Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: 70% of 60+ Respondents Are Cutting Back On Essentials

How is the mature market responding to today’s troubled economic times. In Feeling the Economic Pinch: A MetLife Poll of American seniors 60+, 87% of respondents said they are curtailing their spending; 70% are cutting back on essentials like food and transportation. Eighty-two percent are spending less on non-essentials like dining out and vacation. In addition, 17% report having had to provide more financial assistance to family and/or friends as a result of the current economy.


“There is no doubt that older Americans are being adversely affected by the current situation,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “A closer look at the findings shows that women are tightening their spending habits more than men, and not surprisingly those who earn less are cutting back even more. “While there have been serious economic downturns in the past, it is clear that this group of people over 60 feel particularly vulnerable during this time of their lives. Yet, it appears that they are not, at this point, changing their longer range retirement plans.” Of those who are working, 73% said they would not postpone their planned retirement date because of the current economy. Only 16% of all respondents are withdrawing or plan to withdraw more from their retirement funds than they originally planned.


Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute


Despite the fact that the mature market is tightening their financial belts, it’s still worth remembering that they control the bulk of the nation’s wealth . . . particularly mature women as this PowerPoint points out.


Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Volunteering

I have long believed that the mature market is one of our countries most under-utilized resources. Here’s a few statistics that back me up:

Mature Americans age 55 and older contributed between $97.6 billion and $201 billion to society in 2002 through volunteer activities and time spent caring for family members. Our best estimate, based on moderate-cost assumptions, values unpaid activities at $161.7 billion, or $2,698 per person.

Source: Value of Unpaid Activities by Older Americans Tops $160 Billion Per Year, by R W. Johnson & S.G. Schaner, 2005

Boomers volunteer for a variety of reasons, but are less likely than the generation that preceded them into retirement to volunteer out of a sense of duty or obligation. They are more likely to volunteer as a result of social, self-development, self-esteem, or leisure-focused motivations. Appeals for volunteer commitment will need to approach boomers in this context.

Source: Enhancing Volunteerism among Aging Boomers, by Robert Prisuta, 2003

The mature market contributes $162 billion worth of volunteering and unpaid caregiving annually. Caring for family members – spouses, grandchildren and parents – absorbed more than 61 percent (or $99.6 billion) of the total value of unpaid activities, based on moderate cost assumptions, in 2002. Older Americans contributed $44.3 billion through formal volunteering with an organization and $17.8 billion by informally helping others in need.

Source: Urban Institute