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More Than Millennials

Almost every fraternal has devoted more than a little time, energy, and effort discussing how to attract more Millennials (the generation born after 1980) to the cooperative financial services model.  And that’s important because Millennials represent the largest group of consumers in the U.S. and Canada – large enough to fundamentally change long entrenched concepts of hiring, work/life balance, marketing strategies, product development, and customer service.

del boca vista

But they’re not the only group out there that fraternals should be thinking about.  Boomers – those born between 1946-1964 – are either rapidly approaching retirement or are in their early years of retirement and are looking for ways to make sure their money lasts as long as they do.  And they are lasting longer.  A person turning 65 in 2015 can expect to live more than 5.5 years longer than one who turned 65 in 1950.  Moreover, many of these folks are not the type to move to “Del Boca Vista Phase 2” and never be heard from again.  Nope, as a recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out, they want to “add life to longer lives.”

seniors volunteering2

There may be no better match for fraternals than these engaged and enthusiastic elders.

Take a look at just a few of the suggestions from the WSJ article:

• Make the transition as easy as possible – Afford people the time and space to move to what’s next.  Faith-based efforts, not necessarily focused on a specific religion, but a shared spirituality (remember, most Boomers were children of the 60s and 70s) can help individuals navigate the passage “from success to significance.”  And isn’t making a significant contribution to improving your life and the lives of others one of the cornerstones of fraternal membership?

• Figure out how to finance the bonus years – Financial services companies could provide a great service by helping Boomers find new “pathways to un-retirement, funding further education…and savings vehicles for retirement itself.  Doing so promises a win-win; helping individuals bolster their finances…while also enabling society to realize the talent windfall present in the older population…”

• Get creative people thinking about how to improve our extra years – How about coming up with incentive based programs to develop ideas that do the most to increase the productivity and contributions of older people to society.

One of the criticisms of fraternals is that we have “an aging demographic.”  Let’s flip that around and turn it into a strength.  After all, it’s a good bet that all those Millennials are going to live even longer than the Boomers.  So the programs we put in place today will become even more valuable to future generations.

Got an example of an innovative way your society is tapping the resources of its Boomer members?  Please share it here…

One Response

  1. Joe,

    Right on again …See I told you that you were a teacher, but they the people who run things) have to hear it and see the energy not just read it. And I wonder if there is any creativity in the company bureaucracies that can even figure out how to do this, alone invest in the efforts. I also believe that they have to really go back to their strong spiritual roots.

    I just heard from a good friend who is now in the Thrivent organization that they have established a separate private, profit insurance company … which is a way for going away from the real fraternal model. AS I often say, “How you behave is what you really believe” and the question is “What do you believe?”

    All the best and blessings on your day and work. Keep the faith.

    Stan >

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