This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

August 12, 2009

The Approaching Senior Surge

In our book "Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People", we talked about the senior boom that would drive the economy. Beginning in 2012, the Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964), 76.4 million strong, are approaching their 65th birthdays. As their saving-minded parents, pass away, they will inherit billions of dollars.

In fact, according to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute, maturing Boomers will be the most affluent demographic segment in recorded history. McKinsey believes their money will represent 40 percent of all of the transactions in the United States in the next decade. Imagine the political clout they will have!

At this point in time with our contracted economy, Baby Boomers are spending less and saving more. When the recovery gets here and their investment portfolios return to reasonable levels, we will see a significant release of these funds. Some marketers are forecasting significant shortages of computers and automobiles, due to reductions in capacity.

Before the current downturn, we had seen record interest among seniors in "re-careering" to lower-paid less-stressful jobs. For now, we are seeing them choosing to stay in their current position as long as possible. Wise companies are looking for ways to capitalize on this valuable population segment without alienating the Generation Xers who want to move up. Once this recession is history, expect to see a return to previous attitudes and actions.

By the year 2030, more than one-fifth of the US population will be over the age of 65. They represent a phenomenal opportunity to marketers well-positioned to sell them goods and services. Besides the obvious healthcare needs, the affordable housing industry will be the beneficiary of this aging Boomer market as will a wide range of other service suppliers. Affluent seniors will be in the market to buy numerous services to handle tasks they simply do not want to do themselves, including running errands, food shopping, and cooking.

The national and local opportunities presented by this Senior Surge are unprecedented. Enlightened marketers are already preparing to address the wants and needs of this lucrative group and positioning themselves for success with this growing market segment.

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