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LAS CROABAS, Puerto Rico – If you think you know who the “elderly” are, guess again. With baby boomers aging they are redefining what it means to be elderly and according to Ellen Eichelbaum of the SpeakEasy Group, understanding and filling the needs of our increasing aging population can be a boon for credit unions. “The mature member really wants financial independence,” said Eichelbaum. “They want emotional independence, are peer group sensitive and they want business conducted on their terms. The worst thing a credit union can do is patronize them because yes they do recognize it and you will lose their business.” To tap into the elderly market, credit unions must “sensitize” employees on effective communications skills and understanding generational differences and make sure marketing promotions and retail delivery systems are user friendly to the aging market. Eichelbaum provided the following insights to better understand this market: * Emotions play the biggest part in decision making and they MUST have personal relevance for a final decision, * Older people buy on what it can do for them and how it can affect their lives in a positive manner, * Ethics play the most important role in establishing trust, * Material “things” become less important, and *They won’t “get the picture” if what is said is emotionally-neutral.

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