Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sell Seniors on Future Plans

Senior citizen consumers are increasingly gaining opportunities to live longer. Transforming those opportunities into realities generates another set of opportunities—for health care professionals, pension providers, and end-of-life planners. Researchers coordinated by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society sketched out specifics:
  • Fewer than 25% of elderly Americans are up-to-date with available vaccination and screening programs known to extend life. There’s evidence that with men a happy marriage boosts participation. Researchers at University of Chicago and Brigham and Women's Hospital used sophisticated statistical tools to tease out relationships between marital bliss and adherence to medical recommendations. Married men were more likely to comply than were unmarried men. If the wife was happy with the relationship, the probability climbed further. So marriage counseling might be seen as one form of preventive health. 
  • Because of Baby Boomers’ expectations of value fulfillment in employment and because of economic dislocations, more workers reaching their senior milestones have moved from one job to another over their careers. One important consequence is that many of these workers lack an adequate defined benefit pension or even a defined contribution 401K and IRA. But a countervailing trend is that many seniors are staying in the workforce longer. Persuading seniors to fund a retirement income vehicle is a service to them as well as a source of revenue for pension providers. The most effective method has proven to be default enrollment, where declining to make payroll deduction contributions requires an affirmative opt-out. 
  • Over the decades, patterns of serial marriages, co-habitational unions, choices to stay childless, and single parenthood have created a dearth of dependable sources for seniors’ end-of-life assistance from close family. A market is ripe for advisors who ensure that the individual knows the alternatives and selects what gives best comfort. The elderly do think about death. Getting them to come by for planning is another matter. Keep it positive. Cemeteries and mortuaries hold band concerts, barbeques, and sky-diving exhibitions to position themselves as pleasant places available for service in the future. “Meet us before you need us.” 
     Scientists at New York University-Stern, Stanford University, and Microsoft Research showed young adults digitally-altered photos of what they’d look like decades later. Those exposed to the photos allocated nearly twice as much to a retirement fund as did young adults not shown the photos. With seniors, all that might be necessary for the motivation is a mirror.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

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