First Boomers were the children of retirees. Now they’re the ones becoming eligible for a reverse mortgage. Which means in the not too distant future, when HECM professionals meet with a family to discuss the viability of a reverse mortgage for the seniors in the room, the “kids” are going to be Millennials.
Are you ready?
By 2020, the Millennials, aka Generation Y, will represent almost 50 percent of the global workforce. By 2025, that number will reach 75 percent. As such, Gen Y will make up an increasingly larger portion of HECM audiences — and professionals in every senior-centric field will need to be prepared to deal with them if their parents are potential clients.
So, what does what has been dubbed “the next Greatest Generation” want out of work and life? The results of this detailed survey are based on the responses of 7,800 Millennials across 29 countries. One of the biggest changes from past generations seems to be how they view work: 38 percent would hire for long-term success based on personal traits such as integrity over “hard skills” such as sales and marketing or financial/economic expertise. Nearly half (47 percent) say the purpose of business is to “improve society/protect the environment.” While the first half of this statement might sound similar to the idealism of past youth, the environmental emphasis is definitely a third millennium focus. Yet slightly more than half (54 percent) are “optimistic about economic conditions” — and a perhaps astonishing 83 percent say, “Businesses have a positive impact.”
What these findings seem to suggest is that appealing to Millennials might indeed be akin to appealing to their grandparents: they have strong values, and faith in both society and business. They place more emphasis on the power of the individual to effect change than their elders may have — which could be as much a reflection of changing times and global connectivity as their age.
Although this report doesn’t focus on seniors, if reverse mortgage specialists who find themselves working with Millennials strategically discuss the benefits of a HECM for their senior loved ones’ well being, allowing them to age in place with dignity, this can create a bridge across generations where all involved may find common ground for the elders they serve.