Wealthy and established empty-nesting couples residing in suburban and in-town homes
The second wealthiest segment, Platinum Prosperity consists of older, empty-nesting couples and retirees enjoying lives of luxury. With average incomes well into the six figures, many own spacious suburban homes or exclusive downtown condominiums valued at more than half a million dollars. Most are married, college educated and white. While nearly a fifth are retired, those still in the workforce are at the peak of their careers, holding executive and management positions in business, technology and professional services.
With their child-rearing days behind them, Platinum Prosperity enjoy entertaining their friends and pursuing cultural activities. They like to network with other people on the same social rung, which serves them well in their philanthropic pursuits. Members of this segment are nearly four times as likely as the general population to belong to associations that support museums, symphonies, opera companies and dance groups, and they are among the nation’s top supporters of political groups and educational institutions.
In these neighborhoods, residents like to work hard and play hard. Many are fitness fanatics who belong to health clubs, enjoy aerobic sports and watch professional tennis, basketball, football and baseball matches. At night, they enjoy cultural activities, and there are few performing arts they don’t support: plays, ballets, operas, movies and concerts are all on their must-do lists. At home, they’ve outfitted their family rooms with top-of-the-line computers, large-screen TVs and serious exercise equipment, as well as books bought both online and at brick-and-mortar stores.
They also like to get away from their busy schedules. They’re more than twice as likely to own a vacation home, weekend home or timeshare. They like to travel often - these households travel for both business and pleasure - and visit Europe, areas of Asia and the Middle East as well as the Caribbean and South America. Vacations feature a heavy emphasis on fresh air, with swimming, jogging, water skiing and snorkeling among their favorite activities. However, they’ve never met an outdoor pursuit they didn’t like - or have the right equipment for.
As shoppers, they like to buy popular brands with reputations for being high quality and cutting edge. When it comes to fashion, they frequent stores that cater to their passion for designer apparel and high-end accessories. But because they lead busy, time-pressed lives, they also turn to catalogs and Websites when buying clothing, gifts and books.
Platinum Prosperity see themselves as citizens of the world with a strong global consciousness and interest in international affairs. They don’t try to "buy American" in the marketplace but they do purchase "green products" and support ethically responsible businesses. With a genuine interest in people of all backgrounds, they like to learn new things and pursue a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
To reach these consumers, companies and non-profits should recognize that Platinum Prosperity are well-educated, global citizens who tend to be independent thinkers. They’re concerned about safety and privacy - both in the real and virtual worlds - and they’re conservative with their finances. They seek products that communicate their lofty status and their role as citizens of the world. While they dislike TV and Internet advertising, they do respond to print ads in news, business and travel publications, catalogs and airport billboards. Increasingly, they’re going online for news and commerce, reading blogs and informative Websites that help them research products - and don’t infringe on their privacy.
Platinum Prosperity consist mainly of older couples and retirees: men and women who are in their 50s and 60s, married, white, college-educated and well-off. About a fifth are retired, while those still working typically hold senior management jobs in business and finance or have careers in professional services or a technical occupation. More than two-thirds of adults hold college degrees and almost half have graduate degrees. What they don’t have, for the most part, are young children living at home, though some households are welcoming “boomerang” kids: adult children who have moved back in with their parents for economic reasons.
Platinum Prosperity live in sought-after neighborhoods, with roughly half preferring pricey, in- town enclaves while the other half favors tony suburbs. Many own luxury condos or spacious mansions valued at more than half a million dollars. Their neighborhoods tend to be old and established, with little churn among the residents. A majority of occupants have lived in their residences for more than a decade; one in six has lived at their address for over 20 years. If there’s any regional skew, communities are located in the South, as retirees seek out warm- weather climates and senior executives follow the migration of their companies from the Northeast to the Sun Belt. Platinum Prosperity have the wherewithal to live anywhere in the world, but many are content to stay put in the comfortable residences and exclusive neighborhoods they have grown to love.
Despite their high-powered careers, Platinum Prosperity make time for cultured and athletic pursuits. They go to theatres, museums, dance performances and concerts - particularly jazz and classical music - and watch movies of every genre. From fitness walking and swimming to tennis and cardio work, Platinum Prosperity enjoy anything aerobic, whether at their in-home gym, a fitness center or their country club. When they’re not doing it, they’re watching it; they attend professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey matches.
As consumers, Platinum Prosperity seek quality. They frequent upscale department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s and Nordstrom. However, they also appreciate the thrill of the bargain hunt at Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx, Costco and Best Buy. Convenience is important to them, and they’re nearly twice as likely as the general population to shop by catalog, buying everything from books and women’s clothing to healthcare products and home décor.
When it comes to electronics, Platinum Prosperity like their TVs flat and high-definition. They may have grown up with hi-fis but today their music is on MP3 players and their old VCRs have been replaced with DVRs. They’re more than three times as likely as the national average to own a handheld device such as a Blackberry, and they’ve begun to carry wireless devices outfitted with GPS and Web search.
Having achieved a certain level of status, they don’t mind telling the world of their success. Platinum Prosperity typically drive luxury sports cars, premium SUVs, compact crossover vehicles or ultra-upscale sedans. They like to buy a new car every two years - preferably imported - and they tend to load up on options like satellite radios and GPS systems. However, you won’t see them taking road trips. Platinum Prosperity prefer to travel by plane, train or cruise ship when they vacation, and they usually stay at upscale hotels or all-inclusive resorts.
Platinum Prosperity read newspapers - especially the business, sports and travel sections - and subscribe to business, entertainment and epicurean magazines. A strong radio audience, they tune in to news, news/talk, adult contemporary music and golden oldies stations. However, TV remains their preferred medium. Favorite cable networks include CNBC, CNN, ESPN, Turner Classic Movies and premium networks like Showtime and HBO. Many are newshounds who watch “The Today Show” in the morning, “NBC Nightly News” at night, and “60 Minutes” on Sunday. Their idea of reality TV is “Antiques Roadshow”.
Having achieved upscale status, Platinum Prosperity describe themselves as both happy and optimistic. To them, their work is a fulfilling career, not simply a job. And they believe all businesses should act ethically regardless of the bottom line. These Americans are relatively conservative, with most voters belonging to the Republican Party. And though some members describe themselves as “very liberal,” conservatives still outnumber liberals in this segment by a ratio of almost 2 to 1. Platinum Prosperity describe themselves as activists who are willing to join a protest if they feel strongly about an issue.
Like their politics, there is a cautious streak to Platinum Prosperity. When they buy a car, safety features trump video screens and flashy styling. They watch their diets and insist on regular exercise. And though they feel financially secure, they’re still careful with their money and don’t like taking on debt. They consider themselves good money managers and would like others to think of them as financially savvy. As consumers, they are environmentally sensitive, often driving hybrid cars and seeking out green products despite any added costs.
With incomes hovering around $250,000 and their kids off on their own, Platinum Prosperity have begun building up their long-neglected nest egg. They invest heavily in stocks, mutual funds, money market accounts and annuities. Their passion for finances makes them a strong audience for banking services, including interest-bearing checking accounts, debit cards, savings certificates and cash management accounts. Gold and platinum credit cards - especially those from Visa and American Express - are de rigueur in this segment, but so is an abundance of insurance. Platinum Prosperity carry all kinds of health insurance cards and are more than twice as likely as the national average to possess more than $500,000 in life insurance (including cash-value whole life insurance) and $300,000 in homeowner’s insurance. They’re out to protect what they’ve spent a lifetime building.
The Internet is increasingly attracting the older, educated attentions of Platinum Prosperity, but typically for utilitarian purposes. They’re more than twice as likely as average Americans to plan trips, trade stocks and seek out weather information online, but they hardly ever visit entertainment sites to play games or watch videos. While their favorite sites include Netflix, Expedia and Google, don’t expect them to respond to ads on those sites. Whether the ads appear in email, banners, buttons, video messages or search results, online ads rarely spur Platinum Prosperity to make purchases.
These somewhat late adopters still use conventional service providers like America Online, though they’ve graduated from dial-up and DSL to cable modems. They regularly access the digital world at home, work and at hotels while on business trips. And they’re slowly making the transition to smartphones and other wireless devices when accessing the Internet. However, they are careful to protect their privacy while online, and they only trust information on Websites that they’ve heard about. They admit, at times reluctantly, that they’re getting more of their news online and spending less time reading magazines. Gradually, the Internet is changing the way they live.