The Longevity Opportunity in the U.S. is Comparable to Emerging BRIC Markets

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America’s Leading Analysts Reveal the Opportunities for Investment and Business Growth in Serving Baby Boomer Consumers at What’s Next Boomer Business Summit in Washington, D.C.

In 2011 the first of the baby boomer generation began turning 65 years old. Near daily stories in the media are generated about the issues, needs, impact, influence and sheer size of the eldest of our population. The growing discourse includes changes to retirement trends, the fact that the 55+ age group is the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs, the call to advertisers that they can no longer afford to ignore this audience, and announcements of new outlets catering to these demographics. From aging-in-place technologies to social and mobile media, to the spending power of grandparents, the overall wealth of opportunities in meeting the needs of this mature market is the purpose of the ninth annual What's Next Boomer Business Summit, being held March 28 in Washington, D.C. There the country’s leading analysts, top researchers and executive strategists will gather to introduce new research, products and services, and to present the definitive ways to reach and successfully sell to baby boomers and senior consumers. It is the event to meet the entrepreneurs and brand teams pursuing the baby boomer customer, and learn the marketing strategies that work to reach them.

It opens with a keynote delivered by veteran political strategist Donna Brazile, on ‘Designing a Personalized Business Model for the New Economy’. Jody Holtzman, SVP of Thought Leadership Group at AARP will define and examine the entrepreneurial and market opportunities related to the new Longevity Economy. His keynote will unearth current economic activity related to the demographic phenomenon of people living longer, richer lives and will address areas where the needs and wants of Americans 45 and older are not being met. Also, he will present a new framework for approaching both the societal needs and economic opportunities related to a changing and vital population.

The event tracks will explore trends in the following areas, with agenda highlights:

  •     Innovation and frugality
  •     Baby boomers have the money and desire to bond with their grandchildren, but given today's investment climate, will there be money in the future for them to inherit? Moderator Lori Bitter, President, Crew Media, will get Jodi Olshevski, Assistant VP, The Hartford, Robert Stephen, VP, My Home & Family Portfolio, IVS-Portfolio Management, AARP, and Sandy Timmermann, Assistant Vice President, MetLife and Director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute to tell what are the changes and choices in work, retirement, and for money protection that older adults can make to thrive in the age of lowered expectations.
  •     It is the mature consumer segment that is currently generating the most interest and excitement–grandparents. The grandparent economy is large (40 million), growing and lucrative. Grandparents are spending money on necessities, learning and luxury for their grandchildren. They are investing in tuition, tutoring, and technology. Missy Sullivan, Senior Editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money, and Robert Stephen, VP, My Home & Family Portfolio, IVS-Portfolio Management, AARP, identify the business ecosystem of brands baby boomers are embracing with this new role.
  •     Baby boomer women are the chief purchasing officers, chief caregiving officers, and chief healthcare officers for their families. They often influence purchase decisions in travel and investment for themselves and extended families. Myrna Blyth, Editor in Chief of shares insights from her inspiring panel of women in new media and business.
  •     Integrated media and marketing, social, mobile, gaming
  •     Moderated by Deborah Jacobs of Forbes, the ‘Tech Trends’ session will answer what mature consumers want most from their smart phones, tablets, and the Internet itself. Laurie Orlov, Founder, Aging in Place Technology Watch, and Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, will present the latest data to answer this, and discuss how that information can drive investment and strategies of companies small and large.
  •     ‘Boomer Trends in E-tailing, Retailing and Mobile Commerce’ session delves into dramatic changes in consumer buying behavior in an online and mobile world. It is forcing retailers to think, staff and partner in new ways. Moderated by Gail Kirby, PhD, Marketing, Santa Clara University, she will have Jeff Hasen, CMO, Hipcricket and Candace Corlett, President, WSL Strategic Retail navigate the multiple-channel world of today.
  •     Attendees will discover the latest trends in how companies are using media to drive leads, with industry leaders that include AARP’s Director of Social Communications & Strategy, Tammy Gordon.
  •     Beth Carpenter, Digital Distribution, AARP brings with her one of the many bright minds from Google for the in-demand session ‘Using Google, Facebook and Twitter to Build Your Business’ that will aid businesses by showing them how to leverage Google's many free products to maximize web traffic, conduct search engine optimization, and use tools such as Ad Words, Twitter, and Facebook to connect and engage potential customers.
  •     The new service economy of housing, caregiving, mobility and healthcare
  •     The prospect of a stalled homebuilding industry creating a surge in age-in-place remodeling is explored by Steve French, Managing Director, Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), and Gail Gibson Hunt, President & CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving. They explain why wireless home health technology will blossom in the face of health reform, and debate if the growing number of caregivers (and their policy influence) will get the attention of Congress.
  •     The ‘Health Services 3.0’ panel will consider the businesses that are meeting baby boomers on their technology platform of choice when it comes to managing their health. Examining the burgeoning mHealth realm, this panel will include Jeff Shoemate, Vice President of Innovation & Business Development, United Healthcare-Medicare & Retirement, Ilya Oshman, SVP, FP&A, Weight Watchers and Charlotte Yeh, Chief Medical Officer, AARP.
  •     Entrepreneurship and encore careers
  •     With increased longevity, and a need and desire to work, boomers are exploring encore careers in record numbers. Mary Furlong, President & CEO, Mary Furlong & Associates, and Gene Zanlo, CEO, MBO Partners, will explore the fields with the greatest growth and case studies of those who are reimagining life anew.

Often cited as worth the cost of registration alone, the ‘Lunch with the Experts’ is every attendee’s chance for exclusive access to the best analysts, authors, bloggers, and boomer market experts at this summit. The list of table hosts is available at

The complete list of speakers is available at

"The boomer, senior and caregiver markets are large and growing. The changing economy has created a shift in spending that is becoming the new normal. This conference brings together the most innovative companies and top thought leaders in marketing, innovation and distribution,” Mary Furlong, What’s Next conference producer shared. “These markets are growing as rapidly as the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Join us in March to discover the important segments in the longevity economy."

A press conference will take place on March 29 at 11:00 a.m. at the National Press Club. Speakers and sponsors will be making their new research product and service announcements.

Sponsors of What’s Next Boomer Business Summit are, at the platinum level: AARP, UnitedHealthcare and Crew Media; at the gold level: Microsoft, Linkage, Silverado Senior Living, MBO Partners, RLTV and; at the silver level: General Mills, Google, GreatCall, Facetime Strategy, The Hartford, SilverRide, GrandCare Systems, Innovate LTC, Independa Inc., Starkey; at the bronze level: ABHOW, Hipcricket, Posit Science, MetLife Mature Market Institute, VibrantNation; refreshment break sponsor is Moving Mavens and Moving Solutions.

Registration, agenda and additional event details available at Registration costs are $275 at early bird rate (extended to February 21), $350 at the advance rate (February 22 to March 26) and $450 on March 27 and onsite.

What’s Next Boomer Business Summit
The ninth Annual What’s Next Boomer Business Summit is produced by Mary Furlong & Associates. What’s Next Boomer Business Summit is affiliated with the American Society on Aging (ASA) Aging in America Conference being held on March 28 to April 1, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Registration and program information is available at Facebook page is Twitter username is WhatsNextBoomer, and hashtag is #boomersummit. It is produced by Mary Furlong & Associates.

Mary Furlong & Associates
Founded in 2003, Mary Furlong & Associates (MFA) works with companies seeking to capitalize on new business and investment opportunities in the Baby Boomer market. MFA provides business development, financing strategy and integrated marketing solutions to entrepreneurs, corporations and non-profit organizations serving the 50+ market. Mary Furlong, Ed.D., the firm's founder and CEO, has guided the offline and online 40+ market strategies of leading corporations and non-profit organizations for more than 20 years. In 2011, Furlong was honored as one of the top 100 Women of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Furlong is Dean's Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, and previously founded SeniorNet and ThirdAge Media. Her latest book, Turning Silver into Gold: How to Profit in the New Boomer Marketplace (FT Press), was published in 2007. More information available at


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Michelle Bauer
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