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Bring on retirement freedom

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Monday, July 4, 2011
Posted: 7 am ET

It's the Fourth of July and I'm not only honoring our nation's birthday, I'm celebrating my own personal freedom and looking forward to more of it when my husband and I retire.

For many people, retirement is the ultimate Independence Day -- a time to do what you want, when you want to do it, without having to devote the majority of your time to earning a living.

I'm not the only one thinking along these lines. Marketers are already doing some retirement planning of their own, anticipating what it is going to take to keep us aging and soon-to-be retired boomers spending money. Here are some interesting observations from Varsity Branding, a marketing communications firm dedicated to helping its clients appeal to the mature market:

  • Smaller can be better. Smaller retail stores are likely to return to popularity because older people aren't interested in hiking to the back of the Super Walmart.
  • We don't want to talk to "Peggy." Companies that are indifferent about customer service and fail to focus on senior-friendly access to packaging, consumer products and personal technology will fail because new players will step in to fill the void.
  • We want to have our cake and eat it, too. We're all getting older, fatter and pickier, but we're not willing to give up the good stuff. Companies that offer us tasty but healthy alternatives will make a lot of money, Varsity predicts.
  • No giant-size boxes for us. Mature consumers want to be able to buy single, couple and snack-size portions that fit our smaller appetites and cupboards.

Happy Fourth of July!

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