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2018 Baby-Boomer trends to follow (24/01/2018)

Explore the 4 key Baby Boomer themes to follow in 2018

and the opportunities they represent for business:


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Longevity: accompany Baby Boomers in their new challenge


Fight ageism and enable Baby Boomers to age well at work


Innovate for Baby Boomers who view retirement differently


Offer responses to a growing number of frail people


The team at Seniosphère Conseil take this occasion to send you our
best wishes for 2018.


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Longevity: accompany Baby Boomers in their new challenge


Longevity for today's Baby Boomers is to live 30 years beyond 60 years! However, this generation has a tendancy to underestimate the number of years left to live: according to the Seniosphère Conseil 2017 European Ageing Well Survey when UK Baby Boomers were asked the delicate question of the age to which they think they will live*, only 5% of men and 10% of women responded over 90 years when the reality is that 44% of men and 53% of women will celebrate their 90th birthday according to ONS**!


While ageing is often thought of as synonymous with loss of autonomy and health problems, the idea of longevity puts a new dimension on ageing and raises stimulating questions such as how to occupy these additional years. The concept of longevity changes the outlook on this period, which is too often presented through a pessimistic angle. Thinking about it means having to reinvent the different phases of life and place aspirations in each of them. Ageing is dead, longevity has arrived!

It's not a coincidence that John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods and visionary, published in April 2017 « The Whole foods diets, Lifesaving plan for health and longevity » to respond to this expectation.


What opportunities for business:


Working on longevity means providing answers to expectations of ageing well in the long term. An ageing well which is social, physical and cognitive. There is opportunity for businesses to slot into this ageing well lifestyle which is dependent on the right diet, socialisation and continuing activity. They can also accompany longevity through recognition of new challenges associated with a longer retirement.


*Offering responses from 70 years on

**ONS life table projections, for Baby Boomers who have reached the age of 70 years.


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Fight ageism and enable Baby Boomers to age well at work


The denunciation of ageism has become a media theme in recent months. An opportunity to point out age discrimination across society and more specifically in the business world.


For The Economist ageism is one of the major challenges for 2018, we must fight to stop wasting the potential of experienced workers. According to the author, employers who prefer not to hire Seniors are sceptical about workers after age 50 and forget that they have significant acquired knowledge. The richness of their experience largely offsets the first signs of ageing.


This observation of employment discrimination faced by workers in their 50s is unfortunately widespread, however it is reassuring to see the reactions which this generates among all generations. Hélène LY, recruitment officer, made public her unease on LinkedIn after witnessing discriminatory remarks against a 52-year-old candidate. The 18,000 plus comments and reactions prove that it is a sensitive subject that must be brought to the fore to overcome.


What opportunities for business:


Clearly an opportunity in terms of HR, but not only. In Europe one of the challenges for the 50+ will be to remain competitive to be able to work for as long as possible, at least up until 70 years. To age at work is not the same thing as ageing in general. There is a notion of performance, of competition with respect to younger generations, which can lead to significant expenditure in terms of appearance. Clothing, cosmetics, plastic surgery, dental expenditure or hearing aids are all key to not looking old at work.


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Innovate for Baby Boomers who see retirement differently


What can be done with extra years of life? In a 30-year retirement perspective, many Baby Boomers are blurring the boundaries of retirement. True to their values, Baby Boomers want to continue to live fully after retirement despite a decline in income. They pursue or embark on new activities that provide meaning, socialization and additional income without giving up the freedom gained in retirement. 


Next Avenue cites the case of Baby Boomers who, once retired, work for companies like Amazon or UPS who are looking for labour (especially during holidays or before holidays). Amazon, USA, hires travelling Baby Boomers, who live in their camper van, symbol of freedom. They come in the weeks prior to Christmas, providing manual manpower on Amazon distribution sites, which pays for their camping spots. It’s one way to finance their itinerant way of life, reports le Monde.


In order to remain active in retirement, other Baby Boomers are turning to the sharing economy, synonymous with complimentary income, socialization but also freedom. Airbnb France has published a special report on their 60+ hosts, of whom there are more and more welcoming travellers to their homes and who receive the best host ratings. France distinguishes itself in Europe, being the country where Baby Boomers are showing higher levels of involvement in the collaborative economy. Our survey on « Baby Boomers and Innovation » indicates that 23% of 50-75 year-olds would consider using carpooling in France (as a passenger or driver) against less than 6% in the UK or Germany


What opportunities for business:


Innovate for new retirees, customers who want to enjoy and are ready to spend for their new lifestyle while preserving a maximum level of freedom, but also consider them as temporary employees or members of the sharing economy.


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Offer responses to a growing number of frail people


With the large Baby Boomer generation reaching the age of 75 we will be observing a marked increase in the number of frail people in the next 5 years. We talk about frailty when the consequences of ageing begin to be felt on a daily basis: reduced activity, fear of falling, of getting hurt…


As a result, there are strong expectations for innovation or medical research to counter this frailty, either by delaying its arrival or by limiting its consequences. Due to the size of their cohort, Baby Boomers will continue to influence innovation. Healio, a medical and scientific journal, points out, for example, that the cataract surgery techniques used today to operate on Baby Boomers have been greatly improved and are a far cry from the methods and techniques used for previous generations.


New technologies are also a highly anticipated area of ​​innovation to compensate for age-related frailty. Take the example of personal assistants, such as Google Home, increasingly focused on the elderly market, or the chain store Best Buy which facilitate the installation of new technologies in the home via a wide range of offerings such as its service subsidiary, the « Geek Squad » who provide 24/7 user support from installation.


What opportunities for business:


Follow closely the manner in which Baby Boomers experience frailty, their expectations will be different, the solutions brought by companies will have to be too.

Observe innovations that come from Asia, which could revolutionize existing solutions for dealing with frailty.



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