A FALLACY prevails regarding the WEALTH of SENIOR CITIZENS.
While it is technically true, that the SENIORS of AMERICA as a group, have more assets than any other segment, based exclusively on age, it is also true there are more of them, and the percentage is growing every day.
One difference is, that while they may dominate in total assets, its debatable whether their assets are liquid.
Most of their Money is in the value of their House, which usually has a paid-up mortgage. and savings invested in stock or long term investment plans.
The vast majority of SENIOR cash flow income is from Social Security Benefits, dividends and earned or unearned income (interest).
A typical example of the above, as I sure is experienced by all Hearing Aid Dispensers, and others that deal with Seniors, is as follows:
One long-time Client came into the Office and declared he was interested in a New Hearing Aid if it didn't cost "An Arm and Leg".
Hearing Aid Users, of any Age, are now usually aware of the ABSURD PRICES OF HEARING AIDS and as a result are very leery of even mentioning an interest in a NEW Hearing Aid.
Knowing him as I do, I felt there is no way he would really buy a New Hearing Aid, even at the Discounted and Competitive price that I make them available.
I told him the best price I had on a New Custom Made Canal Aid, similar in Design to the one he now used, except that it would be an entry level Digital, was $995.00
Since he said his existing Hearing Aid Shell fit his Ear comfortably, and without any Feedback Problems, I presented him with an alternative service whereby the Faceplate on his Existing Hearing Aid could be replaced and that all New Electronics would be installed based upon a current Hearing Test.
He needed a new Faceplate because the Battery Door Hinge Pin had become dislodged (the Hearing Aid was over 10 years old) and could not be replaced without installing a New Faceplate, Our Class II Repair Service.
His Cost for that Service Procedure was $395.00
Thats what we did.
When he picked up the Aid, a couple of days later, he put it in his Ear and declared it was better than ever. It was a CIC Model, the smallest Hearing Aid available, and it had a Set-Crew Volume Control. We adjusted to the Volume to about 1/2 on, and he had plenty of Volume and plenty of Reserve.
He stated that it was so much better than his other Ear Hearing Aid, that next Month he would have the same Service performed on that Aid.
He didn't have the money to have them both done this Month.
He came back a day later because he said it had lost most of it's Power, and I examined the Receiver Tube and it was plugged with Wax.
Our Repair Lab had installed a Standard Wax Guard which only provides for a 1 mm opening which is intended to protect the Receiver, which the Receiver Tube is connected to, and since the opening is so small, it is conducive to becoming plugged up, which is what happened. I removed the Wax Guard and the Aid functioned perfectly.
I installed a New Wax Guard, and then examined his Ear Canal and found it was plugged with excessive Ear Wax which is the Nemesis of Hearing Aids, and had to be removed. He said he irrigates his own ears.
Again to save Money.
He left a Happy Camper, with full confidence in our Work.
Another long-time Client came in yesterday with a couple of 22 Year Old Custom Made Canal Model Hearing Aids that he obtained from his Mother-In-Law, just before She died. They were made for her.
He is a Retired Air Force Pilot (Fighter) having flown in 3 Wars. He retired as a Lt.Col.
I had fit him with New Hearing Aids in the past 5 years, that he managed to lose in the last 2 years.
Since we Provide 2 Years Loss & Damage Protection on most of our Hearing Aids sold (Some have 3 Years) his Aids were Out Of Warranty and his Choices were to go without Hearing Aids, Apply to the VA,Buy New Hearing Aids, or have his Mother-In-Law's Old Hearing Aids remade to Fit His Ears and Hearing Loss.
His Cost for Each Remake from Us was $595.00
At this time, he said he could only afford to have 1 Done.
He also said he couldn't pay until the lst of October, when he received his income checks.
In My Mind, there is no question this Man has Credit Cards, which he doesn't like to use, He also owns a very nice home, which in this area of California is probably worth from $700,000 to $900,000
Regardless of his Financial Circumstances, this Client is very Conservative and has his own ideas on how to spend his Money.
Because a Miracle-Ear Office (in a Sear Store) is much closer to his House, and perhaps he was embarrassed to expose Me to His Plight, He first visited their Office.
They told him there was nothing they could do for him other than sell him New Digital Hearing Aids that were on Sale for over $6,000 a pair.
I provided a Service for this Client based on his needs not mine.
I still made, at least in My Mind, a very respectable Profit and I provided an Excellent Service Option.
Our Class IV Repair Plan.
Miracle Ear made NOTHING.
What Impression, and reaction, do You think this Hearing Aid User has, of Miracle-Ear, versus our Office.
Who will he recommend to his Family,Friends,and Neighbors?
I initiated an Alternative Repair Program over 17 Years ago, when I first opened my office.
Having worked for Miracle-Ear and Sears Hearing Aids (Division 05) since 1983, I was only aware of the Services they offered.
Their Thrust to was sell NEW HEARING AIDS.
When I discovered that STARKEY LABS, would do a Class I Repair (Electronics) on any Custom Made Hearing Aid of any Brand, REGARDLESS OF THE AGE OF THE HEARING AID, for the same price as any Aid and with no WARRANTY PENALTY such as a limited Warranty Period of 90 Days and then a Price Penalty because of the Age of the Aid, and that they would Perform a Class II Repair (A New Faceplate including All New Electronics based on a Current Hearing Test) and that they would remake ANY AGE CUSTOM MADE HEARING AID WHEREBY THEY ALSO INSTALLED A NEW FACEPLATE, OUR CLASS IV REPAIR PLAN, by utilizing STARKEY LABS I was able to provide a SERVICE THAT NO OTHER HEARING AID OFFICE WAS WILLING TO PROMOTE AS A PRIMARY SERVICE AND A ALTERNATIVE TO BUYING NEW HEARING AIDS.
STARKEY WOULD NOT REMAKE A HEARING AID THAT WAS ORIGINALLY MADE FOR ANOTHER PERSON, AND THEY WOULD NOT REMAKE AN AID FOR AN OPPOSITE EAR.
The RESULT OF THE CLASS IV REPAIR SERVICE PLAN WAS THAT THE USER RECEIVED A COMPLETELY NEW HEARING AID FOR ABOUT HALF THE PRICE OF A SO-CALLED NEW HEARING AID.
Loss & Damage Protection was also available for any Repaired Hearing Aid, regardless of the Age of the Hearing Aid.
The only Disadvantage was, Compared to the Purchase of a NEW HEARING AID, was that the REPAIRED HEARING AID could not be returned for a Refund.
The Repair part of the Warranty could be 1,2,3,4,or 5 Years.
As good, or better, than the Warranty Provided with the purchase of a New Hearing Aid.
These Alternative Repair Services are still available and now also include upgrading an Old Analog Custom Made Hearing Aid into a DIGITAL HEARING AID.
THE POINT IS, THAT NOT EVERYBODY CAN AFFORD, OR WANTS TO SPEND THE MONEY, FOR A NEW HEARING AID.
THE PROBLEM IS, THAT CONSUMERS ARE NOT AWARE OF THEIR OPTIONS, AND OF COURSE THOSE SELLING NEW HEARING AIDS DON'T WANT TO MAKE THEM AWARE BECAUSE THEY PROBABLY ONLY MAKE 10 PERCENT PROFIT COMPARED TO WHAT THEY MAKE WHEN THEN SELL NEW DIGITAL HEARING AIDS FOR $2,000 OR $3,000 OR $4,000 OR $5,000 OR $6,000 OR $7,000 DOLLARS EACH.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE HEARING AIDS COST THE HEARING AID DISPENSER (DEALER) ABOUT $1,000 EACH. NOW YOU KNOW WHAT THE PROFIT IS AND WHY THEY WANT TO SELL ONLY NEW HEARING AIDS.