What's Happening?

Welcome To The Roaring 50s



Over 55s want to live fuller lives, what can we offer them?

Traditional ideas of how we live our lives are fast evolving and changing the paradigm of how we view people’s working careers. Much of this has to do with the fact that most of us are living longer and healthier lives.

In particular, this affects people over the age of 55 who are defying expectations and are choosing, in many cases, to live lives we might normally associate with much younger generations. They are willing to spend money on things they like and are prepared to follow their dreams wherever these may take them.

Neglected demographic

There is a sense that businesses don’t always give this age group the attention they deserve, often focusing instead on younger demographics. But given the spending power of this more established group and their need for fuller lifestyle choices, the focus on younger clients might need to be re-evaluated.

For insurers and advisers, this presents new opportunities in the way we offer our services to enhance their lives, and to do this we need to understand their aspirations and lifestyle options.

Known as Forerunners, this group of people doesn’t see themselves as getting old, rather they see themselves as being experienced enough to do what they want in the way they like.

For example, a third of South African house buyers are 50-plus – well up from just over a fifth of house buyers more than a decade ago. This can be seen as a sign this group is growing in number and spending power.

Investment savvy and long-term focused

There is the idea that older people are unlikely to switch their current brand allegiance, but according to the UCT Liberty Institute of Strategic Marketing’s Forerunners Report, which examines the lifestyles of over-55’s, this age group is actually looking for choice.

This segment has built up significant financial power and is willing to make critical life stage decisions, like where to put their investments or pension savings for better returns, meaning they want choices. From this, it’s not hard to see that they would embrace meaningful and far-reaching financial advice that matches their lives and aspirations.

As we’ve mentioned, many are home buyers, with cash to spend or invest, so offering a well-managed offshore investment portfolio could be an important consideration.

According to the research, 64% of 55-60-year-olds still have children living at home.

So with this group’s outlook on investing and spending, it’s easy to see that being able to offer personally structured life cover as part of a broader estate planning exercise is key to protecting their families.

Included in this planning would be efficient tax structuring of their assets, so they can pass on a legacy to their children.

Positive health is everything

Better health options and lifestyle choices have enabled over 55s to look further down the road than previous generations. They still understand the importance of retirement saving, but they see it as being much further away and want to get on with their lives in a way that is productive and meaningful. The empty nester stage is now happening later, towards the 60s and 70s.

Here an adviser would be well placed to have a conversation about risk, and the benefits of a comprehensive package of insurance to cover potential hurdles in life.

This extended working career creates a need for long-term insurance products that provide cover against critical illness, time off work and the ability to bounce back from a period of hospitalisation, should this occur. This cover would help them focus on living longer, more meaningful lives.

The Forerunners are a unique group who cannot be ignored. They have substantial spending power, they understand the benefits of choice and are taking a long-term view of all things and we need to consider how we continue to provide cover for them as they become a growing cohort of clients.