Purchasing Power

The Baby Boomers were the largest generation in U.S. history, and they currently make up the majority of credit union membership.  Armed with enormous purchasing power, Boomers have shaped our society and markets.  These days, though, Boomers are hitting the point in the income/expenditure bell curve where their earnings and their consumption will start to drop.  And while their generation has inherited significant transfer of wealth, there are a lot of Boomers – so a family inheritance is spread across multiple siblings.  In addition, Boomers are living longer, paying higher healthcare costs, spending on lifestyle choices rather than saving, and transferring wealth to their offspring in the form of college tuition and other financial assistance. Boomers are redefining what it means to grow older, and they need to know that their financial institution can partner with them as they navigate retirement planning.  Are your Boomer members aware of all the different services your credit union offers, and do they know that they can remain a member after retiring from a SEG?

Generation Y has now surpassed the Boomers in size.  Born between 1985 and 2005, members of Gen Y have been characterized as tech savvy and well informed; they also tend to be civic minded and seek a work-life balance.  Like most of us, they don’t want to feel like they are being sold to – and this generation is particularly adept at figuring out your intentions when you communicate with them.  Although the older members of Gen Y are entering the workforce, the average age for Gen Y is 15 years old.  Now is the time for credit unions to build relationships with Gen Y by providing education, offering value-based entry level products, and appealing to their sense of social and environmental responsibility.

Don’t overlook the overlap between these two powerhouse generations.  Boomers are parenting and paying for Generation Y; Generation Y has an impact on current Boomer financial choices and stands to inherit whatever the Boomers have left.  Are you leveraging your relationship with your Boomer members to bring you closer to Generation Y? Does your credit union know how to speak effectively to the needs of these two diverse and important groups?

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