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Turning Silver Into Gold


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Table of Contents

About the Author xAcknowledgments xiiIntroduction 1Chapter 1: A Global Overview of the Boomer Market 9Chapter 2: The Business of Health 21Chapter 3: Travel: An Adventure for the Heart, Mind, and Soul 41Chapter 4: It's Your Passion: Make It Happen 65Chapter 5: Sex and Romance: I'll Have What She's Having 83Chapter 6: Jeans, Jeans, You're Young and Alive 99Chapter 7: Gimme Shelter-And a Whole Lot More 115Chapter 8: A Family of Our Own Choosing 141Chapter 9: Eldercare: The New Midlife Crisis 161Chapter 10: Financing Your Dream 177Chapter 11: On the Age Beat: The Media and the Message 199Chapter 12: Growing the Boomer Business: Sales and Marketing Strategies that Really Work 213Chapter 13: The Class Act: Gold at the End of the Rainbow 233Appendix A: The Connected Boomer 243Appendix B: Boomers and Money 253Index 269

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As they age, America's 78 million baby boomers will live more active, creative, inventive lives than any generation before them. This represents enormous business opportunities. In this book, one of the world's leading authorities on marketing to "post-50" baby boomers offers a complete blueprint for profiting from that opportunity. Dr. Mary Furlong reveals breakthrough product and service opportunities, and gives you the tools, resources, techniques, and data you need to build a profitable business around them. Furlong draws on her experience leading SeniorNet and ThirdAge Media, as well as the Boomer Business Summit and $10,000 Business Plan Competition, where she has reviewed hundreds of new business plans targeting these emerging markets. Turning Silver into Gold offers powerful insight into baby boomers' new lifestyle transitions in housing, health, fitness, finances, family, fashion, romance, travel, and work and the new brand choices they're about to make. Furlong shows how to segment baby boomer markets and find opportunities to innovate entirely new categories of products and services. You'll discover which sales and marketing strategies really work and even uncover opportunities in the surprising worldwide boomer market. Throughout, Furlong combines extensive, authoritative market research with inspirational case studies from passionate, tenacious entrepreneurs and brand leaders who are blazing new trails in these fast-growing markets.

About the Author

Dr. Mary S. Furlong is the leading authority on the baby boomer generation as it moves beyond 50. She founded Mary Furlong & Associates to help socially and consumer-conscious companies reach this growing market. She is also Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship and Women in Leadership at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business. Before launching Mary Furlong & Associates, Dr. Furlong founded the nonprofit organization SeniorNet in 1986. She founded Third Age Media in 1996, ultimately reaching more than two million members. Throughout the course of her work for both organizations, she raised $120 million in venture capital funds. She has advised President Clinton, Congress, the AARP, and corporate clients including IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Procter & Gamble, and Microsoft. With the American Society on Aging, Dr. Furlong co-produced the successful 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 What's Next Boomer Business Summits. She was Executive Producer of the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summits and $10,000 Boomer Business Plan Competitions. She is a member of the Leadership Circles of the American Society on Aging's Business Forum on Aging, the National Council on Aging (NCOA), and the AARP. She is also an advisor to several start-up companies all focused on the boomer market. Dr. Furlong has appeared on CBS, NBC's Today Show, PBS, and NPR to discuss trends in aging andtechnology. She was named one of the top 50 businessleaders by Time Digital, and has also been honored byFortune Small Business Magazine. Her books includeGrown-Up's Guide to Computing.


This new book is as useful for baby boomers as it is for marketers: it will guide boomers on their journeys and give marketers the tools to help them get there. -- P. G. Kishel, Cypress College (Reprinted with permission from CHOICE, copyright by the American Library Association) Seasoned digital-marketing strategist Furlong explores the breadth and depth of the baby-boomer market.

Boomers make up 25% of the population, own 77% of the country's financial assets and are looking at greater discretionary income as they go about retiring the word "retire." They are now marching well into middle age and their marketplace desires are morphing, explains Furlong in this broad and thoughtful book. The author sees them as representing hundreds of market segments: Boomers have concerns and interests including health, investing, entertainment and travel, sexuality, entrepreneurship and technology, religion and spirituality and a vast array of philanthropic and social commitments. The title's silver may mean hair color, but the gold represents wisdom as well as wealth, "and how they will transform their financial worth into good works." Still, Furlong has profit-oriented business advice to tender, giving dozens of examples of how the boomers' interests can be met, particularly by Internet-savvy businesspeople, from software that helps sharpen memory to dealing with loneliness to safe sex to civic engagement.

Furlong displays a genuine grasp of boomer sensibilities, especially those of decency and happiness and the common good; when she speaks of value added, it is not just the markup but how the product or service adds to the pleasure of living right and well. -- Kirkus Business & Personal Finance Report "Mary is an evangelist who has been selling the dream of the boomer/senior market for over twenty-five years. She understands the customer segment better than anyone, and this book reflects her insight." --Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director, Garage Technology Ventures and author of The Art of the Start "Dr. Mary Furlong is a true visionary. Her insights and market intelligence are consistently spot on and her notions about what to do and how to do it demand serious attention from start up entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 executives. In "Turning Silver into Gold" she has done a masterful job of revealing a broad range of timely and actionable paths to success. I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining a better understanding, and meeting the myriad needs, of a maturing population." --Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., President of Age Wave, Author of Age Wave, Age Power and The Power Years: A User's Guide to the Rest of Your Life "Mary Furlong's book has a social heart as well as a business sense. She is trying to assist people who are in business, but not simply for the sake of exploiting a market. Adding value to life is as important to her as it is to us at AARP." --From the Foreword by Bill Novelli, Chief Executive Officer, AARP "Mary Furlong is an expert on the Baby Boomer demographic as an academic, entrepreneur and marketer. She has lots to teach about how to successfully reach and impact this enormous market." --Myrna Blyth, Founding Editor, More Magazine

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