Discovery Conference: CMG Says Hold Onto Those Boomers

Register now

MADISON, Wis. – Baby boomers aren't through with needing their credit unions just yet.

Instead, a host of new realities created by the economy mean it would behoove CUs to address the changing needs of the nation's largest generation, according to Jeff Hunt, consumer program manager at CUNA Mutual Group, who shared strategies during the company’s online Discovery Conference.

“The turbulence of the last decade means boomers are dealing with a new reality, Hunt said. “There is a new mindset, but it is still unique to boomers. They have not become cynical or negative like other generations. They are still optimistic and have dreams, but they are simpler – and maybe better – dreams.”

According to Hunt, boomers have had it rough so far in this century. From the dot-com bust to Sept. 11 to the current economic woes, the boomers have had their usually optimistic outlook tested.

The oldest boomers will turn 65 and be eligible for Medicare in just two months. “Credit unions must act now or they could lose over 5 million members and $550 billion in assets as the boomers enter retirement if they leave credit unions like previous generations of retirees have done,” Hunt said.

To retain these retirees, research suggests credit unions ultimately need to evolve from being mainly lending institutions for mid-life borrowers to retirement companies that offer a full range of solutions to boomer members.

Hunt suggested the following six strategies:
* Leverage the trust consumers have in CUs.
* Tell members what the CU can do and don’t be shy.
* Provide retirement expertise and build a position as a trusted advisor.
* Provide retiree products.
* Make it easy to buy, including making it simpler.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.