Retired men in the 21st century are certainly not over the hill. Many of them consider themselves to be just getting to their peak. Some have already raised families and are looking forward to years of comfortable retirement. Others are still enjoying learning new things and gaining new experiences. They are not the type of people who will take old age lying down. Still others might retire and then start their own business the way they’ve always dreamed of.
As with almost all men, it’s not that they don’t like to shop, they just want it to be as easy as possible. In addition, they shop based on present needs, not future ones, so there is some urgency in their habits which smart marketers can make the most of.
The main expenditures are on health-care related items, household maintenance and care, groceries, personal products, men’s clothing, and restaurants. This is a very different profile then most marketers believe as they chase the younger generation and ignore older consumers.
It is also important to note that some might delay retirement a lot longer than the average because they are concerned about being able to afford to retire. They also might not retire because they don’t want to feel old. Men also strongly identify with what they do for a living, so retirement can cause them to lose a sense of who they are. The highest rates of suicide in the US are amongst white men from 65 to 75. Men are 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than women, and 10 times more likely than retired women of the same age.
With the average life expectancy of men in the US now around 76, they want a good life for their remaining years, not a struggle. They want to be much more active and healthy in their golden years. The desire to do it all and have it all is still present, though it may be affected by poor health. Single older men tend to do more poorly health-wise than those who have a partner.
Don’t gear your marketing to too young an audience and ignore older people, who will usually have more money to spend and will be willing to spend it on a brand that does not depict them as old, senile, and “past it.” Beware of sticking (insulting) labels on them such as boomers, senior citizens, and so on.
It may not seem worth it to market to retired people because we live in such a youth-based culture. However, with the population living longer than ever before, the percentage of those over 65 will keep on increasing. This means both public service and profit if you offer items that enhance self-esteem and a positive outlook.