Twenty years ago, I came across a presentation which was detailing the kind of things required by the baby boom generation as they come of age and entered the pensioner population – mentioned in it were the likes of retirement homes, funeral service and healthcare services. Whilst there is merit in these assertions, few things were not factored in it.
Everyone is living longer now and assuming people are retiring at around 60 years that leaves 25-30 years for them post retirement. That is a lot of time and during which many things tend to change and including individual’s choices and preferences. Pensioners are increasingly requiring things that the younger population seek too – gyms for their workouts and exercise, restaurants and bars for hanging out and holidays to see the world and break the monotony. In addition, many pensioners are keen and willing to work part time as this breaks the daily monotony.
One thing that is particularly noticeable is the embrace of technology by the older population. The 60 plus seem to be engaging in social media almost as fervently as the younger population. The likes of Facebook and Whatsapp are very popular with them and given their longer history it helps them connect with friends and relatives who would have been otherwise lost to them. For many other pensioners, it perhaps helps them to get a social identity which was in some ways curtailed by the end of the working career.
We would argue that new industries will come up that will exclusively work for the tastes of the pension population, and new technology apps may find pensioners as target customers. We will have to think about the pension population in entirely different way, then what we have been programmed in the past.