Saturday, November 26, 2016

The "Old" Business

Being special is great. Much business buzz has long focused on the "Boomers". Where do you think all the mail comes from? And the phone calls offering insurance, pills, and computer help. Someone needs to explain the line between customer and victim. Please let me go back to being a normal consumer!
This trend is not going to change any time soon but will increase as more aging people find their way to the "golden years". Tell all those slick marketers that the gold in "golden years" is not their gold but belongs to those who lived for it. And it is not money in the bank, it is memories and peaceful relaxation. Think of the attack of money grabbers in terms of these categories:
  1. Organized big business
  2. Criminals
  3. Tag-a-long entrepreneurs (some who sincerely want to help)

The Tag-A-Long entrepreneurs have been looking for an easy way to make money. They need a big market with lots of cash. Yep, the 50 and older crowd is big and many have lots of money. With the right ad copy the money will flow from the old guys to the eager entrepreneur. Fact is, the old guys, the easy target market, have been to more than one flea market and usually don't bite even for slick marketing.
Very little advice for dealing with these actors because they are easy to spot and easy to ignore. Seldom do their products make sense and in a week or two they will be pitching a different product. Feel sorry for them but don't worry about their welfare, eventually they will figure out a proper way to support themselves.

Criminals come in a dizzying array of products, methods, and people types. In the wild, predators watch for the weak and slow. They know this is their easiest choice for a quick and safe dinner. Such an analogy accurately summarizes the product and service offerings of this category of business. Many lack products or services and only give a description of what they promise. Compelling and enticing promises geared to those who expect fair and honest treatment. They make the purchase process very easy and the product perfectly fit a huge need. Once they have the money they vaporize.
Nice Young Lady?Best advice here is to seek a trusted second opinion before opening your wallet. They expect that you will do this and have tactics to convince you to purchase now. Be skeptical, always… Always be skeptical… How else can I say it, only trust people you know and of those only the ones you know you can trust. Unfortunately, people who frequently fall victim to these tactics are not reading this blog and if they are will believe that the compelling nice young lady on the phone/text/email is their friend. If you know someone who has too much compassion for their own good please make every opportunity to educate them.

Organized Big Business, those legitimate companies with wonderful track records, companies who provide products and services used everyday far and wide, has one objective and that is to make money. Perhaps exceptions exist but business by nature is not a charity. Forget the branding and flowery descriptions, they are set up and designed to attract customers and generate a profit. They are not evil nor criminal. They have selected a product or service designed to fill a genuine need and most do a marvelous job of meeting those needs. Some even do so at reasonable prices. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when shopping their marketplace.
  1. What are values and principles you consider ultimately important? Look for examples of how the company, their products, and their staff exhibit the values and principles you prefer. If your examination does not find any examples then consider looking elsewhere. If you encounter any "red flags" then consider these the tip of the iceberg and run the other way.
  2. Regarding senior living choices where a person sells, gives away, and throws away most of their "stuff" and moves in. Often this person has no recourse to move again if they are dissatisfied. Moving is hard and expensive even when it is possible and thus a barrier to change an undesirable situation. The inducements to move are designed to make the move in easy and the change may be a good choice. Think it through. Unless the move is an absolute necessity consider adjustments for staying put. Moving is a major decision with enormous consequences. Don't be swayed by rent reductions, moving assistance, or any inducements designed to turn your head. Only move if you want to and you gain more than you lose.
  3. Will the product you are purchasing continue to be what you are buying or will it undergo a change? For example, you like the staff of the residence. How much turnover does this company experience? In most cases the staff will undergo radical change within a relatively short time. You might or might not like the new staff. Make certain that the fine print matches what you understand from the description you have heard or received. Read the contract or whatever describes the legal arrangement. A match with what you understand is great otherwise you must decide if the reality is acceptable.

The business attitude is that "Boomers" and all seniors are a lucrative and easy market. That brings hordes of get-rich-quick businesses who are willing to promise what you want to hear. What ever they may promise, they are intent on making money and that means you will be giving them your money. Remember to be as smart with deciding how to spend it as you were when accumulating it.  

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