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A new study has found that a majority of Brits aged 50 and over are feeling ignored by financial services brands, despite spending more on these products than those under 50. Indeed, over 50s were found to spend £150 a month on average on pensions, savings and investment products, compared with an average £100 monthly spend for those under 50.
SunLife's Big 50 Report, which included responses from 50,000 over 50s, found that 59% of respondents said brands aren't interested in them. This includes the usual suspects, with more than a third saying the fashion industry was the worst culprit for ignoring them, while a quarter stated the technology industry was the worst, and one in six pointed to health and beauty as the worst offender.
However, 10% said they feel most ignored by the financial sector, despite spending 50% more and being 8% more likely to have insurance. This is a dangerous strategy for the financial industry, especially as research from Hitachi Capital shows that the spending power of those over 50 is growing faster than any other age group, with their economic contribution expected to grow by 57% over the next ten years.
"Over 50s currently make up a third of the UK population - by 2020, half of us will be over 50 - while spending amongst the over 50s is growing at three times the rate of the under 50s, yet brands are still obsessed with targeting younger age groups," said Dean Lamble, CEO at SunLife.
He continued: "The beauty industry is a great example – one in six over 50s say they feel ignored in this sector despite the fact that more than two thirds of all cosmetics are bought by women over 50. Car ads are another good example; they almost always feature people in their 20s and 30s - but 61% of all new cars are bought by those over the age of 50."
Additional figures show that over 50s also spend a considerably higher percentage of their income on financial products (19%) compared with those under 50 (14%). At times, this makes sense, with life and health insurance naturally costing more for those statistically more likely to have health conditions.
However, there's no reason why over 50s should be paying more for savings products, for instance. Regardless of who they're marketed to, a Best Buy is a Best Buy, and adults of any age should be able to choose whatever account best matches their needs.
So, if you think you may be paying more than your younger counterparts, and you're not even getting attention in return, why not see if you can find a better savings account, investment ISA, insurance policy or other financial product?
Furthermore, as Dean says: "There is such a huge opportunity here for brands, but many are reluctant to make their products appealing to people over 50, or don't know how to." If you are over 50 and want this to change, be sure to let brands know by searching out those products that do market to you and giving them your positive feedback (as well as maybe your money).
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