By JONATHAN FINE
I don’t know about you but reports of the pension changes coming on Monday have left me baffled.
In an effort to help clarify things The Telegraph posted a video on its website but after 10 long minutes the only message it delivers is ‘get advice and look at your options’. How useful!
In the video Alliance Trust Savings managing director Patrick Mill says over-55s usually prefer to invest in certain areas, but why on earth would they care as long as they get a return? Has he not even tried to put himself in their shoes?
There seems to be an assumption here, and in an awful lot of media coverage, that people might somehow find this new nightmare of choice to be a good thing.
The rather saccharine message is, “all this new freedom is fantastic, but make sure you don’t make the wrong choice, as you could lose all your money. We won’t actually help you make the right choice though.”
I see this kind of thing all the time, and it smacks of neglect. There are 23 million people aged 50 years and over, that’s over a third of the UK population.
Here’s a cohort with probably more money than any other generation in our history – they hold 77 per cent of our financial wealth, 68 per cent of household wealth and 66 per cent of property wealth – and they are constantly fobbed off.
A report last year found consumers in their 50s and 60s feel ignored by brands and misrepresented by society, and Age UK says 60 per cent of pensioners believe age discrimination exists in the daily lives of older people.
What does this group have to do to be taken seriously? I’m not sure I need to spell it out, but perhaps I will anyway: get on their side, see the world through their eyes, acknowledge the slights and oversights they are confronted with in the media, at home and on the streets every day. Communicate properly with them and anticipate their needs, and you will unlock the most important market not just in dentistry and health but in any sector, because they have all the money!
Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how to reach out to over 50s.