10 Golden Rules for Attracting Baby Boomer Women to Your Business
Baby Boomer women, born between the years 1946-1964, enjoy life more now they are older. They are beginning to find and follow their life purpose.
Female boomers are vibrant, educated, and influential. And studies have shown they control half of the nation’s discretionary income.
According to some sources, women in the U.S. aged 50 and older own more than three-quarters of the nation’s wealth.
Also, midlife women make 85% of the family’s purchasing decisions and are not resistant to leaving a favorite brand if they feel invisible.
For instance, a survey by GirlPowerMarketing.com found that 64.2% of boomer women admitted to dumping a brand because they felt ignored—the brand wasn’t “speaking to them.”
Are you getting the picture?
This “ageless generation” is a dynamic demographic.
With this in mind, here are five “do’s” and five “don’ts” to guide your business if you want to make a connection with this generation:
- Celebrate her self-knowledge that comes with age. Create products that lift her self-confidence. She is not the drab beige, pastel-colored-wearing grandma of days past. Think: jeans and a t-shirt (with high heels), and leather jackets. According to one survey, 86% of senior women believe age does not define style.
- Remember that many boomer women age alone. According to the U.S. Census data (2017), as many as 28 million (37%) of baby boomers are single females. Some love being single. And what do they want? To remain vigorous and healthy.
- Create technologies easy to use. She uses the Internet daily and is comfortable with technology. She shops online because it gives her the chance to compare prices. Most boomer women own smartphones, laptops, or tablets. The Alexa Echo APP is just one example of innovative technology for the aging population.
- Offer her an opportunity to learn. Ensure your products and services provide opportunities to learn more about what matters to her most: healthcare, employment, education, housing, and personal growth.
- Be authentic and honest. Always do the right thing. Nothing will turn off a boomer woman faster than the “snake oil” approach to getting their money. Do respect her intelligence.
- Don’t make her feel old. Her physical appearance may change as she grows older, but her inner beauty as reflected by her maturity, knowledge, intelligence, and experience is a constant. Therefore, to many, the boomer female gets more and more attractive as she ages. Let your products and services confirm her radiance.
- Don’t stereotype. They are not all the same. The senior woman represents a rainbow of ethnicities. She feels self-assured. She controls purchasing decisions in the household, including cars, clothes, and food. She embraces new hobbies, is looking for adventure, and living out her dreams. The Boomer woman is enjoying life as never before.
- Don’t think she is no longer relevant. The empty nester contributes to society through her knowledge and experience in the workplace and the community. She cares for grandchildren. She is also critical (relevant) to your business because she represents an enormous Ignore her at your peril.
- Don’t talk down to her. She is not a simpleton! Not only is she better educated, but the midlife woman of today is also entrepreneurial having started thousands of new businesses in recent years.
- Don’t assume she spends money only to gain approval of others. Understand what she values. Provide solutions to her problems. She is the new “Power Consumer,” and not mainly concerned about looking younger. Understand her needs and perceptions, and you will make a connection.
Do you realize that there are 39 million Boomer women in the U.S.?
Are you aware that 72% are in the workforce and have their own money?
Did you know that this makes midlife women a cohort of one of the most affluent in recent history?
Senior women possess wisdom, brains, and power! Frequently they feel ignored—they feel invisible to marketers.
These are “today’s mightiest” women.
Why not let your marketing efforts consider the possibilities open to your bottom line when you promote your products and services to these “game-changers.”
Differentiate your company from your competitors by confirming the Boomer woman’s existence, and you’re sure to reap the rewards.
“Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.”—Helen Gurley Brown
As a Boomer woman, you are living longer—much longer.
In one study, 2 out of 5 older women surveyed said that they expect to live to age 90+. They are concerned about affording health care and long-term care services in later life, and money to support them day-to-day.
Joyce, a 58-year-old widow, expressed, “Living with my chronically ill husband for the last 5 years has been the hardest thing I have ever done! Now that my husband, the man I loved, passed away, I’m dealing with grief, physical problems, and financial pressures. I think I’m ready to have a nervous breakdown.”
Though Joyce had worked in a professional setting for many years and earned good money, when her husband became ill she had first to downsize her job to part-time, and months later resign altogether.
Joyce joined the 40 million caregivers in America, of which 60% are women and, end-of-life care and related expenses ate through their savings.
By leaving the workforce early, she figured she lost about $150,000 in wages, plus social security benefits.
Regrettably, when her husband was alive and healthy, Joyce was not involved in the family finances or in identifying common goals for the future.
When it came to investing in growth assets, she was clueless.
Joyce will undoubtedly begin to look for more employment, provided her health holds up. At age 58, she is a “young” Boomer. If she can’t find a new job, perhaps she will try entrepreneurship.
But consider the daily pressures she could experience in the meantime.
Don’t let this be your life story.
To help mitigate a similar situation in your life, why not begin taking the following 5 steps.
What You Can Do
- Act now! Fight procrastination and do nothing. Force yourself to get moving. Realize you’re the boss! You’re in charge of your financial future.
- Gain money knowledge. Gather information. Educate yourself. Focus on women’s issues, paying particular to the risks you face should you become single. Check out diverse sources and do not rely on any one source. Think critically about what you find; ask questions of yourself and others. Research.
- Consult a financial planner. Meet with someone who is skilled and knowledgeable in the concerns of women.
- Calculate income and expenses. One study revealed that only one in four women (25%) do the math on this. Most women have no clear picture of what they’ll face when it comes to health costs, let alone housing, food, clothing, transportation, and so forth. (A good financial planner will help you with this.)
- Stay on budget. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 87% of those in poverty in America are women. And 25% of widows are poor a mere two months after their husband’s death.
It’s not too late.
Perhaps you’ll come to agree with Lillian Day on the importance of securing your financial future: “Money isn’t everything, your health is the other ten percent.”
Begin right now, today to “Ensure a Financially Healthy Future”!
Report: The MetLife Study of Women, Retirement and Extra-Long Life: Implications for Planning (2011)
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” –Plato
When my husband was in good health, he enjoyed listening to the 24/7 news cycle. He wanted to keep informed about world events.
After he became ill and was bedridden, I continued this practice for him and kept the TV on all day.
However, as his illness advanced to the point I had to place him in hospice at home, I began to notice that he would become agitated by what he heard on TV, and would mutter about war and violence and the dangers of world war.
I mentioned this to the hospice nurse, and she suggested I not play the news channel, but instead soft music.
My husband, himself a musician, responded wonderfully. The soft melodies relaxed him.
Music and the Brain
Music evokes spontaneous reactions from listeners because, as some suggest, language and logic are predominately functions of the left side of the brain, while music is on the right side of the brain, which deals mainly with feelings and emotions.
It all started in the womb, listening to our mother’s heartbeat. Just think of our heart rate.
So perhaps it’s no coincidence that most people appear to prefer musical tempo ranges between 70 and 100 beats per minute—the same range as the average heart rate of a healthy adult.
There’s great musical variety, a wide range of instruments, and the sounds and melodies they produce that evoke deep emotions and feelings. According to Clive E. Robbins of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center in New York, “music speaks to the entire human being.”
What Is Music Therapy?
According to the American Music Therapy Association, Music Therapy is “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” (American Music Therapy Association definition, 2005)
However, music therapy is as old as our written knowledge of music. Pythagoras (a Greek philosopher; born 570BC), is known as the Father of Mathematics, Geometry, and Music; he created the musical intervals and taught that one could heal using sound.
Pythagoras applied the principles of Harmonics to everything from music, to art, to architecture, to healing.
Healing Benefits of Music
But you don’t need a licensed therapist to benefit from listening to, discussing, and moving to music to help you feel better.
The use of music can be quite diverse. Music can elicit and maintain human health and well-being. Music can help patients during surgery. Some hospitals pipe music into intensive care units. Music is used to soothe premature babies.
Music reduces anxiety.
As I mentioned earlier, my husband, when well, was in the habit of watching the political news, but at a certain point became disturbed emotionally.
Even though he couldn’t communicate in words what he liked, I could tell by his facial expression, no frowns in his forehead, and so forth, that the music caused him to feel calm and less tense.
Music can also produce reductions in stress hormone levels and is thus one of the biggest stress relievers.
According to WebMD, music has many benefits for Alzheimer’s patients by:
- soothing an agitated person
- sparking memories
- engaging the mind even in the diseases later stages
- improving eating in some cases
Why Should You Use Music Therapy?
Consider this experience from a hospital in Port Townsend, Washington:
“The effects of music in the operating room on 25 different patients were studied by music therapist Helen Lindquist Bonny and nurse anesthetist Noreen McCarron. Music instead of sedation was used to quash the sounds within the operating room that often create anxiety before an operation. Melodious music reduced blood pressure and heart rates and also cut by half the sedatives needed to calm patients.”
Further, according to nurse McCarron, “The soothing effect of music is equivalent to 2.5 mg of Valium. Patients listening to music generally feel better after their operation and could go home sooner.”
A comparable study in the Federal Republic of Germany showed a similar reduction. “Classical music, as well as popular music from the 40’s and 50’s, with even tempos and rhythms were used. We shunned wild, raucous sounds.”
Based on these experiences and others, music therapy does work. Music can reduce muscle tension, help in promoting relaxation, promote the release of the all-important endorphins—a natural painkiller.
And as I have learned from personal experience, once I turned off the national news and turned on soothing music for my husband, the anxious frowns in his forehead turned to pleasant smiles on his face.
If you are interested in finding a music therapist, check with local schools or hospitals.
For my husband, hospice offered music therapy as part of his care. Or, as discussed in this article, you can play soothing music in your loved one’s room to significant effect.
Yes, music can be good medicine!