22% of Americans 65 and older use the Internet
At first, this statistic may seem like a negative factor because it means that 78% of seniors don’t use the Internet. But what if the 22% who use the Internet are the wealthier seniors? That’s exactly the case as you can see from the table below:
|Less than High School||29||4|
|High School Graduate||34||21|
|College Graduate or more||16||46|
Some financial advisors incorrectly assume that the Internet is not a good tool for marketing to seniors but this could not be further than the truth. The Internet separates the poor seniors (not on the Internet) and leaves the wealthy ones easy to target market with electronic marketing.
Internet Usage is Growing Faster Among Seniors
There is a burgeoning group of Americans who are slightly younger than retirees and who are vastly more attached to the online world. As of February 2004, 62% of Americans age 50-58 years-old and 46% of Americans age 59-68 have Internet access.
By contrast, just 17% of Americans age 69 and older have access. Obviously, as each year passes, the number of people who enter the age 65+ group who have Internet access and are frequent users increases rapidly. Consider that the percent of seniors who go online has jumped by 47% between 2000 and 2004.
Health and Medical Information is Most Popular Search Topic/Financial Usage also High
If you sell any type of medical coverage or long term care products or services, email and Internet marketing can be a goldmine for you. Of course, it’s essential that you have a web site so that seniors can find you.
Use of the Internet for financial reasons is also significant and equals usage by the general population. Wired seniors are essentially equal to younger users when it comes to researching financial information, such as stock quotes or mortgage interest rates. Forty-one percent of wired seniors have done this type of research, compared to 44% of all users. Fifteen percent of wired seniors buy or sell stocks, mutual funds, or bonds online, compared to 13% of the general Internet population.
While 47% of all seniors are married, a whopping 74% of Internet-using seniors are married.
Meaning—they probably had two incomes while working and have higher savings and net worth. They have two pensions and two IRAs. They buy two LTC policies. They potentially get 2 inheritances form their parents. Married people create more business for a financial advisor.
Any financial services professional that is not embracing email, maintaining a web site, and failing to use an electronic newsletter will lose significant senior business to those that do.