Baby Boomer Women Rock Financial Clout!
By Nancy Salamone, CLU
Who are Baby Boomer women? Baby Boomer women were born between 1946 and 1963 and have lived through the Vietnam War, the Women’s Movement, the Civil Rights Movement and the Kent State Shootings.
These women come in two segments; 1. the save the world revolutionary, and 2. the “party hardy” career climber – think Yuppy. This is also the Rock and Roll generation – think Beatles and The Rolling Stones. This was the generation that ushered in free love and societal non-violent protests – yet some became violent.
This generation of women began working outside the home in droves and was, for the most part, the first generation to have their children raised in a two income household. This is also a “divorce generation” – the first generation in which divorce was no longer taboo. It’s clear that these women have changed traditional paradigms. They are highly educated and many manage their own money. In fact many are savvy investors and rock financial clout!
Let’s look at some facts reported by Statisticbrain.com:
- Net worth, a staggering $19 trillion – and they own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth
- They make 85% of consumer purchases
- 92% of Baby Boomer women go on vacation
- 70% of Baby Boomer women have started businesses
- 91% of Baby Boomer women have purchased homes
According to She-conomy.com “One huge, affluent segment wields more spending clout than any other: Baby-Boomer women”. They go on to say “these women represent a portion of the buying public no marketer can afford to ignore. With successful careers, investments made during the “boom” years, and inheritances from parents or husbands, they are more financially empowered than any previous generation of women”.
She-conomy.com further states “The number of wealthy women investors in the U.S. is growing at a faster rate than that of men. In a two-year period, the number of wealthy women in the U.S. grew 68%, while the number of men grew only 36%”.
Today Baby Boomer women are changing the face of retirement. In fact, many Baby Boomer women have chosen to embark on “encore careers” (work in the second half of life that combines continued income, greater personal meaning, and social impact). Take Mary Tennyson for example. At age 63 she is a former Software executive who started Stashall, a line of stylish accessories for the physically challenged. And Marion Somers, age 69, who started Dr. Marion, Inc. a resource for elder care.
A Huffington Post article confirms “Contrary to popular opinion, 20-somethings aren’t the only ones responsible for successful startups these days. Sure, we may be obsessed with youth, but don’t forget, it’s also wasted on the young, which is why a growing number of people are starting businesses in their 50s, 60s and even 70s. For baby boomers, with newfound free time and either financial freedom or financial insecurity on their hands, the entrepreneurial path has become more appealing, more viable and more rewarding”.
Baby Boomer women are digital immigrants (a person born or brought up before the widespread use of digital technology) yet they have become digital divas. An article in dmn3.com affirms that Baby Boomer women are digital divas as these women “account for 9% of all online users in the United States. And they are the fastest growing demographic. About 18% of them consider themselves “digital divas” who are completely comfortable with using the Internet. In fact, 22% of digital divas shop online at least once a day and 92% of them pass along information about deals to others, further influencing your brand reputation”.
The dmn3.com article further states that “The Internet is an everyday part of Americans over the age of 50. It’s the top source for information on topics of interest, outpacing TV and print media by a substantial margin. Search is the top online information-gathering resource for this demographic, driving a variety of actions. The number one reason for online activity is email. Over 90% of American’s over the age of 50 prefer email over any other method of written communication”.
Yes, financial advisors and financial organizations obviously court Baby Boomer women. That said if they want to increase their share of the Baby Boomer woman’s market here are a number of best practices financial advisors and financial organizations can employ:
- They like direct and easy to understand products and services and, do it quickly – don’t waste their time. Baby Boomer women are caught between their children and many are caring for their “Greatest Generation” parents. Accordingly, their time is limited.
- They resent authority. You may be the expert, but approach them as being part of their team. They like to be in control.
- They are lifelong learners. Their love of learning and desire to be in control means that combining financial services with education is appealing to Boomer women. But, again, keep it short -Remember, they’re busy.
- They want quality of life as they age. Demonstrate how your products can help them achieve their dreams.
- Boomer women are the first generation of American women who have, in large numbers, made their own money. Many have to manage their retirement in a more hands-on manner than their mothers did.
- They don’t want to feel like they are being “sold to”, rather they want to know the benefits not just features of products – they want and need to know how a financial plan can solve their problems and needs and help them achieve their goals.
- They are smart. They know what they want and are not afraid to pay for it. This generation reacts to “stories” so stories must be told to them about how financial planning will help them achieve their goals.
- As stated previously they are digital divas. They own Smartphones and tablets as well as PC’s. They have an online presence and in fact 60% are active on Social Media. They will search the Internet and Social Media to research a product or service before making a purchasing decision.
Every generation of women spending and savings habits have been shaped by the events that shaped their lives and Baby Boomer women are no different. The bottom line is – financial advisors and financial organizations need to develop strategies to attract the women’s market via the prism of the generational divide.
For more strategies to attract the women’s market get your FREE copy of my White Paper “Capturing Your Share of The Women’s Market”.