Friday, October 10, 2008

The Stock Market Crash and the Quest for Inner Peace

Talk about unlucky timing. On Oct. 7, SWL Retirement, Inc., of Ashland, Ohio, launched a “hilarious” new board game, “The Baby Boomer Retirement Game,” which combines “nostalgia, life experiences and fun as players compete to be the first to reach ‘inner peace.’”

By Oct. 10 -- three days later -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 15 percent. Millions of Baby Boomers watched in horror as hundreds of billions of dollars of retirement nest eggs disappeared into the ether.

Not many of us feel like laughing at the moment.

If we had $30 to shell out for "fun" right now -- which we don't -- some of us would head down to the liquor store and spend it on a quart of Jack Black.

Market timing aside, the premise of the game was amusing. The idea “started over cocktails,” according to the game website. (Cocktails? Actually, that’s kind of reassuring. At least they weren’t passing around a joint.) Each player starts with a “severance package” (pretty clever), moves tokens on a board shaped like a peace symbol, and collects life experiences, health and assets in the quest for inner peace.

Now that the thundering herd has trampled their life savings into the mud, real-world Boomers by the millions are reappraising their retirement plans, news accounts tell us. Come to think of it, “The Baby Boomer Retirement Game” may be just the therapy we need. With the meltdown of housing markets and stock prices, achieving “inner peace” may be the only retirement option we can afford.

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Valuable Insights into the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Today's Baby Boomers

This blog is by the authors of Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America's Largest, Wealthiest and Most Influential Group, on sale now.

Here is where you'll find information referenced in the book, as well as updates, news and perspectives from Matt Thornhill and John Martin, founders of the Boomer Project.