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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Retire Retirement

Retire Retirement is a book by Tamara Erickson and published by the Harvard Business Press.A review appears in today’s FT.

I have not read the book so I cannot comment if it is fair and accurate. The reviewer’s main gripe is the sweeping generalisation that are made about Boomers and how they differ from other generations.
Generation Y has been particularly influenced by the rise of global terrorism, for instance. So, says Erickson, they live for the moment. Both Generation X and Y are keener on their network of friends than pursuing success at work. But by Erickson's own admission this is a simplistic way to look at individuals: "Of course, any broad characterisation of a group omits much of the important detail that makes us unique."
This rings bells with me and is typical of much that is written about the 50-plus market. However, I do have some sympathy with the writer who is forced into these crude stereotypes.

Most marketers and certainly all journalists want simple answers to complex problems. When you start to explain the shades of grey that exist you can sense the attention evaporate. It is the PowerPoint test. If you cannot answer the question in five bullet points on a slide then you have got the wrong answer or maybe the wrong question. Dick Stroud

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