baby boomers Heather and Robert

Over the last 26 years marketing for the retirement industry, I’ve been challenged by emerging market attitudes. This blog unwraps some of those thoughts. I’ve found interesting parallels in the journey of a couple of baby boomers (Heather & Robert) who are in the throes of wedding plans and considering a retirement village in the mix. So jump on in and follow how they fare, together with my commentary on new and innovative trends in the retirement industry. And let me know your thoughts too!

To start from the beginning of Heather and Roberts
wedding story scroll to the bottom.


There are many consultants in the retirement living industry that offer advice on how to reach prospective residents, however very few have the experience, empathy and understanding of our target market than Jeff McGarn.

Jeff has an amazing ability to get ‘inside the heads’ of our target market and is in touch with their thoughts, fears and decision triggers.

He is also not afraid to challenge the industry on how to design senior living communities that will appeal to retirees in the future.

This book is a timely reminder to operators to stay relevant in the future.

Linda Hooper
National Marketing Manager
Living Choice Australia Ltd

Can 'big data' help sell retirement villages?

Luke Olyslagers    Wednesday, May 31, 2017    1 Comments

Heather’s story – The Big Day
My wedding gave rise to so many emotions, but I was bursting with overwhelming joy when I saw my oldest and dearest friend Freja – someone I’ve only seen once in 40 years. 
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Will current retirement villages become white elephants?

Luke Olyslagers    Friday, November 11, 2016    3 Comments

Heather’s story
Britney Spears annulled her marriage to Jason Alexander after only 55 hours of wedded bliss. Well dear reader, I may be about to smash that record. You see, it all came about when I asked Robert to book the band for our reception. I distinctly asked for a panpipe group from the Andes as guests arrive, then later, the fabulous a cappellachoral group: Cafe of the Gate of Salvation. Robert said “YES!!!.” But in his defence, this was exclaimed while watching his underdog team win the grand final. 
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Heather’s story
Initially I became a vegan for health reasons. Then it became a moral issue. Now I do it just to annoy people. That is, according to my fiancé. Robert would easily become a vegetarian if bacon grew on trees. So as you can imagine we are still fighting over the wedding menu. He wants a BBQ. I’m fine with that as long as there is no meat, seafood, poultry or dairy. That’s when he threw down his motorcycle helmet and yelled: “we didn’t fight our way up the food chain to eat lentil burgers!” But I’ve seen Robert with a pair of BBQ tongs. He doesn’t have a BBQ – it’s a cremation! “How do you like your steak” he asks his mates. Yeah right. As if you have a choice. When his steaks are cooked he calls for a plate. Surely an urn would be more apt. He argues that he wouldn’t be cooking on the big day but honestly, a BBQ? 
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Heather’s story
If there’s one thing Robert hates more than a vegan dinner, it’s Celine Dion. In fact, she sits marginally below his hate for Volvos and John Denver – not necessarily in that order. So we’ve been at loggerheads this week over our bridal entrance song. 
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Can SEO find Wally?

Luke Olyslagers    Thursday, April 14, 2016    2 Comments

Heather’s story
My Big Fat Geek Wedding 2
So, I’m losing a few kilos for the wedding. (Yes, even vegans need to watch what they eat sometimes. Do you know how fattening carob can be?) This is for two reasons – I want to fit into my wedding dress, and also because I’m broadcasting the ceremony live over the internet. 
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Marketing for retirement – print or online?

Luke Olyslagers    Wednesday, March 09, 2016    3 Comments

Heather’s Blog
Wedding invitations!
Robert says if he hears those words one more time he’ll bang his head against the wall while tossing a bouquet of spanners over his shoulder. He argues that in a world of high-speed Internet, fibre-optics, texting, Facebook, Instagram and Skype, the only people who send anything by snail-mail these days are banks and divorce lawyers.  
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Are retirement rissoles on your menu?

Luke Olyslagers    Tuesday, February 02, 2016    3 Comments

Heather’s Blog
Wedding Countdown – Day-23
Robert and I attended a dear friend’s wedding last weekend. Even though it didn't toast my bagel it turned out to be a good opportunity for gleaning wedding ideas. You see I wasn’t crazy about the use of leather placemats at the dining tables (being a vegan…hellooo) but I adored imaginative touches with the heart-shaped pink ice cubes in the table water. Robert was underwhelmed with the beer selection but talked effusively about the rissoles all the way home. Even texted the groom about them. 
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What can you do in three seconds?

Luke Olyslagers    Tuesday, December 15, 2015    9 Comments

Heather’s Blog
Wedding Countdown - Day-28
A lot can happen in three seconds: twelve babies are born, an area of rain forest the size of a football field falls to human development, one person dies of starvation in the Third World and Bill Gates earns $750 US. And three seconds for me to make up my mind about Camilla (my fiancé Robert’s Ex). Robert and I bumped into her at an overpriced restaurant last month, where I still have a glass of wine on lay-by.  
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Are roosters in your sales process?

Luke Olyslagers    Tuesday, November 17, 2015    2 Comments

Heather’s story
Wedding Countdown – Day 32
I’m sitting here curled up on the lounge with Mr Biggles (my tabby), sipping a delicious chai latte as a gaudy Venetian glass sculpture of a rooster stares at me from across the room. It’s eyeballing me. I’m eyeballing him. Mr Biggles is uneasy, sniffing at it and jumping back as if stung by a wasp. 
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Would you retire in the same village as your parents?

Luke Olyslagers    Wednesday, October 14, 2015    28 Comments

Heather’s Story
Wedding Countdown - Day-35
Hi Gang. I am creating this so I can share my thoughts with you in order to avoid an impending nervous breakdown. As you may or may not know - and if you don’t well get ready, this is my impending (second) marriage (cue Pink Floyd: “A Momentary Lapse of Reason…”).
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