Emerging Affluent Baby Boomers, Financial Services, & The Web

by Craig Weber, June 23, 2005


Boston, MA, USA June 23, 2005

Emerging Affluent Baby Boomers, Financial Services,  & The Web

Survey results suggest that financial institutions rank dead last in impacting the financial plans of this high potential group

More than half of all emerging affluent baby boomers in a recent survey said that banks, insurance carriers, and securities firms would have "little or no impact" as sources of information about their financial decisions.

"This is a clear wake up call for financial institutions,"

says senior analyst Craig Weber, author of the latest Celent report,  . "Emerging affluent baby boomers are prime targets, today and for decades to come. If these consumers cannot be convinced to include institutions in their decision making, the current trend toward commoditization of financial products will continue."

Even worse, Weber notes that the majority of consumers ranked their own research as their number one source of information." That痴 fine for consumers who really know what they are doing, but it leaves millions of baby boomers at risk of making poor choices that will severely impact their retirement," Weber says.

The 36-page report is based on a survey administered to 467 emerging affluent consumers in March, 2005. The report provides detailed insights into consumption of financial products, user views on financial service provider Web sites, and baby boomer retirement planning.

Key findings discussed in the report include.

  • How current usage of financial products by baby boomers varies widely by product, and how planned usage gives clues about market potential.
  • Results show that banking products have better penetration than insurance or securities products. But around 20 percent of respondents say that they plan to own products they do not have today, confirming this group痴 potential as a market. Long-term care insurance, in particular, is looming as a purchase for many.

  • How alternatives to traditional, face-to-face purchases are clearly in play.
  • While the Web has not blossomed as a standalone channel, many baby boomers use the Web in combination with other methods when they are researching products or considering a purchase.

  • How higher satisfaction with and use of bank Web sites positions banks well for cross-selling and gives them a competitive edge over insurers and securities firms.
  • Baby boomers make extensive, regular use of bank Web sites, in part because they need to do common banking transactions fairly frequently. Satisfaction with bank Web sites is also significantly higher than satisfaction with insurer or securities sites, suggesting that banks may find it easier to leverage their customers for add-on business.

  • The continued reliance on Social Security as a retirement funding source, despite broad awareness of financial services products that could be used to fund retirement.
  • For example, 45 percent of respondents view Social Security as a "main source" of funds for retirement, versus 24 percent for investments and only 7 percent for insurance.

A table of contents is available online.

of Celent Communications' Life/Health Insurance, Retail Securities & Investments and Retail Banking research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact info@celent.com for more information.


Send mail to info@celent.com with questions or comments about this Web site.


Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents



Boston, MA, USA June 23,  2005

Emerging Affluent Baby  Boomers, Financial Services,  & The Web

Return to report Abstract

Executive Summary 3
Introduction 5
  Key Questions 5
  Methodology 6
  Limitations 6
  About the Respondents 7
Baby Boomers & Financial Services 10
  Purchase Behaviors 10
  How They Get Information 13
Use of Online Services 15
  Can't Make 'em Drink? 15
  What They Do Online 16
  Getting Things Done Online 20
  Overall Satisfaction 22
Retirement Planning 24
  Will They Retire? 24
  Sources of Advice 25
  Plans for the Future 26
  Changes to Social Security? 27
Conclusions 29
Appendix: The Survey 31
Objectivity & Methodology 35

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