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November, 2009:

Baby Boomer Conondrum: The need to work but the challenge of being hired

Metlife has results on baby boomer’s intentions of working longer from a study conducted by Mature Market Institute of Metlife. The study shows that 72%Baby Boomers ages 55-59 plan on working longer due to “the need for income to live on.” Of those over 60-65 years of age, 60% indicated that they needed to continue work for income to live on. The study seems to indicate that the younger boomers may have been in this position irregardless of the recession due to a lack of preparation for retirement. I have recently had discussions with people around 60 years of age and all of them know that getting hired after being laid off may be difficult. This difficulty stems from older workers being more experienced and more expensive for a company. It also stems from society’s obsession with youth and vigor in the people they do business with. Yet, with our education system in such disarray, one might think that companies would realize that the cost of training the less prepared college graduate would be more time and financially consuming than hiring an experienced, mature boomer. More importantly, many of the boomers may be willing to take a bit of a pay cut for the privilege of a job. Carol Verret makes a good point in her blog at examiner.com that even though the study points out the disconnect between the availability of aging baby boomers in the market and the traditional lack of opportunities for those over 57 that if someone is adaptable, the recession may provide greater opportunities than ever for the baby boomers. Carol identified something that I never knew existed; companies to specifically help boomers adapt to the market. Here are a few of these organizations that help boomers navigate the changing job market; Passionate for Life; job-hunt.org; RCM Associates. I do not know how effective these organizations are but every Boomer considering finding another job is going to have to learn the new ways of connecting with prospective employers. We all need to do our research and network. Good luck to all of you.

Younger Boomers and Seniors Web Shoppers

A study conducted by the Cable and Telecommunications Media Association (CTAM) examining the lifestage and lifestyle media choices of 4 different generational cohorts (Millenials, Gen-Xers, Boomers, and Matures), found that 77% of the Matures (65+) and 71% of the Boomers shopped online. Interestingly, the Matures shopped more online than any other group. Additionally, almost half of the Matures played games online. The Boomers were heavy internet users also in the areas of email and paying bills online. Many people associate the internet with the younger generations. More and more Boomers and Matures are keeping in touch with family and utilizing the internet to gather information and for personal and business interests. This information shows the marketing opportunities that exist for businesses that keep up with lifestyle and lifestage changes. I have been contacted by more and more people in my generation (Boomer) and older friends (Matures) that are beginning to utilize Facebook and other forms of social media. I know that as I design my marketing plan for my canine massage business that I know that the internet is the way to reach those empty nesters of all generations that care for their K9 companions.