Who decided that life ends at 49? Guest writer Richard Poole stirs debate

In working closely with the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation over the past 4 years, there is a real sense out there with business owners and marketing managers, that life doesn’t finish for most people at 49.

Therefore, why is it that target demographics stop there?

Do people stop shopping, travelling, learning, eating, drinking, assisting their family, doing up their homes, wanting to look good, buying gadgets, entertaining friends and family, going to a film, even driving?

We don’t think so.

In NZ, 1 in 4 kiwis are over 50 and this year alone, an additional over 50,000 NZ’ers turn 50. That’s more than 5 kiwis per hour!

They control >65% of disposable income and within 15 years, the demographic will account for over 80% of all individual net worth.

Surely that is too big to ignore? Sure, it may not seem cool and hip – but I’m 37 and with parents approaching 70, I have to say that I hardly see them. That’s not because I don’t want to (!) but because they’re always doing stuff. Whether they’re travelling overseas, catching up with friends, entertaining people for dinner, going away for the weekend, off on a tramp in the South Island or playing sport, they’re busy people looking to make best use of both time and money.

Maybe their work careers are over but their life careers are still continuing in earnest!

Also, surely people over 50 don’t know how to use a computer?

Well, isn’t it amazing to learn that the older age groups are the fastest growing to use Facebook in the world.

They’re connected, purchasing, gathering information for other family members and helping their own parents, their kids and of course the new grandchildren. Whether that’s in helping buy prams, cots and clothes, it might be education and in some cases, parents assisting the children to purchase their first home.

Why? Because our generation doesn’t have real money it seems. We need help in many circumstances and we’re lucky that parents are willing to help to get us on our way.

Overseas data is really starting to flow in about this exciting and active demographic that are wanting to say ‘See you later work’, ‘Hello the best years!. Every week we learn new things about the power of the 50+ crowd.

Locally let’s have a quick look at some purchasing stat because did you realise that the age group 16% more per person than the average kiwi?
Overall they account for;
– 44% of all travel expenditure
– 43% of TVs and 46% of all large appliances
– 60% of new cars
– 50% of face care products
– 39% alcohol purchases
– 25% toy purchases

So what do you reckon?

Maybe we just ought to start thinking more about whether or not life does finish at 49 because as it stands based on these figures, hurry up and get me there! Wouldn’t you rather be travelling than pushing paper at a desk?

I reckon there might just be something in this – so why don’t we want to communicate with such a huge, growing, active group that want to buy things and make the most of life?

Richard Poole

Richard is a co-founder of http://www.grownups.co.nz, NZ’s lifestyle website for the 50+ community. With over 100,000 monthly UBs and 45,000 members, the site offers a great meeting place for visitors around the country wanting to learn and spend their money.

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