Writing for busy Baby Boomers (Part 1)

About 1 in 3 Canadians are Boomers, the generation now between about age 54 and 70. They grew up in a time of anti-war protest, civil rights and women’s rights. They remember a world long before the Internet and social media were dreamt of. But don’t call them “old.” Research Now says almost 60 percent report feeling younger than they are.

This is one audience you don’t want to forget. After all, as a group, they control most of the nation’s disposable income. So, what do we know about these busy Boomers? Turns out a lot more than I can cover in one blog. So in Part 1, we’ll explore some of the latest research. In Part 2, I’ll provide tips on how to communicate clearly with your Boomer readers.

1. Boomers tend to stay longer in the workforce than their parents did. According to Statistics Canada, almost 2 out of 5 people age 55 and older are either employed or looking for work. That number has almost doubled since 2000. And many of those working Boomers are self-employed. Turns out they like being their own boss.

2. Many Boomers are doing well financially. A Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is following 50,000 people age 45-85 for 20 years. The study reports that a small portion of Boomers – around 6% — have incomes of less than $20,000 a year. About a third of participants have family incomes ranging between $50,000 and $100,000 a year. About 4 out of 5 own their own homes.

3. Boomers are online and connected. A recently-published Adobe Digital Insights study found that 66% of those ages 50-64 report being either “moderate” or “digitally savvy.” You may have heard that those age 55+ have taken over Facebook. In a 2017 survey by Sprout Social, almost two-thirds of Boomers chose Facebook as their preferred social network. That’s more than any other generation.

Boomers are also among the biggest online shoppers. According to KPMG, Boomers shop online as often as their children, the Millennials, do. And, on average Boomers spent more in each transaction.

4. Many Boomers are healthy and active. More than 90 per cent of participants in the CLSA study describe their health as good, very good or excellent. They’re interested in activity, adventure, change, growth and personal happiness. They’re not as interested in sitting at home and watching TV.

5. Many Boomers are busy taking care of others. Almost 2 out of 5 Boomers in the CLSA study are providing care to loved ones.

When you communicate with these busy Boomers, it helps to remember these common characteristics. It’s also essential to consider their reading needs and preferences. In Part 2 of this blog, I’ll share some tips on communicating clearly with your Boomer readers.

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