SOURCE: JSH & A Communications

JSH & A Communications

August 06, 2013 13:07 ET

One in Five Boomers Lies About Age

Mental Age Far Younger Than Actual Age

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL--(Marketwired - Aug 6, 2013) - One in five baby boomers lies about his or her age, according to a new survey, "Boomers' Fountain of Youth," conducted by lifestyle communications firm, JSH&A Communications. For boomers who stretch the truth, men tend to shave one to five years off the actual number (65 percent), while women typically cut six or more years off the birthday calendar (84 percent). Twenty-six percent of these women claimed to be younger by more than 10 years.

"Boomers are young at heart," said Jonni Hegenderfer, CEO of Chicago-area based JSH&A. "They don't think of themselves as 'old' or as 'senior citizens.' For some, the self-perception can even be that of being a twenty-something." 

The survey also found a significant discrepancy between boomers' actual age and what they considered to be their mental age. When asked to designate their mental age, the age they think of themselves as being, 82.5 percent noted a mental age much younger than their chronological or actual age, often by 20 or more years. Ten percent of boomers claimed their mental age in the teens or 20s -- two-thirds of this group were men.

"Mental age versus chronological or actual age is an important distinction for marketers who want to reach the boomer consumer," noted Hegenderfer. "Boomers don't have a self-image of being 60 or 65. On average, they see themselves as vibrant 42-year-olds with an active lifestyle, a busy calendar and a long life ahead."

When asked for their personal Fountain of Youth, those things most important to maintaining a sense of youthfulness, boomers put friends and family, exercise, eating right and love at the top of the list. Friends and family placed first for men (31 percent), while women valued exercise first (22 percent) and friends and family a close second (19 percent).

"It was interesting to see friends and family cited as a primary key to youthfulness and that love ranked twice as important as sex for both men and women," observed Hegenderfer. "Boomers have matured to a value-based lifestyle and have redefined the 'good life.' Typical tactics thought of as 'youth-enhancers,' such as spa visits and plastic surgery, are not a factor in the boomers' Fountain of Youth formula."

An infographic depicting survey findings is available at www.jsha.com/insights/research.

JSH&A Communications, headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., is a lifestyle communications agency providing integrated marketing communications for iconic consumer brands such as Hershey's, Beam Inc., Bosch Power Tools, SKIL, Master Lock and McDonald's. The agency's award-winning programs encompass both traditional and social/digital media, experiential, word-of-mouth and events to engage consumers with impactful brand messages at multiple touch points. For more information, visit www.jsha.com.

The "Boomers' Fountain of Youth" survey was conducted online by Lab42 surveying 100 men and 100 women between the ages of 50 and 70. Lab42 is an entrepreneurial market research firm providing agencies and corporations a wide variety of survey options designed to determine consumer sentiment and trends in a quick-time, cost-effective manner.