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Product opportunities still exist for retiring members.

In the quirky 2013 film Nebraska, the main character ventures off on a cross-country trek to collect a million dollar jackpot to fund his golden years. In the end, he discovers it was a scam.

While this tale of irrational retirement dreams is extreme, the reality for many baby boomers is that they've been left to plan their own retirements as defined benefit pensions have been on the decline.

For credit unions, the shift toward defined contribution plans such as 401(k) s and 403(b)s opens up an opportunity to meet the needs of boomers through living trusts and related services. Boomers are looking for mechanisms to maximize the income of these payouts to fund their retirements and provide for the needs of their children.

In fact, data highlighted in the Filene Research Institute report Credit Union Implications of Living Trusts indicates that savers with a DC plan are twice as likely to set up a trust. One in four retiree households with significant assets had a living trust and women are about one-third were more likely to establish trusts.

The benefits for credit unions extend beyond the boomer. We've all heard about the forthcoming transfer of wealth as boomers die and leave assets for their children. Credit unions can transform relationships into long-lasting ones with these beneficiaries. Marketing to the entire family can take on a whole new meaning.

Baby boomers are redefining what financial products they need. And while most will never resort to a cross-country trip in search of millions, many will make the effort to protect their retirement through a living trust. Credit unions should position themselves to be ready for this opportunity.

Andrew Downin is innovation director at the Filene Research Institute.


608-661-3746 or


* READ Filene's report, Credit Union Implication of Living Trusts livingtrusts

DC Ratios of Trust

Have DC plan          1.99
Do not have DC plan   1.00

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Gender Ratios of Trust

MALE     0.72
FEMALE   1.00


Note: Table made from bar graph.


Boomers Becoming More Attuned to Social Media

77.3 Million Boomers Between Ages 55-64 in U.S.

Where are Boomers Posting?

facebook   46%
twitter    33%
google+    21%

Brand Promotions More likely to engage than Gen X and Millenials
& Giveaways

Twitter Tweet an average of 15 times a day--more than Millenials and
Gen X combined

Photos Post less that Millenials, Gen X but photos comprise 16% of
online conversations

$7 billion Average amount boomers spend online annually

SOURCES: Fizziology; BaM, Handley and Jennette; Social Media Today

Popular Social Media Topics
Segment         Millennials   GenX   Boomers

Celebrities     15%           10%     8%
Complaint        9%            5%     3%
Dating           4%            1%     2%
Drinking         5%            5%     1%
Family           1%            4%     6%
Food             6%            9%     8%
Health           2%            5%     3%
Humor           20%           18%    14%
Inspirational    2%            7%     5%
Movies           5%            4%     6%
Music           14%            8%     4%
News             7%            9%     9%
Photos          19%           22%    16%
Politics         2%            7%     8%
Promotions       0%            1%    11%
Shopping         2%            2%     6%
Sports          13%            6%     6%
Tech             8%           14%     8%
Travel           4%            5%     1%
TV              13%           10%    12%
Video            3%            4%     2%
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Downin, Andrew
Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Aug 6, 2014
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