NASHVILLE – NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz stressed the need for credit unions to familiarize themselves with what their senior members want. During a recent address to the Tennessee Credit Union League, Matz reminded credit unions that there is an abundance of opportunity for them by serving their silver-haired membership. She pointed out, “There are 35 million Americans who are 65 years of ago or older; that’s one out of every eight Americans and millions of them are in the field of membership of a credit union. But seldom are they targeted in advertising or financial education activities. And such programs are especially important for them because it’s a sad fact that seniors are often the victims of telemarketing, mortgage and pension fraud.” Additionally, the baby boomers are coming up in age. “By 2010 – that’s just seven years away – those over 65 will number almost 40 million and, 10 years later, there will be almost 54 million seniors,” Matz noted. “It’s hard to ignore numbers like that – and credit unions have no reason to. And don’t assume that seniors have unshakeable allegiances to their financial institutions. Many have suffered financial reversals in the market and have become wary of even well-established institutions because of recent scandals and mismanagement.” Seniors’ needs can vary as much as the general membership, Matz indicated. While some may be looking to sell their family homes and retire to a vacation haven like Florida, less affluent seniors are concerned about their financial well-being on a limited income.

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