Baby Boomers Like Discounts – Just Not the ‘Senior Discount’

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The senior members of the Baby Boom generation are turning 65 at a clip of roughly 10,000 per day. Even so, the generation famous for being at the center of the “youth culture” of the ’60s, doesn’t particularly like to think of itself as old. Senior citizens? According to boomers, the term refers to their parents, the World War II generation, not the folks who could have gone to Woodstock. So even though Baby Boomers love getting a deal as much as the next person, they hate the idea of getting a “senior discount”—which is tantamount to accepting the fact that they’re officially old.

A Hartford Courant columnist recently covered the odd phenomenon, in which Baby Boomers are torn between wanting a discount for their seniority in the population and refusing to admit to senior status:

“There is definitely a different mindset between boomers and the World War II generations and the language you use encapsulates everything,” says Jo Ann Ewing, senior services coordinator for the town [of East Hampton, CT]. “Many individuals in their 70s and 80s are fine with ‘senior’ status and senior savings, while baby boomers mostly are not.”

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The solution, from a business point of view, may be a silly game of semantics. Restaurants, associations, and various businesses often replace the phrase “senior discount” with something less overtly age-based, so as not to turn off the lucrative boomer customer base. The AARP welcomes “members” (not “seniors”) starting at age 50, and all the perks are referred to as “member benefits,” not senior benefits or senior discounts. The word “senior” never pops up in the list of discounts at the boomer-specialty site StageofLife.com either.

Marketing to boomers — a generation sometimes criticized as being vain and self-involved — can be tricky business, especially when the products and services at hand are clearly intended for people struggling with the aging process. Businessweek pointed out that contractors expect that the renovating of Baby Boomers’ homes will be a huge business going forward, with boomers increasingly in need of “age-appropriate remodeling” ranging from toilet grab bars to elevators. But contractors must be careful how they propose such projects.

To varying degrees, age-appropriate updates are necessary should boomers want to stay safely in their homes as they get older. And yet, “Nobody wants their home to look like a hospital facility,” says Bill Millholland, an executive at the remodeling firm Case Design. This is especially the case for a generation that doesn’t like to think of itself as old, let alone aged and dying.

(MORE: Why Seniors Don’t Deserve the Senior Discount)

A separate issue entirely is whether or not boomers or seniors actually deserve discounts simply because they’ve managed to reach the age of 50, or 62, or 70. A lively, occasionally bitter discussion on the topic came after USA Today published an op-ed arguing that all senior discounts should be killed because, by and large, older folks are wealthier than the average citizen, and it’s the young who are essentially subsidizing the discounts enjoyed by their older, richer counterparts. The rant, penned by someone old enough to enjoy the full range of senior (or “boomer”) discounts, ended thusly:

What I wonder about is why thirty- and fortysomethings aren’t livid that senior citizens — the most pampered, patronized and pandered-to group in America — get to save money simply by maintaining a pulse.

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Well, now we know how to take out some of that anger, in passive-aggressive fashion, against our Baby Boomer forefathers: Just call them senior citizens.

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

10 comments
cpeter340
cpeter340

According to the US Census Bureau baby born during post world war between 1946 to 1964 are comes under the concept of baby boomers, therefore most of the government organizations are liable to offer some manual discounts on each and every product. So the concepts of baby boomer discounts are arise instead of senior discounts most of the persons are preferred baby boomer discounts. 


http://www.babysteals.com.au/blog

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

To be honest my limit is exhausted and I

have no energy to imagine an economy that produces unimaginable prosperity, an

economy that promotes real happiness, fairness, and helps the poor. Imagine an economy

that doesn't just make us better off, but makes us better. What if we could

build it? If there is a mix up in some care,

why keep it, neglect it and look for a better deal. Time is short so those who

need to carry out the deal better rush or the lost time will not come back.

Then we will have regrets like Tony Blaire come and saying sorry. The world has

gone bankrupt because of these miscalculated cares Small business owners may be understaffed, but don’t expect them

to hire new workers anytime soon. A new survey from TD Bank found that

while 35% of small business owners are somewhat understaffed, only 21% plan to

hire one or more employees in the months to come. The vast majority (70%) plan

to keep their staff levels at their current numbers, TD reported. The survey

polled more than 500 small businesses from Maine to Florida. The biggest

challenge for small businesses when it comes to human resources is finding new,

qualified candidates (42%), followed by training existing employees (22%).

Offering competitive compensation is a top issue for 22% of small businesses,

followed by laying off inadequate employees *8%) and continuous employee

turnover (5%). Declining sales was the top challenge described by the

businesses polled with 29% of the response. This was followed closely by

health-care and insurance costs (27%) and cash flow concerns (23%). Rounding

out the list was pressure from larger competitors (12%) and rising energy costs

(10%). Respondents also differed when it came to defining success as a small

business owner. Many said it would be defined by doing something they enjoy

(24%) and having a stable work/life balance (23%). Being your own boss and

earning enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle tied with 17% of the

response. Finally, continuous increases in business profitability (10%) and

creating jobs in the local community (9%) finished out the ranking. The public remains sharply divided toward President Barack Obama's

historic health care reform legislation, according to polls that show few are

undecided. Most people think they know whether they like or dislike the law.

But when it comes to knowing what's actually contained within this mammoth

retooling of our health insurance system, most of us may not be smarter than a

failing fifth grader. A recent online quiz on the main provisions of

health care reform by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that participants, on

average, answered just 5 out of 10 questions correctly. It's

understandable. The ambitious law runs to 2,700 pages, some of its regulations

have yet to be written, and the benefits that have already taken effect have

been overshadowed by the recently resolved Supreme Court challenge. The barrage

of political advertising surrounding November's presidential election has

further clouded, rather than clarified, things. Now that the Supreme

Court has upheld the health care overhaul law, perhaps it's time to acquaint

ourselves with the changes that have already occurred and those soon to come. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

The kids are learnig the new ways of making money I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

rdl114
rdl114

A long time ago someone told me that everyone leads two lives - the one people think they lead and the one they actually do lead. Same thing for a generation: there is the life people think Boomers have lead and the life they actually have lead. Those who grew up in poverty, or the ghetto, or on farms, or as children of lower middle class people aren't the same as Boomers who grew up in the rich suburbs. Big city and rural America, among other divergences were quite a bit more different in the 1950s and 60s than they are today. Trying to portray a huge group - about as big as all of Germany, almost twice as big as Canada - as a homogenous unit makes both reporters and commentators seem rather pathetically ignorant or to be willfully participating in promoting inter-generational conflict.

Lauren Traub Teton
Lauren Traub Teton

 rdl, I agree! And so little is known about the younger half of the Baby Boom also!

Lauren

www.Twifties.TV

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

I don't care what they call it, just give me the discount.

I'm youthful and vivacious, so it doesn't matter.

Lauren Traub Teton
Lauren Traub Teton

We should remember that more than half of the Baby Boom was too young to attend Woodstock. And lively people starting from the age 47 - the last year of the boom, certainly don't identify with the term "Senior Citizen."

Twifties is a better term for the fun people around 50 and up. Fifty is the new 20. Twenty, fifty,...Twifty!

How about a Twifties Discount?

Lauren Traub Teton

creator of Twifties

and www.Twifties.TV

Sign up for our "party of the month" club for cool Twifties! All are welcome!

rdl114
rdl114

 Probably more important to remember that only 500,000 people in total went to Woodstock, and not all of them were even Boomers. So, out of a generation of 78 million, what maybe 250,000 attended? That's .003 of a generation.

Lauren Traub Teton
Lauren Traub Teton

 Right! "Woodstock Generation" is a handy, catchy, and inaccurate handle for a diverse generation that is large enough to theoretically include parents and children (if they produced offspring at 18!).

That's why we need to break it out and have some new words. That's where I'm headed with "Twifties."