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Marketing to the Mature Home Owner


Marketing the right way to a graying population

By: Amara Rose
There’s more gray every day: in America, someone turns 50 every eight seconds. But few 50-year-olds perceive themselves as “seniors” — though they are likely to be homeowners, and thus, ripe reverse mortgage leads.

Age is a state of mind. One fellow said to his daughter when she phoned to wish him a happy 75th birthday, “You know, honey, I look at the number and I can’t believe it. There’s a little boy in there!”

In fact, mature adults of every age are an active group, even if society has marginalized them with goofy ads and movie roles. The truth is, people 50+ own more homes than any other age group, have the greatest discretionary income, and buy almost half of all new cars sold.

They’re also into exercise and healthy eating; they research products and shop online, and yes, they do enjoy travel and lifelong learning. To most, “old” is always at least ten years older than they are now.

Reverse mortgage marketing should therefore always be an appeal to independence, never frailty or fear. No one becomes a senior overnight because they celebrate a birthday. That might work for coming-of-age, but after 21, we’re all simply adults. Some just have more life experience.

According to the AARP, reverse mortgage marketers must speak to at least two distinct audiences:

  • The Gap Generation, 57 to 65, early Baby Boomers who are planning work and lifestyle changes;
  • Retirees aged 66 and up.

With each group, address their key concerns. For instance, younger adults who are transitioning out of the workforce might be keen to use the proceeds a reverse mortgage provides to travel or to help their children; older home owners might appreciate the security that comes from knowing they can remain in familiar surroundings as they age.

We’ll focus on marketing specifics for each cohort group in upcoming posts.


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  1. Age is not only a state of mind, but a perception of who and what you are. How do you perceive yourself at any age? Doesn’t that change as we age and experience life? I read a quote somewhere that went something like this, “We make our plans, and then life happens”. Life does change us – usually for the better.

    I am a fairly young grandparent and learned from the youngest grandchild that age 21 is “old”. Another said, “You are old when you become 83”. I wonder what is in between the two. Ah, Memories.

    • Dick,

      Great comments and insight! Thank you.

  2. Great article. I am looking forward to the future comments. It’s alwway good to focus on the positive aspects of our product and services. Fear begets fear and none of us want to be a part of that.

  3. Even though statistically Baby Boomers have been lumped together for years, demographically we are much different. There is an eighteen year spread between us. the oldest boomers were 29 years old when the War in Viet Nam ended while the youngest were 11. The college experience for the oldest among us was harsh with failing grades handed out like candy. The youngest among us never faced the same pressures because they did not face a draft to provide the fodder for an unpopular war which maimed and took so many.

    The younger boomers knew little of the first sit ins, Hootenannys, the anger and hatred of the summers of the mid 60s, the lure of Woodstock, the shock of Altamont, Castro turning Communist, both Kennedy Assassinations, missles in Cuba, the Berlin air lift, the building of the wall in Berlin, the Six Days War, the “day the music died,” Elvis going into the Army, the arrival of the Beatles, the deaths of James Dean, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, and Jim Morrison and the debut of West Side Story, and the debuts of Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, The Sound of Music, the Wild One, and West Side Story.

    Yeah, we share much but even in the things we share they had much different affects and impact based on age span alone. Now for the real shock, some of the last of the Baby Boomers were the children of the earliest Baby Boomers. We are not as much alike as many think.

    • Thanks for your perceptive and detailed comment. As a Boomer myself, I couldn’t agree more: even a decade in either direction makes a huge difference in how people see the world. Our objective with this piece was not to lump all people of a certain age or generation together, but to point up the truth that any age can and is interpreted through the lens of the one living it.

      Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 in the Marketing to the Mature Home Owner series, when we’ll take a look at how today’s seniors are driving a new approach to marketing by being radically different from their ancestors.

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