Traveling With A Disability – It CAN Be Done

For many years people who were suffering from disabilities whether minor or more serious might have thought it best to avoid vacations like cruises, for the simple reason that they felt it might be too dangerous or that their specialist needs and requirements for safety and comfort might not be met. Nowadays, it’s pleasing to report that all of that is changing and more and more cruise liners and companies are putting the effort into making sure that people with mobility issues are well catered for and made to feel that they can have a relaxing and enjoyable vacation that is as stress free and pleasant as possible.

It’s important that you take responsibility for your needs, think ahead and forward plan for your trip. You’ll need to consider the type of room you’ll need, whether it will need to have any adaptation made to it and also whether you’ll be allowed to take things like a mobility scooter or wheelchair on board with you. These days most cruise liners will allow both, but they will need to be made aware of this well in advance of you traveling.

Some cruise liners have specially adapted rooms – these can actually be up to fifty percent larger than regular cabins for travelers, to allow for specialist equipment to be placed within or changes to be made at short notice. You may also have to contact a reputable, outside agency – very often these can be recommended by your cruise company, to help with mobility equipment such as shower seats, hoists and handrails, or anything else you might need to make the stay on your cruise liner of choice a memorable and happy one.

Written By Guest Blogger: Sally James

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: The Collapse Of The RV industry

j0182280 mature market campers and RVs

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – The collapse of the RV industry– According to the Warranty Week, no segment seems to have been harder hit by the recent recession than recreational vehicles with the virtual collapse of the RV (recreational vehicles) industry. The report states the accruals made by manufacturers in the RV industry over the past six years increased in the second quarter of 2005 to $79 million, whereas in the final quarter of 2008 they were barely over $41 million.

The industry’s current problems stem from consumer loss of income, fluctuating interest rates, increase in fuel prices and diminished home equity financings over the last two years.

Despite being among one of the cheapest ways for Americans to vacation, Mark Schone, attributes the industry’s sudden breakdown to recession. In addition the industry has also experienced a unique and painful credit crunch, which makes it difficult to arrange loans for those who still have hopes. The two major RV manufacturers, Country Coach and Monaco Coach are on the verge of bankruptcy (by the way, if your company faces bankruptcy -regardless of industry- my brother’s firm, Equity Partners, may be able to help you).

A study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center outlines the main reason for the growth in the numbers of RVs owned by Americans. RVs had reached record levels in the past couple of years. By the end of the decade, the number of consumers aged 50 to 64 will total 57 million or 38 percent which is higher than in 2000, as noted by Dr. Richard Curtin, director of surveys at the University of Michigan. Today there are around 8.5 million functioning RVs, which has led to a drastic growth of 58% since 1980 and one-in-12 vehicle-owning households in the above age group own at least one RV.

Even though there was a sudden decrease in the value of manufacturers’ sales of RVs in 2001, the RV market has shown immense growth in the following years. In 2004, the sales had increased by 6.7% to reach $11.4 billion, which was higher than the $7.4 billion in 2001.

Since 70% of RV production is located in Indiana and 15% in Oregon and California, these states are currently experiencing wild unemployment. Indiana currently has the highest unemployment rate in the United States.

My parters and I, at TR Mann Consulting, believe is that the industry association needs to make an aggressive advertising move. This recession is actually an opportunity for them to gain market position by positioning themselves as a vacation value. But they need to do so, by making a move to mainstream media . . . something they have been historically reluctant to do.


Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: Receive Special Reduced Rate At DC Conference!


Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Mature Market Experts Members Receive Special Reduced Rate At DC Conference! Joining Market Experts is Free, and the benefits are awesome. Members receive special rates on conferences like Hot Trends In Marketing To The Boomer and Mature Consumer which is now just $295! Here’s where to register. I’ll (Tom Mann of TR Mann Consulting) be there . . . more importantly, there’s an incredible lineup of speakers:

New Insights for Companies and Their Agencies
Targeting Boomers and Beyond

A Workshop Sponsored by the International Mature Marketing Network
and the Market Research Global Alliance

May 15, 2009 in Washington, D.C.,
at the Marriott Residence Inn Arlington – Pentagon City*

• Hot Trends in Marketing to the Boomer and Mature Consumer
• Breakthrough Strategies
• Case Studies
• New Ideas
• Solutions to a Recession Economy

About this special one day event:

The workshop provides new insights into how to develop new products and services in these challenging economic times. Attendees will hear from some of the leading experts and thought leaders on how to build successful relationships in this fastest-growing demographic segment which has its unique combination of needs.
Our culture places a premium on “youth”. However, age 50 plus is the fastest growing demographic segment (and will be for the next 30 years). This group more than any other generation before them is highly focused on the brands that satisfy their unique combination of needs.

Receive practical advice, case studies and actionable research. All in an exclusive setting limited to 130 participants designed to maximize networking opportunities with key decision makers.

You will learn how to:
• Segment and reach this lucrative market using new methodologies,
• Develop products and services that reflect the needs and wants of this market,
• Create meaningful and effective advertising messages,
• Market your products and services in even the worst economy,
• Turn the recession marketplace into a unique opportunity for increased sales.

MME Members $295.00 (Mature Market Experts)

Special offer: Register before April 30 at $395.00 and bring a colleague for Free.

Please contact Dr. Leslie Harris, workshop organizer, at

*Attendees will receive a free copy of
After Fifty :How the Baby Boom Will Redefine the Mature Market or
After Sixty: Marketing To Baby Boomers Reaching Their Big Transition Years

Market Leaders Confirmed as Speakers:

Kevin Lavery
One of the co-founders of Millennium Direct and is currently Managing Director. Millennium is the leading resource of marketing and research services in the United Kingdom for the 50+ population. Kevin is also President of IMMN, an international network formed to provide marketing services to the Boomer generation.

Andrew Nibley
Chairman and CEO of Marsteller, the advertising interactive, event management and production unit of Burson Marsteller, the world’s leading public relations agency. Andy has been a President, CEO or Chairman in four different industries: news, internet, music and advertising.

Sandra Timmermann
Assistant Vice President, MetLife, and Executive Director, MetLife Mature Market Institute. In her role, Sandy is responsible for research, education and consultation on aging and the 50+ market for MetLife and its business partners.

Dr. Carol Orsborn
Senior Strategist with Vibrant, an information sharing website for leading edge Boomer women. Carol has provided counsel to over 100 leading companies in a broad array of industries including AT&T, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Prudential, The Walt Disney Company, Hallmark and Visa. Dr. Orsborn was also co-founder of Fleishman-Hillard’s FH Boom, the first initiative by a global public relations agency dedicated to helping companies market to the Boomer Generation.

Laurel Kennedy
Founder of the “thinking firm” (part think tank and part consulting) called Age Lessons. She has appeared on national television including CNBC and Comcast TV, and as a keynote speaker before numerous industry and corporate forums. She has consulted for such clients as Johnson Wax, Keebler, Kraft, Kellogg, Quaker Oats, Pepsi and Sara Lee.
*Kennedy’s book “The Daughter Trap” is due out from St. Martin’s Press in spring of next year. Look for it!

Tom Mann
Managing partner of TR Mann Consulting and is a recognized leader in the senior industry. Tom is the managing partner of TR Mann Consulting and is the co-founder of Mature Market Experts. Tom was the Senior Vice President of Advertising for Erickson Retirement Communities. His responsibilities included market research, strategy, budgeting, creative review and media placement. In addition he was the publisher of the Erickson Tribune, the nation’s largest monthly newspaper addressing health, active lifestyles for people 62 plus. His clients include real estate developers, retirement communities, exercise and fitness programs, car companies, magazine publishers, the travel industry, and companies that sell consumer goods or services to the senior marketplace.

Jacob Brown
President of In-Depth Research, a strategic market research company specializing in Boomer/Senior Research, Healthcare Research and Technology Research. In-Depth conducts research for many leading companies, including Microsoft, Tivo, United Healthcare, Intel, Varian Medical Systems, Adobe and Disney.

Todd Harff
President of Creating Results, a strategic marketing, public relations and advertising agency that develops demand for lifestyle-oriented products and services. Todd is a nationally renowned expert in understanding and motivating mature consumers. Over the past 15 years, Creating Results has worked with government agencies, not-for-profits, Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries to build relationships with Boomers and beyond. Some of the clients that have been served include: National Association of Home Builders, Rhode Island Hospitality & Tourism Association, Mystic Coast & Country Travel Industry, Willow Valley Retirement Communities, Potomac Hospital, Ingleside Retirement Communities.

Gerald Linda
President of Gerald Linda & Associates, a 15-year-old marketing consulting firm. The firm provides marketing strategy, planning and research services to a wide mix of large, sophisticated marketers as well as smaller entrepreneurial companies. A second service is adding advertising and public relation agencies with their new business and account planning efforts. And a third service is the provision of Interim Marketing Leadership services for organizations. He is a frequent writer and speaker, whose thinking has appeared in dozens of trade and professional journals. And he has made over 100 presentations and speeches at association meetings and conferences. He also serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Current Issues in Research and Advertising (JCIRA). And he is the co-author of the forthcoming book, MORE Guerrilla Marketing Research, which will be published by Kogan Page in the first half of 2009

Brent Green
Brent is a marketing communication strategist and consultant with internationally respected expertise in generational marketing He is the author of Marketing to Leading Edge Boomers: Perceptions, Principles, Practices, Predictions. Established in 1986 and located in Denver, Colorado, Brent has received over 50 regional, national and international awards for creative and strategic excellence. The firm has produced programs for a diverse range of clients including The Broadmoor, Total Petroleum, Orange Glo International (OxiClean brand), McDonalds, Blue Cross Blue Shield, The American Water Works Association, The General Merchandise Distribution Council, The American Numismatic Association, Men’s Fitness Magazine, Rodale’s Best Life and Men’s Health magazines, Experimental and Applied Sciences (EAS), FrontRange Solutions, Hewlett-Packard, and the United States Olympic Committee.

Space is limited to 130 attendees, so sign-up now!

Continential Breakfast and Full Lunch will be served.
Hotel is located 2 miles from Ronald Reagan Airport w/ complementary shuttle service.

*Sponsorship Opportunities Available*
Workshop Sponsorship

See you in May!


When: Friday, May 15, 2009 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM


Marriott Residence Inn Arlington
550 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, Virginia 22202

Eastern Time Zone

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: AARP Names Barry Rand As Next CEO

Barry Rand, the next CEO of AARP

Barry Rand, the next CEO of AARP

 Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – AARP Names Addison Barry Rand as Next CEO – The largest membership organization in the United States (over 40 million people age 50 and older) has announced that Barry Rand will become the next CEO of AARP.  Mr. Rand, who will be succeeding current CEO Bill Novelli in April, will be the first African-American to lead the organization.

According to AARP’s press release, “Rand, who serves as the volunteer Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Howard University, is most recognized for his 30 year career at Xerox, where he rose from a sales representative to Executive Vice President for Worldwide Operations. More importantly, Rand’s tenure at Xerox is highlighted by his work to ensure minorities and women had every opportunity for advancement at the company. Under Rand’s leadership, Xerox became the most diverse company in the Fortune 500. Further, when Rand left Xerox in 1999 to become Chairman and CEO of Avis, he became one of the first African-Americans to achieve such a position in the Fortune 500.”

To read Mr. Rand’s full bio click here.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: How Economies Are Effected By The Boomer Tsunami and Immigration

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often- The Boomer Tsunami, Economies and Immigration – History shows us that in tough economies struggling “natives” often turn immigrants into villains. As I’ve blogged before, this country cannot survive the coming age wave without immigration.

Now, before I start get started, let me start off by stating that we MUST tighten our security measures and admission standards. Illegal entry into our country cannot be rewarded. If you are working in this country you must be a contributing member (meaning you’re paying your fair share of taxes AND you have committed no crimes). In addition to the financial ramifications of illegal aliens, we now have to worry about the security issues.

Now that being said, we face some serious challenges in the near future. By 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that our economy will support 168 million jobs, but the workforce will be only 158 million to fill those jobs. Therefore, a shortfall of 10 million is predicted (Herman, R. E., T. G. Olivo, and J. L. Gioia. 2003. Impending crisis. Winchester, VA: Oakhill Press.).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. birthrate has fallen to about a breakeven level (from 3.3 births per couple in 1960 to 2.2 in 2000), while at the same time the dependency level of our growing population of aging citizens is increasing. By dependency, I mean that as we age we require more services: health care, maintenance, etc). In other words, who will mow my lawn or take care of me when I have Alzheimer’s?

“The soaring number of elderly people will affect the dependency ratio, which describes the impact of a nonworking population on a working population. In the United States, where there will be 246 elderly people for every 1,000 workers in 2010, there are projected to be 411 elderly per 1,000 workers in 2030.”

-D’Vera Cohn, The Divergent Paths of Baby Boomers and Immigrants

What makes the issue even more serious is that so many of us are choosing to retire at 62 (60%) rather than 65, robbing our economy of valuable workers and experience. In fact, in my humble opinion, we would be less dependent on immigration if our economy was better equipped to allow us to work well into our late 70s/early 80s . . . which would require some restructuring of social security and tax laws (in other words, don’t punish people for working).

In this video, Economist Robert Shapiro projects how economies around the world may respond to the aging of the Baby Boom generation.


Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: Will the average human will soon live to be 150+ years old?

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Will we soon live forever? – By now, you probably have heard of researcher Aubrey de Grey. Some call Mr. de Grey a huckster, others call him a visionary. Regardless of what you call him, he is certainly thought provoking. In this TED video he argues that aging is merely a disease — and a curable one at that. Humans age in seven basic ways, he says, all of which can be averted.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Celebrating – The Mature Market Experts Blog Turns 1!

cb030077 Mature Market Experts birthday

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Happy Birthday To Us – Wow! Hard to believe one year has blown by. We’ve posted faithfully 5 days a week since we started (that’s a lot harder than you would think). Thanks for reading.

Truthfully, we have had tons of help and are very grateful. We’ll save a piece of cake for you.

If you are interested in joining the Mature Market Experts LinkedIn group, just click here. We’d love to have you along for the ride.