Retired women in the 21st century are certainly not over the hill. Many of them consider themselves to be just getting to their peak. Some have already raised families and might be helping with grandchildren. Others are still enjoying learning new things and gaining new experiences. They are not the type of people who will take old age lying down.
Spending Patterns of Retired Women
Many retired women still hold the purse strings in the household if they are married. Increasing numbers of retired women are becoming divorced or widowed. This being the case, we can estimate that around 80% of the purchases made by retired people is made by women.
The main expenditures are on health-care related items, household maintenance and care, groceries, personal products, women’s clothing, and restaurants. This is a very different profile than most marketers believe, as they chase the younger generation and ignore older consumers.
One important thing to note is that retired can be a relative term. Some women will retire from one job only to embark on a different career, or become an entrepreneur. Others will work part time for the cash or to avoid getting bored.
It is also important to note that some might delay retirement a lot longer than the average because they can’t afford to retire. A growing trend that bears watching is women retiring with no savings and credit card debt. Studies have shown that the average debt is $9,000, which means some have none, while others as much as $18,000 of debt. Around 25% of retirees report they have not got enough saved for retirement, so they will be looking for items that do what they are marketed to do, at the best prices.
Things to Avoid
Women in this age group are savvier when it comes to advertising, because they have been exposed to it for nearly 40 years. They can spot the hype and will steer clear of it. They can also spot the patronizing way older people are treated by many marketing departments. If you wish to market to them effectively, there are a few things to avoid.
Don’t gear your marketing to too young an audience and ignore older people, who will usually have more money to spend and will be willing to spend it on a brand that does not depict them as old, senile, and “past it.” Beware of sticking (insulting) labels on them such boomers, senior citizens, and so on.
Don’t assume that they are brand loyal and don’t make the mistake of thinking that they aren’t tech savvy. They are highly connected on social networks such as Facebook, and a large number of them are interested in self-improvement in terms of physical appearance and mental challenges.
With the average life expectancy of women in the US now around 86, they want a good life for their remaining years, not a struggle. They want to be much more active and healthy in their golden years. The desire to do it all and have it all is still present; they just want to do it at the best price for the best quality. They are proud of smart shopping and bargain hunting. They are also more inclined to share information online, write reviews, and so on, because they have more leisure time than women working full time and/or raising a family.
Tap into their interests, aspirations and role in the family. Engage with them online at the social networks, and see what a difference it can make to your profits.