"How Will Boomers Fare at Retirement?" presents the findings of a research study conducted by Barbara Butrica and Cori Uccello both of the Urban Institute. The research, presented under the umbrella of the AARP Policy Institute, was conducted in 1999 and published in 2004. The findings of the study paint a complete picture of baby boomers and their projected financial situation at retirement age.
Type of Material:
This report could be used in several ways. First, a lecturer might wish to use this report while preparing a lecture on topics such as cohorts and segmentation. Second, the report could be an assigned reading in appropriate courses. The full report is quite long albeit easy to read. Given this, lecturers may choose to assign the Summary Brief instead. Third, this report could be used as an example of a 'good' research report. The authors clearly present the findings of the study.
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Identify Major Learning Goals:
The purpose of this report is to shed late on baby boomers and their true economic situations. Given that much is written about baby boomers (if for no other reason than the sheer size of the cohort), an important goal of this report is to dispel some of the myths associated with this group and to present the reader with a 'true', research supported picture.
Target Student Population:
This report could be used at the graduate or undergraduate level. If assigned as a required reading, the undergraduate students might find the full report overwhelming, but should easily digest the Summary Brief. This report and/or pieces of the findings could be integrated into many marketing courses including Principles, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research, and Services Marketing. In addition demographers, politicians, marketers, and social scientists may find it useful.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The research that is presented is sound and comprehensive. The report is well-written and easy to understand. The fact that a Summary Brief and full report are available give the lecturer more options as to how integrate the information into his/her course. Good detail information about baby boomers and retirement
The main concern is the timeliness of the information. The report was published in 2004 with data having been collected in 1999. Much has occurred during that time frame that causes one to question the validity of the findings. For instance, given the looming recession, many popular press articles have been written regarding the impact of the recession on retirement issues.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This research could build on prior concepts discussed in class. Emphasis could be placed on the research's methodology, market segmentation (segmenting into five key attitudinal and behavioral groups) and information on a roadmap to retirement. Students or groups may want to recreate this research to learn about changes in this segment and retirement plans. The objectives of the research study are clearly presented, and the report follows through in accomplishing these objectives. Emphasis is placed on Baby Boomer myths that are disspelled by this research study.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The report is easy to read and understand and is professional in appearance. The AARP website from which the study is accessed is easy to use and navigate.
The overall report is 90+ pages and might prove a bit overwhelming for the average student. Many students are unlikely to find the material that engaging to read the report in its entirety. It is a research study, after all.
Other Issues and Comments:
The big issue is the timeliness of the information. Are these predictions still valid today?
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