Marketing to Boomers: Forget Stereotypes, Ask Questions, and Engage Us

My husband rarely touched a computer until he reached his late sixties; at the time, he didn’t believe that learning new technology was necessarily worth the effort. Then one day his son-in-law sat down next to him and demonstrated many of the things an iPad could do. A couple of months later, my husband owned an iPad. Within the next couple of years, he had an iPhone and an Apple 2 watch. To assume that baby boomers are uninterested in technology or some of the same products or causes that younger generations value is a mistake. At present, baby boomers…

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Rediscovering Life After Retirement

I now take time to sit down and enjoy breakfast with my husband each morning. When I was teaching, we only sat down and ate breakfast together on weekends and during scheduled breaks. Now it is a simple ritual, a simple joy. Sometimes we even linger after eating and watch birds from our dining window feasting on seeds we'd left for them. When I take our dog for a walk around a nearby pond, I want to take in everything I see - the water, the ducks on the pond, the winding paths, the contrasting colors and various textures that…

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Why We Need to Take a Stand Against Ageism and Seven Ways We Can Each Do It

When I was still teaching speech communication at a community college, I would occasionally hear ageist remarks from my students that I had to address. One time a student proposed a persuasive speech topic about why people over sixty should be required to get retested every year for their driver’s licenses. Some of the other students in the class enthusiastically supported the topic and made comments like one who said, “I see those old geezers on the road sometimes and they go so slow and have to lean over their steering wheels just to see.” Then this student pantomimed his…

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Limiting Dangerous Falls with Balance Work

Picture yourself in 15 to 20 years from now. Are you enjoying life to the fullest? Are you still able to climb stairs and get off the floor without assistance? Can you catch your balance without falling? Now picture yourself in 15 to 20 years. Imagine yourself having difficulty getting up from a chair without having to steady yourself. Imagine you lose your balance and fall on the floor. You discover that you can’t get up. Instead, all you can do is yell, “Help, help, I’ve fallen.” But because you didn’t want to wear that big, beige medallion around your…

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Gender and Carving Out a New Life after Leaving Your Career

I met with a friend last week who is a successful business woman and teaches at the college part-time just because she enjoys it. As this friend is now seventy, I asked her if she was planning on slowing down – maybe selling her business or traveling more. She answered, “Well, what would I do for the next 30 years? Maybe I’ll sell the business when I reach eighty-five”. Because friend takes very good care of herself, I can easily imagine that she will reach 100. In general, women will outlive men by at least a couple of years. The…

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Limit Dangerous Falls, Increase Balance

Picture yourself in 15 to 20 years from now. Are you enjoying life to the fullest? Are you still able to climb stairs and get off the floor without assistance? Can you catch your balance without falling? Now picture yourself in 15 to 20 years. Imagine yourself having difficulty getting up from a chair without having to steady yourself. Imagine you lose your balance and fall on the floor. You discover that you can’t get up. Instead, all you can do is yell, “Help, help, I’ve fallen.” But because you didn’t want to wear that big, beige medallion around your…

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Requisite Workforce Variety and an Aging Environment: Why it Matters

We are living in an age when the U.S. population is becoming increasingly older. Research suggests that this reality will lead to an increase in older workers who have the potential to offer additional value in the workplace and beyond. Requisite Variety One way to gain a deeper appreciation for the need to embrace an age-diverse workplace is through the lens of a system’s principle called requisite variety. This systems principle holds that it is necessary for organizations to basically be as complex and as flexible as the environment in which it is embedded demands. Or, as John Dabell in…

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Discovering the Freedom to Take Care of Myself!

A lot of what I’ve read about successful aging addresses the need for exercise.  From what I’ve read, exercise can improve our mood, help us maintain a healthy body weight, improve cardiovascular function, and help keep our brains healthy. That all sounds great, but as a pragmatic optimist, I realize there are no guarantees about the future. I also realize that no matter what I do, I am still going to experience many of the typical signs of aging such as slowing down, feeling more aches and pains, having some hearing loss, and changes in my vision, among other physical…

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Boomers as Consumers

Yesterday we invited a heating and cooling sales person into our home. As he was rattling off some product features, he said, “You could even use your phone to control the temperature in here– but you wouldn’t be interested in that.”  Really?  We wouldn’t be interested in added convenience? Why? Because we’re older? This salesperson clearly didn’t know about the three deadly sins when doing business with baby boomers. Let me explain: Deadly Sin #1: Assuming business representatives know what baby boomers really want.  Sadly, when marketing is targeted to older adults, it’s often based on stereotypical assumptions. I’m not alone when I say I’m tired of getting…

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Gender and Retirement

Gender and Carving Out a New Life after Leaving Your Career (February 8, 2019) I met with a friend last week who is a successful business woman and teaches at the college part-time just because she enjoys it. As this friend is now seventy, I asked her if she was planning on slowing down – maybe selling her business or traveling more. She answered, “Well, what would I do for the next 30 years? Maybe I’ll sell the business when I reach eighty-five”. Because friend takes very good care of herself, I can easily imagine that she will reach 100.…

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