Women Gain Faith In Themselves
Nearly 8 out of 10 respondents report that "the older I get, the more resilient I become." Boomer women are gaining confidence in their own ability to manage their lives while losing confidence in the same institutions that exist to support them, whether financial or spiritually.
Financial Advice and Services
Women are not optimistic about the financial future. Over 62% of our survey respondents said they are "increasingly worried" that they will not receive the same level of Social Security and Medicare benefits that their parents did.
Even more remarkably, Vibrant Women are even less willing to trust the financial institutions that could help them prepare a more secure financial future.
A remarkable 67% of respondents said they do not trust their financial advisors. One-third reported that they trust their financial advisors and institutions less than before the Recession; another one-third report never having trusted them to begin with.
Banks and financial advisory firms have too much at stake to continue getting this essential demographic so wrong. But they can't solve their problems without recognizing the doubts and concerns -- and strengths -- of Boomer women in new ways.
On a spiritual level, Boomer women want spirituality to support them during hard times and accept that they can't control everything that happens. But they aren't finding the support they need from traditional sources.
Only 23% of Vibrant Women find inspiration from their current religious communities, and only 8% of them find it from the religious communities in which they were raised.
Where are they turning?
44% find inspiration in the beliefs and philosophies learned from books, speakers, coaches, workshops or other sources outside of organized religion. 50% of respondents turn to personal prayer and meditation to keep their spirits up.
We have long recognized that spirituality is a guiding light for Boomer women, but the recession seems to have proved it.
The Gospel of Success and Pop Psychology
The "Vibrant Woman" is not passive, but she has relinquished the idea that her own beliefs can control her future. Almost two-thirds of our respondents believe that, while they can influence what happens to them, the ultimate outcome lies beyond their control. Only 26% believe they create their reality and that if they think positively, they will get what they're asking for.
As one respondent said, "I don't think thinking positively automatically gets me what I want, rather I believe we must be open to different ideas, collaborative projects, and hope."
Our members referred more to authors like Eckhart Tolle and causes like Al-Anon (both based on the idea that accepting our powerlessness is a part of human development) than sources like "The Secret" or the "Laws of Attraction" that suggest success is available to anyone who wants it enough.
What does this mean for marketers?
The implications for marketers are enormous, but here are a few early thoughts:
• Tell Boomer women you trust them to choose their best solutions.
• Acknowledge that institutions are unlikely to meet their needs.
• Don't pretend that she can make things happen if only she wanted them enough.
• Confirm her sense that she grows stronger no matter what happens.
If you acknowledge these women's resilience and their ability to grow through setbacks, you are likely to remain their friend through thick and thin.