Cookie-Baking Granny … Or Purple-haired Artist? Marketing to the Mature Home Owner / Part 3

In the Leave It to Beaver and My Three Sons era, grandmas wore aprons, baked mouth-watering cookies, and indulged their grandchildren in ways mom and dad would not. Grandpa might have been a bit gruff, but his grandchildren knew his arthritis was acting up, and he loved them even if he couldn’t run and toss a ball like dad. Had reverse mortgages existed back then, our grandparents probably wouldn’t have known what to do with them.

Welcome to the third millennium. Lillian, age 83, sports fuchsia-streaked hair and a dry wit. After lovingly nursing her husband through a long illness, followed by a grieving period, she’s now so busy she doesn’t have a lot of time to chat.

She’s creating charcoal portraits of the hospice staff that cared for her beloved during his final weeks. (Lillian only discovered her artistic talent at 70, when she enrolled with her daughter in an art class). She also tutors several high school students, and participates in a discussion group at the local college. She often eats meals out because she hasn’t time to shop, cook, and keep up with all her activities. Fortunately, she has the financial freedom to enjoy her unorthodox lifestyle, unfettered my monetary concerns.

Lillian is by no means unusual among today’s dynamic elders. (See previous post, Marketing to the Mature Home Owner / Part 2 . Though some seniors may still live as our grandparents did fifty years ago, many more are coming into their own late in life, taking up hobbies they’ve just discovered, like Lillian, or those laid aside while raising a family and working long hours. The calendar may call them “old,” but they’re still giving younger folks a run for their money, pun intended.

The best way to reach these reverse mortgage prospects? Remember that people don’t usually change dramatically just because they age; they simply become more of who they’ve always been. So in marketing reverse mortgages to 70-plus homeowners, appeal to their independence and interests, engage their intelligence, and you’ll be rewarded with a concomitant interest in reverse mortgages — and some wonderfully unique new clients.

 

3 comments

mike September 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm

great artical….
the way we think of retirement is changing big time.
I still love my 92 year old Dad’s comment…”I’m retired, not retarded “!

Reply
Shannon Hicks September 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Too funny and true!

Reply
Amara Rose September 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Hi Mike,

Absolutely right! One of my dearest lifelong friends just turned 98; she lived alone in a 3rd-floor walk-up until she was 96! She says going up an down 3 flights of stairs to retrieve her mail is what kept her limber. Here’s a piece I wrote about Ellie, a true inspiration:

http://www.silverplanet.com/health/healthy-living/mind-spirit/love-you-make/55277

Thanks for reading, and may your very cool Dad rock on ~

Blessings,
Amara

Reply

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