Through working with groups of octogenarians you begin to appreciate the mindset of the world’s fastest growing market segment. Here are some insights:
Self awareness – Our focus groups were well aware of their own, and their peers’, strengths and weaknesses. While they knew clearly what they ‘should’ be doing, major changes to established habits in later life often fell into the ‘too difficult’ category.
Misplaced belief – This is a generation brought up to believe that Private Medical Insurance was always a good thing and that it would ensure that when needed they get priority treatment. Often they were surprised to learn:
• PMI does not cover emergency care. Call 999 you will be taken to an NHS hospital. Only once admitted is there the possibility of being moved to a private hospital
• PMI does not cover treatment for the diseases of old age – once diagnosis is confirmed, cover ceases
Care home costs – Many octogenarians anticipate that, at some stage, they may need to move to a care home. With this in mind they hold on to their savings – all their savings, denying themselves creature comforts ‘to ensure they get the care home of their choosing.’
Our experience found:
• No one ‘wanted’ to move to a care home. Some residents were desperate to escape back to their own home, while other reluctantly accepted they needed the care provided.
• The choice of home was normally determined by other factors – remaining close to family and friends, level of care needed, what was available locally. What was convenient for others
• Many of the ‘facilities’ on offer were lightly used. Care homes often market themselves to the absent relatives of residents. While the menus look enticing and the activity programme exhausting, in practice much was little more than lip service reflecting the frail condition of residents
The bottom line is that they don’t like the thought of what the future holds for them and simply don’t want to grow old!
By 2050 25% of the global population will be over 65 and, between them, they will control well over 50% of all investable assets. This is a market segment crying out for attention