Redefining Retirement: The Post Retirement Life Stage MacroMonitor Marketing Report Vol. VI, No. 7 February 2004

In the twentieth century, one of people's most pressing concerns was whether they would live long enough—long enough to survive childhood and become an adult, long enough for their children to be self-sufficient, long enough to accomplish their own goals in life. In the twenty-first century, one of people's most pressing concerns is whether they will live too long—too long in retirement, outliving their assets and their self-sufficiency.

Although it may seem like an oxymoron, "Post Retirement" is a Life Stage at the end of retirement. We define this Life Stage as a time in peoples' lives when people can no longer take care of their own needs; a time when others need to take care of them and make decisions for them. Whereas in earlier adult Life Stages people are generally self-sufficient, in Post Retirement they are no longer self-sufficient, no longer able to make their own decisions. And, given today's increasing life expectancy, advances in medical science, and the aging of the Boomers, more and more people will be confronting Post Retirement after longer and longer periods of traditional retirement.

The MacroMonitor identified the four distinct and mutually exclusive Retired segments as:
  • Asset Distributors: Retired households that focus on putting their affairs in order, doing estate planning, or giving away assets
  • Asset Managers: Retired households that focus on managing their assets
  • Health Focused: Retired households that focus on health issues
  • Fixed Income: Retired households that focus on living within a fixed income.

(Millions of Households; Percent of Households)

The Retired Segments

We believe that understanding the financial needs, behaviors, and attitudes of the retired households that are now facing Post Retirement will enable institutions to meet their needs better and help the rapidly aging Boomers with their parents who are in or facing Post Retirement. In addition, financial providers that successfully design products and services for today's retired households will be better prepared for the Boomers when they transition through retirement to Post Retirement many years from now.