For the next nineteen years, one Boomer will turn 60 about every 7.5 seconds. Boomers are confronting a demanding life stage, fraught with unique developmental challenges. Representing nearly one-third of the U.S. population, this demographic tidal wave will continue to refocus businesses on how best to capitalize on a distinctive set of resolutions. Here are a few examples:
1. Take better care of Mom and Dad.
Over 13 million Boomers care for aging parents and, according to a survey by Campbell-Ewald Health, one-fourth have live-in parents. Taking care of parents is an emotional rollercoaster. Caregivers can feel profoundly grateful for a chance to give back, yet hopelessly constrained by the demands of doctor appointments, insurance hassles, shopping, and so forth. An enduring metaphor for a fresh beginning, the new year encourages overwhelmed Boomers to renew dedication to constructive parental caregiving.
Business opportunities: Senior support organizations, assisted care facilities, in-home medical and support services, adult day care, caregiver education and training, housing developers offering "mother-in-law" detached cottages
2. Keep the weight off.
Obesity is an intensifying health nemesis for Boomers, with more than 30% already packing too many pounds. But those who are svelte in middle age also have reasons for concern. In a comprehensive study under the auspices of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, researchers discovered that 20% of the women and 25% of the men in the study grew from optimal weight to obesity in four years. Obesity increases the incidence of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and asthma. Obesity is a precursor of early death. As they cross the threshold of 60, Boomers will progressively confront the medical dangers of growing girth.
Business opportunities: Fitness facilities, marketers of dietary supplements, online weight management information portals, psychological services for compulsive eaters, support networks, fitness franchises such as Body Pump
3. Find more love.
Almost 13% of the Boomers never married and over 14% are now divorced. At least a quarter of the generation is searching for romantic connections. Neilson Net Ratings discovered that Boomers are the most avid users of personal ads posted on the Internet. The Web resource of choice is Yahoo personals, and the typical user is male, 45, earning between $50,000 and $75,000 in annual income. The astonishing growth of Internet dating services, such as Eharmony.com and Match.com, provides further confirmation that middle-aged men and women are using online dating services to help them cross the lonely-hearts chasm.
Business opportunities: On-line dating services, companies marketing personal expression cards and gifts, community-based dating services, personal advertising services
Although the leading-edge of the Boomer generation can theoretically start receiving Social Security checks in just two years, the prospect for a long and comfy retirement is looking more dismal every year. Speaking recently at a gathering of bankers, retiring Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said, "We may have already committed more physical resources to the Baby-Boom generation in its retirement years than our economy has the capacity to deliver." Since roughly one-third of the generation is financially insolvent, with net assets of $10,000 or less, Boomers are recognizing the coming calamity of miniscule retirement savings and an insolvent Social Security system.
Business opportunities: Financial planning, online financial analysis services, mutual fund companies, long-term care insurance, annuities, debt consolidation services, adult education, employment agencies and services