Thu, March 13, 2014
The OREO Effect
I believe that many of my boomer sisters and brothers are what Malcolm Gladwell calls "Outliers",  “a person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system”, someone that is different, not following a certain path, an outlier.  Because the boomer demographic has had no one to follow the path that we are on at this moment in history, (our parents and grandparents certainly did not or will not live as long as us) we are the trailblazers, the outliers.  Now that we are all firmly in the grips of the 21st century time to pick up our proverbial game, the world needs us, badly.

I have been thinking in my acronym filled life about a new one, an acronym that can resonate for us boomer outliers; it is called the OREO Effect.  Now of course due credit goes to Nabisco and its invention in 1912, (reportedly over 360 billion sold), of my favorite cookie, the kryptonite of carbohydrates, the Oreo.  Nabisco, never to let perfection sit idle improved on the perfect cookie, making it into an even more perfect cookie, the Double Stuff.  Thank you Nabisco for helping me make this a flawless model to copy and use for my newest acronym for us boomers, the OREO Effect; I truly hope you don’t mind.

The OREO Effect, unlike the perfect cookie, or family of perfect cookies, stands for something more important that a chocolate cookie, it stands for, hold on outliers...
Objective, Resiliency, Entrepreneurial, Opportunity  Introducing the
OREO Effect For boomer entrepreneurs this acronym fits nicely because:
  • Objective - Now is the best time to build the foundation for your next transitional career and life.
  • Resiliency - Who ever said the boomer demographic wasn’t resilient is watching way to many Looney Tunes
  • Entrepreneurial - Stats to follow and enough said.
  • Opportunity - Waiting around? Why!
My pal Kerry Hannon has a brand new book coming out and all of this and more are in there.  If you need some inspiration, and it seems we all do at times, read “What’s Next? Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in Your Forties, Fifties and Beyond” the new revised and updated version, this one is a gotta get, and you know I would not lead you astray.

 However if you need a couple more stats to back up the new OREO Effect and before you invest a few bucks on Kerry’s book check this out:
  • The annual entrepreneurial activity report published in April by the Kansas City, Mo.-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation found the share of new entrepreneur’s ages 55 to 64 grew from 14.3 percent in 1996 to 23.4 percent last year. Entrepreneurship among 45- to 54-year-olds saw a slight bump, while activity among younger age groups fell.
  • According to Forbes: “Baby Boomers: America's Hottest Group Of New Entrepreneurs”
  • “The 55+ age group controls more than three-fourths of America's wealth." (ICSC)
  • 78 million Americans who were 50 or older as of 2001 controlled 67% of the country's wealth, or $28 trillion (U.S. Census and Federal Reserve).
  • Boomers and seniors have seen a decrease in their median family net worth, however they still have a net worth 3x that younger generations (Economic Policy Institute).
  • Baby Boomers outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion each year on consumer goods & services (US Government Consumer Expenditure Survey).
  • In 2009, spending by the 116 million U.S. consumers age 50 and older was $2.9 trillion, up 45% in the past 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Baby Boomers account for nearly $230 billion, or 55%, of consumer packaged goods sales (Nielsen).”
  • And Kerry Hannon’s latest article, “For Some, Age Is No Obstacle to Entrepreneurship”.
All of that being said how about this to drive the message home and asking ourselves these questions:
  • How will people use their newly found life "longevity bonus"?
  • Why will the "cyclic" life plan replace the old-style "linear" model?
  • How will aging boomers change traditional paradigms of work, leisure, learning and retirement as well as generational brand loyalty?
  • What's the most effective way to market and sell to "middlescent" boomers wishing to enhance the quality of their lives, while averting aging?
  • For thousands of years people searched for the fountain of youth, and now that we have found a tributary of the river we have other issues, foremost is income and QOL
  • Boomers have not saved enough and will have to continue to work, AARP (remember their earlier branding) states 75% of boomers aged 55 and 64 have less than $30,000.00 put away.
  • According to the National Institute for Retirement Security, retirement readiness is grim across much of the United States
A couple of Double Stuff’s certainly won’t kill you, but sitting around just might!

Any more questions?  See you on the radio!

Tom Matt hosts the radio talk show Boomers Rock and Kerry Hannon is a frequent contributor.


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