For baby boomers, retirement may not
be what they expected.
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” was the most
important 2012 summer movie for the insurance industry. The
film explores the joys, myths and misconceptions of retirement,
all of which are about to burst open the insurance
“Marigold Hotel” follows seven British retirees
who “outsource” their retirement to India to save
money at what they were told was a newly restored hotel. In
reality, they are the hotel’s first guests in a long
time, and their supposed golden years play out in unexpected
Lacking the luxury of its advertised promise, The Best
Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful is a
dilapidated building that nonetheless starts to appeal to these
diverse retirees. The accidental companions explore a place
that, like their future, is both enchanting and daunting.
So, too, is the insurance industry approaching the unknown.
The elder baby boomers, the generation born between 1946 and
1964, are now 66 years old. One of eight Americans is age 65 or
older, and the estimated average age of insurance workers is
58. As the influx of boomers approach retirement, the American
workforce is at a critical point. This generation has never
done anything like its predecessors, and its retirement years
are likely to look different as well.
Here are some key lines from the movie and how they apply to
“I was no longer useful to
them. They thanked me for my service.”
It’s the explanation that the bitter Mrs. Donnelly
(played by Dame Maggie Smith), gives for her forced retirement.
She, thanks to British healthcare rationing, must get her hip
replacement in India.
But such a quote can also be the lament of any laid-off
worker. A hotel servant’s humility softens Donnelly, and
her caregiving experience for a wealthy British household comes
in handy. She pores over the books of the poorly managed hotel
and convinces an investor to come on board.
Insurance professionals’ experiences also are
invaluable. Might real-life retirees also save the day for the
new generation of agencies and brokers?
“I just need to feel young