancy, vitality, and independence within the Boomer population, the fact of the matter is they are aging, and they are going to have to spend an increasing portion of their excess income on making themselves comfortable, safe, and healthy. These needs drive a lot of marketing for Boomers.”
And quotes Dave Weigelt is partner and chief marketing strategist at Immersion Active, Inc.
“The reason that seniors are such great consumers is that they have serious needs, whether it is housing or health, that they cannot avoid,” Weigelt says.
“We have never had a group this big go into the fall and winter of their lives,” Weigelt says. “It’s going to be different.”
As we get even older, we are going to need help with daily living activities – grocery shopping, getting around to the dentist, cleaning our homes and mowing our grass. Businesses that provide in home service to seniors will be big business.
As noted in Forbes
“As tens of millions of people live into their 80s and 90s, we’ll need millions of others in their 50s and 60s and 70s to help care for them–not just within families, but through second careers,” Marc Freedman, CEO of Civic Venturesand author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife, says.
I want to stay active and healthy, but I know that as I age, chances are things will go awry sometimes. I want nutritional supplements and good medicine to solve my physical problems. Businesses providing good medicine will do fine.
RELIGION AND VOLUNTEERISM.
Already, I’m starting to think back on my life, wondering if I lived it well, wondering what happens when I die. Will I be remembered? Did I do some good? What happens to my soul when my body decays?
I’m thinking of going back to church, after years of not attending. I’m casting around for activities that will move my vision of a better world forward. I look for opportunities to pass along my store of living and learning. Businesses which help religious and volunteer organizations will be big.
Are you a Boomer? What kinds of products and services are you looking forward to having available as you continue to age?