Ageless geezers

"Seniors, particularly baby boomers, each believe they belong to a market segment made up of exactly one person," says Quinnipiac's Blaine Branchik, reports the New York Times. "Many believe the only thing they have in common is that they are all so unique that they have nothing in common," he adds. Does that stop marketers from trying to put them into neat little boxes? Of course not. Consulting firm Age Wave divides post-retirement consumers into four essential categories -- Ageless Explorers, Comfortably Contents, Live for Todays and Sick and Tireds, reports coolnews@reveries. Ageless Explorers "respond to images of silver-haired scuba divers reinventing themselves in their waning years." Comfortably Contents are "more attracted to scenes of fishermen, friendly dogs and rocking chairs." Live for Todays, have financial anxieties and look for bargains, and Sick and Tireds, who are "basically ready to die, are attracted to anything that makes the waiting less painful.” The Honda Element was designed for, and advertised to, young buyers and does well among them, but it is also a surprising seller among retirees, who like it because it is low to the ground and the durable floors can handle gardening equipment and pets as easily as surfboards and mountain bikes." Emilio Pardo of AARP says: "Life is based on someone's needs, not how many years they've lived." And besides, some experts say, where teens "don't mind belonging to a group" because they can always reinvent themselves later on, older folks "are running out of opportunities for reinvention." Age Wave