Nearly every retirement planning
story in the mainstream press talks about baby boomers as a monolithic group. However, as we all know in the business, there are a number of sub-segments that can’t be ignored when building a strong insurance practice. I believe one segment in particular, the “trailing-edge” boomers, presents a unique and untapped market for agents who specialize in annuity sales. Before even making a call to a client born between 1955 and 1964, every agent should keep five critical facts in mind:
1. Trailing-edge baby boomers may feel less concerned about leaving a legacy.
Beatlemania and the entire counterculture reaction to the Vietnam War went virtually unnoticed by the trailing-edge boomer. While still idealistic, this group is much more pragmatic about social change and their ability to affect future generations.
2. They believe that times will usually be difficult and good times are the exception.
For the first time in recent history, a college education did not guarantee them a job. They entered the workforce during high unemployment. The typical disclosure language, “past performance should not be considered indicative of future results,” may be given more weight in their mind than that of an older prospect.
3. They are more inclined to attribute both good and bad personal times to luck, not individual decisions.
Financial planning may be lower on their list of priorities. In fact, the concept itself may need to be explained and promoted in more detail than ever before.
4. The desire to save is not as great as prior generations.
Trailing-edge boomers came of age when the nation effectively won the Cold War. The escapist culture of the 60s had waned. In its place emerged a more materialistic, consumer-driven culture obsessed with buying more “toys.”
5. Funding education for children may still be a concern.
Trailing-edge boomers typically moved in together before marriage. Once married, they tended to delay having children until later in life. As a result, many are still focused on paying for college or post-graduate education
, not retirement.