Baby boomers set to usher in a new retirement

Working 'retirees' will offer new marketing opportunities, according to a Consumerology report.

The baby boom generation is going to revolutionize retirement by working through it. So says the latest Consumerology Report from Toronto-based Bensimon Byrne.

Commissioned by the agency and conducted by The Gandalf Group every quarter, the report, which this time examines the perceptions and expectations about all facets of retirement, discloses that only a third of Canadians expect to be retired before they turn 65, and almost a fifth expect to be working after they hit 70 years old. This is, in large part, in order to finance their desired lifestyle.

‘While most Canadians view retirement as a ‘second life’ – an opportunity to do the things they really want – we found three quarters of Canadians are financially unprepared to afford the lifestyle they imagine,’ said Jack Bensimon, president, Bensimon Byrne, in a release. ‘The ‘new retirement’ will look a lot more like a ‘working retirement,’ as retirees try to afford the quality of life they want to maintain.’

What this means for marketers is that traditional messages concerning retirement, centred on passive leisure, will become less relevant and communications targeted toward a younger workforce will miss out on the opportunity to reach out to workers longer in the tooth.

The bonus, however, is that the changing retirement landscape will create new marketing opportunities thanks to broader demographic groups for categories such as transportation, communication services, hospitality and apparel, as people seek to not only subsidize their lifestyle, but keep it active as they enter their retirement.

‘[Baby boomers'] cognitive age is younger than previous generations at the same age,’ said Bensimon. ‘So, we expect to see a combination of part-time work, part-time travel, reverse mortgages, exploring brand new interests and caring for family as the most likely combination of activities in their retirement years.’

The survey for this quarter’s report was conducted among 1,500 Canadians between Sept. 20 and Sept. 30 in both French and English.