Emerging Affluent Baby Boomers, Financial Services, & The Web

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23 June 2005
Craig Weber

Abstract

Boston, MA, USA June 23, 2005

Emerging Affluent Baby Boomers, Financial Services, & The Web

Survey results suggest that financial institutions rank dead last in impacting the financial plans of this high potential group

More than half of all emerging affluent baby boomers in a recent survey said that banks, insurance carriers, and securities firms would have "little or no impact" as sources of information about their financial decisions.

"This is a clear wake up call for financial institutions,"

says senior analyst Craig Weber, author of the latest Celent report, . "Emerging affluent baby boomers are prime targets, today and for decades to come. If these consumers cannot be convinced to include institutions in their decision making, the current trend toward commoditization of financial products will continue."

Even worse, Weber notes that the majority of consumers ranked their own research as their number one source of information." That痴 fine for consumers who really know what they are doing, but it leaves millions of baby boomers at risk of making poor choices that will severely impact their retirement," Weber says.

The 36-page report is based on a survey administered to 467 emerging affluent consumers in March, 2005. The report provides detailed insights into consumption of financial products, user views on financial service provider Web sites, and baby boomer retirement planning.

Key findings discussed in the report include.

  • How current usage of financial products by baby boomers varies widely by product, and how planned usage gives clues about market potential.
  • Results show that banking products have better penetration than insurance or securities products. But around 20 percent of respondents say that they plan to own products they do not have today, confirming this group痴 potential as a market. Long-term care insurance, in particular, is looming as a purchase for many.
  • How alternatives to traditional, face-to-face purchases are clearly in play.
  • While the Web has not blossomed as a standalone channel, many baby boomers use the Web in combination with other methods when they are researching products or considering a purchase.
  • How higher satisfaction with and use of bank Web sites positions banks well for cross-selling and gives them a competitive edge over insurers and securities firms.
  • Baby boomers make extensive, regular use of bank Web sites, in part because they need to do common banking transactions fairly frequently. Satisfaction with bank Web sites is also significantly higher than satisfaction with insurer or securities sites, suggesting that banks may find it easier to leverage their customers for add-on business.
  • The continued reliance on Social Security as a retirement funding source, despite broad awareness of financial services products that could be used to fund retirement.
  • For example, 45 percent of respondents view Social Security as a "main source" of funds for retirement, versus 24 percent for investments and only 7 percent for insurance.

A table of contents is available online.

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